Power of Growth Take 9: The identification, analysis, and management of relationships with people inside and outside of your team
By Lorraine Morris
To be able to listen to others in a sympathetic and understanding manner is perhaps the most effective mechanism in the
world for getting along with people and tying up their friendship for good.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
This week we are wrapping up on the series of Emotional Intelligence by looking at Relationship Management. A reminder of the 3 facets we have looked at were self-awareness, self-management and social awareness. How has the habit of being more empathetic being working for you since the last read?
Relationship Management according to Daniel Goleman: “It is the ability to be aware of the emotions of those people you interact with and along with your own emotions build a strong working relationship”.
It includes the identification, analysis, and management of relationships with people inside and outside of your team as well as their development through feedback.
It looks at your ability to communicate, persuade, and lead others, whilst being direct and honest without isolating people.
In summary, Relationship Management is one of the most important human skills that we all need to master. We need to work at building and maintaining healthy, effective and meaningful relationships.
Each day that you interact, whether it be on the phone or in person, you need to know how to work consciously at building relationships with them.
It’s even more important now with a lot of people working online, you need to be paying attention to a lot more than that eye content and body language to ensure that you really are connecting to the person on the other side of that Zoom / MS teams call for instance.
I have mentioned that we need to build a relationship that is meaningful, you may ask chi chinonzi a meaningful relationship?
Such a relationship is one that you do not wish to lose. It could be the relationship with your parents? Your children? relatives? friends? Work mates etc. you know which relationships you believe are important enough for you to put extra effort to develop and maintain them.
There are also other relationships that we would refer to as independent relationships where both parties interact on an equal level with each other, and they understand the principle of mutual reciprocity in the relationship.
Examples of this are a healthy marriage and team members working together on a project. You may be in this kind of relationship when you and a colleague both work at the same call centre, yet you work independently of one another.
People who can build strong interpersonal relationships know that a good relationship is based on a principle of ‘give and take’.
You may have gotten used to my type of writing; I always like to ask you to take time to reflect on a few questions. Today I would like you to consider the following:
Think of a relationship that you are in and ask yourself what is your role in the relationship and what is its purpose?
Think of a relationship with a friend, relative or colleague, which is at present not very positive?
How is this relationship draining your energy and consuming your precious time?
What makes this different from a healthy relationship you are in with someone else?
To operate at a high level of relationship management. One needs to work on several areas such as:
Recognising different behaviours and preferences in people you interact with.
How would you do this?
Build rapport by deliberately working at finding the time, energy, and opportunities to build your relationships rather than think that they will develop naturally on their own.
Ask questions appropriately and show empathy towards the other person (remember the story I shared about the mouse, the cow, the chicken and the pig?)
Be trustworthy and accessible. Remember trust can only be earned and not demanded. When people trust you it leads to deeper and more meaningful relationships and is the most important value in a relationship.
Set boundaries – Boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates. A boundary is an imaginary line that separates me from you.
So it is important to know where the boundaries of each relationship lie for you and share that with others so that they are aware and do not cross the line.
Recognise the different behaviours and preferences in the people you are in relationship with e.g., are they introverted, extroverted, more of a thinker or a feeler? Are they outspoken or reflective?
To conclude our 4-part series, remember to combine your relationship management skills along with social awareness, self-management, and self-awareness to bring your personal life and your career life to new heights!
Cheers to being Emotionally Intelligent! Have a good week ahead, remember you can change only if you want to.
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