Rapport (Relationship) – The Essential Ingredients of Leadership Development

WRITTEN February 1, 2017 Author: Rich Atkins

In life, relationships with others is everything. In fact, people are willing to forgive a lot of mistakes, as long as there’s a good link and understanding as a foundation. During leadership development, it is important to create a bond with the people being lead. It is a great way to avoid encountering hostility and resistance.

Let’s imagine that you are the newly-selected leader of a department in a company. From the very beginning, it’s critical during leadership development to foster understanding of the people you will be leading and to build a bond with them. Disregarding the humans at work (in other words, their feelings) and focusing only on the agenda of getting things done is sure to create conflict, especially if it contrasts in policy with what your predecessor was doing.

As part of your leadership development, when brought into this new role, think about scheduling time with each team member to get to know each one better. Ask questions about what brought them to the organization or what they enjoy about their work and what they would change. Use this time to listen and connect with them.

It’s well worth remembering that some in your newly-inherited department will not be onboard with your ascension to the role above them. That’s a red flag indicating the possibility for tension and conflict. The smart leader recognizes those potential traps and works on ways to win over the dissenters—not on overcoming and crushing them. Antagonizing them would only make things worse. Therefore, finding ways to connect and empathize with the “outliers” will empower them and bring them more onto your team.

Nobody wants strife and disagreement. Avoid creating discord with the people you lead. Create affinity by being emotionally tuned-in to their wants, needs, and expectations. Move at a reasonable pace to allow people to adjust to the change. All of this will go a long way to building a long-lasting relationship with your new team.

This information is from our Leadership & Management Class curriculum. If you’re looking for ways to improve your communication skills, register for one of our public classes.
Image by Ronald Carreño from Pixabay 

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