Relationships Build Leaders
Highly developed relationships are a fundamental leadership trait. Current and aspiring leaders prioritize and foster strong and trusting relationships in the workplace. Engaging in opportunities to continually reflect on your leadership practices and to have the courage to evaluate the impact your leadership has on others is key to a leaders success.
The following highlights some relationship qualities that research on effective relationships has identified as factors in optimizing success.
It takes time to earn and can so quickly be lost! Trust is valuing other’s opinions, empowering others to do their job, and doing what you say you are going to do. Trust involves feeling comfortable in admitting your own failures and successes.
Effective communication has to be authentic and responsive to the situation. Effective communication is recipricol. Email and memoranda are useful for routine matters. Face to face communication is required for matters needing your individual attention and followup. It tells others that you are listening and valuing their opinion and input.
Self awareness involves, perceiving emotions, managing emotions and acting in an emotionally appropriate manner. Recognizing other’s emotions and being aware of what your own emotional triggers are is key to managing tense and overwhelming situations.
Respect for Others
It is important to solicit other people’s opinions but to value these opinions by being considerate, tactful and honest with those you interact with. This is accomplished through open, accessible and collaborative relationships with others.
Openess to Ideas
Often the best ideas and strategies come from those who work in the organization and have a vested interest. It is important to always be aware of how individual roles and responsibilities may be impacted when implementing change. Create systems that allow people to not only receive information but to contribute ideas and strategies that may improve organizational service.
A key goal of strong leaders is to create a trust culture where people feel affirmed and valued. Strong leaders ask what others think and set up the structures to make it happen on a regular basis. Finally those leaders who are aware of the impact their emotions has on others develop respect and loyalty and create a culture of mutual respect within the organizations they lead.
To summarize, strong leadership will be built if effective relationships are developed in an environment of trust, reciprocal communication, self-awareness, respect for others and an openness to new ideas.
Leithwood, K. (2012). The Ontario Leadership Framework 2012 with a Discussion of its Research Foundations. Toronto, ON: Ontario Ministry of Education and the Institute for Educational Leadership.
Tallia, A., Lanham, H., McDaniel,R., Crabtree B., (2006). Seven characteristics of successful working relationships, downloaded from The Family Practice Management website at www.aafp.org/fpm