that St. Paul didn't write: It is required of stewards that they maintain good relationships with their congregations; but it is required of stewards that they be found faithful?
What would happen if we turned from an obsession with managing relationships in the pastoral office and focused instead on just being faithful in delivering the Lord's gifts to His beloved Bride? Crazy idea, I know.
If our pastors are humble, remembering that they are but beggars living off the same divine mercy they invite their people to, they will seek to deliver the gifts with joy - even when they suffer for it. Nor will they be surprised at the obstinacy and sin in their people - they'll have looked into their own hearts and recognized the evil that constantly springs up there. And they'll know they're in a life and death battle with the spiritual powers to deliver the life that is true life, and that that battle is utterly worth the fight.
So that's my proposal: lose the social science fixation with relationships and discover again the joy of faithfulness as we encourage each other more and more to be true to Christ and His Gospel no matter how much that might irritate people.