There are bad leaders, there are good leaders, and there are great leaders.
What separates the great ones from the rest? A whole host of leadership skills are necessary, but there’s one thing that perhaps defines the great leaders ahead of the good ones. Yes, as you can see from the title, we’re talking about their ability to manage relationships. What exactly do we mean by this, how can you improve your relationship management skills, and what are the benefits from a leadership perspective?
What Is Relationship Management?
Simply put, it’s the way in which you manage your relationships with people throughout your company. This includes employees, employers, suppliers, clients, customers – the list goes on. Looking at things from a leadership standpoint, you’re mainly concerned with your relationship with employees. Being a good leader is all about having strong and positive relationships with your teams.
How Do You Improve Relationship Management?
Various ideas can be thrown into the ring here. However, the first and most important tip is to see your employees as people. A lot of achievement coaching services will focus on relationship management, and they state that stripping away the title of a person is a brilliant place to start. Stop looking at and seeing your employees through their job titles, and start viewing them as people with feelings.
In a way, this brings everyone onto a level playing field, instantly making your team more comfortable with you. Treat them fairly and like human beings, and they’re more inclined to respect you – and to approach you if they have questions, queries, or ideas. You don’t want to cultivate relationships where people are intimidated by you; it doesn’t equate to great leadership.
Take the time to know all of your employees by name, understanding a bit about them, and constantly checking up on them. It’s all about the idea of being there for your employees and understanding their strengths and pain points. This helps you develop empathy, which is a crucial skill to have when managing relationships. Obviously, many other ideas can be implemented, but this is a good starting point.
How Does Relationship Management Benefit Your Leadership?
When you have a positive relationship with your employees, they are more likely to listen to you and hang onto your every word. They respect you, meaning they are keen to work hard to impress you. If you have a poor relationship with your team, why would they bother trying to work hard? Achieving excellent working relationships ensures people travel to work on time every single day with a smile on their faces as they’re excited to work.
You’ll also find that developing excellent relationships encourages employees to speak out. This can help you generate new ideas and concepts that move your business forwards. It can also highlight any issues in the workplace that people have witnessed, but been too afraid to talk about. If they have a good relationship with their leader, they’re more inclined to speak up, helping you sort things out and creating a better workplace for all.
In short, managing relationships is critical for the success of your business. If you want to be the best leader, this is what you should focus on.