Leadership is about influencing others and influencing others starts with a relationship. Every leader needs to have the ability to start and build relationships with others. Stanley C. Allyn said, “The most useful person in the world is the man or women who know how to get along with other people. Human relations are the most important science in living.” An essential aspect of leading is in building relationships.
Some aspects of a positive and healthy relationship include: trust, honesty, respect, support, open communication, loyalty, and kindness. Some destructive aspects of a relationship include: pride, jealously, closed communication, bad attitude, unrealistic, and having low character or morals. When it comes to leading successfully we need to focus on the healthy aspect of a relationship. Harry Gordon Selfridge, a 20th century business man, talks about the difference between a leader and boss. Here is what he said:
The boss drives people, the leader coaches them.
The boss depends upon authority; the leader, on good will.
The boss say’s “I”; the leader, “We.”
The boss knows how it is done; the leader shows how.
The boss says “Go!” the leader, “Let’s go.”
What a powerful example of the difference between a relational leader and boss. If we want to win in relationships then let’s remember and apply these principles:
Fully Listen- I have noticed leaders tend to have a hard time fully listening and engaging in conversation. We need to make it a point to talk less and dismiss outside distractions when talking with other people.
Compliment- The best leaders sincerely compliment others. This shows the person you care enough to say something positive about them. My wife is the best at doing this. She is always observing and complimenting others. It might be complimenting a good suggestion or something the other person has done.
The Golden Rule- This is something everyone knows but not everyone does. Let’s remember to, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Add Value- Adding value to others shows you care about them and the relationship. One way to provide value to others is sharing resources with them. For example, when I hear someone who would benefit from a book I’ve read I recommend the book to them or offer to loan it to them. This is just one of many ways you can add value to others.
See The Best- John Maxwell says, “Put a 10 over everyone’s head.” Meaning we should see and expect the best from others. The next time you’re talking with someone see and expect the best in them.
If you apply these principles into your leadership then your relationships will grow and flourish.
Question: What are some other ways you can win in relationships?