9 Rules for Becoming a Relational Leader

Interpersonal relationships are often challenging, but great leaders know how to leverage the power of relationships. When it comes to working with people, great leaders know how to turn a negative into a positive.

Do you want to build leadership relationships that relate to the team and motivate them to five-star excellence? Follow these nine important laws that drive that kind of relational leadership.

  1. Always seek the welfare of others. You are the team’s provider. Your task is to help team members excel by the emotional, financial, physical, and spiritual resources you provide. Always put the well-being of your team members ahead of your personal or corporate goals.
  1. Always listen to understand the comments of others. A relational leader will listen intentionally and intently to the expressions of team members. Some may be in the form of criticism, evaluation, suggestions, or complaint. In each case, you provide a safe place for them to express themselves.
  1. Always reward the task completions of others. Relational leaders reward the efforts of team members with visible and audible approval. The reward may be in the form of a monetary gift, a special privilege, a handwritten or electronic note to the team members, but it should always be accompanied by a genuine expression of gratitude for a completed task.
  1. Always expect the best practices of others. Gain the best from each team member by expecting their best. Be sure to affirm their unique abilities, encourage their progress, and you will teach them how to meet and overcome personal and professional challenges.
  1. Always express gratitude for the work of others. Set the standard of courteous and thoughtful behavior of team members by being courteous and thoughtful. You enthusiastically praise team members for their kindnesses to you, and in so doing, provide a marker for their expressions to others.
  1. Always look for the motive behind the behavior of others. Express concern with a readiness to listen and with opportunities for treatment—including referral. You refuse to accept unproductive or disruptive behavior as a personal attack; rather you see it as an opportunity to pursue healing.
  1. Always provide information vital to the work of others. Provide an appropriate and direct line of information to team members about the mission and methods of your organization—including personnel or policy changes.
  1. Always increase the skills of others. Your team wins when you build the professional and personal strengths of team members through continuing education—formal or on-the-job. You see each team member as a future leader, and do everything in your power to improve their skill set.
  1. Always take responsibility for the work environment of others. Provide a positive and productive daily atmosphere. Set the tone of the day with your enthusiasm, friendliness and by speaking positively of others. In so doing, you will encourage the team to foster friendships and understanding.

What about you? How do you build on the power of relationships in your leadership? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter.




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Keith Richards needs something new. A successful stockbroker married to a gorgeous wife, he has it all or so it appears. But this morning he impulsively walks out of his Detroit office and catches the first plane to Seattle…heading to Mac s Place, a neighborhood coffee shop he frequented before he became such a success.

Laughter greets Keith. The sweet smell of coffee wafts over him. It s good to see you! Joe exclaims. Keith can t stop his grin. I flew in for some real coffee. He settles onto his favorite barstool. The fit is as good now as it was three years ago. He relaxes and closes his eyes, savoring the moment.

Fretting about their morning argument, Jenny leaves numerous messages on Keith s cell phone. Calling his distraught wife, Keith announces he needs time to think, and he ll be back in a week. Staying with Joe and his wife, Marcy, Keith glimpses a life he longs for and discovers a truth he s never considered. Does he have the faith to embrace it? And what will Jenny think?

The Relational Leader: A Parable of Business Success offers powerful principles you can
implement for a more vibrant, satisfying, balanced life.