Guest post from Erica
Today all work involves engaging and collaborating with others. If you lead any
size team and relationships are a problem for you, your plans will most
definitely derail. Be attentive and ensure that your relationships are built on
solid foundations and that you continually nurture them over time.
Build Your Relationship Currency with Three Building Blocks:
Be an Authentic Messenger
Establish Credibility: Relationships in business are often first established in
forums where technical topics are discussed. Asking insightful questions,
listening attentively to what others have to say, validating someone else’s
viewpoint with your own experiences, and sharing useful information will start
to establish your credibility. These behaviors also signal your sincerity to
build mutually beneficial relationships versus engaging in superficial
conversations with either no agenda or in which your own personal agenda is
Making a positive first impression through interactive engagement is an entry
point that can lead to a shared interest in investing more time in building
deeper relationships. Building personal credibility is an ongoing process that
is facilitated by your sincere, consistent, and service-oriented behaviors to
share your knowledge and expertise.
Be an Authentic Messenger:
Authenticity requires being real in expressing who you are to others. To gain
followers, you must be authentic, because people want to genuinely connect
with, trust, and believe in their leaders.
Being our authentic selves naturally serves as a magnet to attract others into
relationships with us. Being an authentic messenger means that you honestly
understand how you feel about a given topic and communicate your perspective in
a way that conveys both your intellectual and emotional points of view on it.
When you are an authentic messenger, you are able to build deeper relationships
because you are connected to yourself and therefore transmit an emotional
connection to others. Authentic connections establish intimacy beyond
transactional information sharing; they build trust and confidence.
Demonstrate Gravitas: Having
established both credibility and authenticity creates the conditions for you to
now demonstrate that you are a leader with gravitas. While many find it
difficult to describe, people look up and actively turn attention to the
individual who has this desirable quality. Gravitas is similar to charisma in
that it captivates us, but it is less about how you physically show up and
attract attention and more about how you compel others to lean in and listen
with extreme interest to what you have to say because it is expected to be
insightful and is delivered with meaningful wisdom. Being recognized as a
leader with gravitas is a highly regarded distinction. These leaders build
powerfully intimate relationships.
If you struggle with relationships, try to take a realistic look at why.
Uncovering the essence of this challenge can make a big difference in how you
address your personal learning and development process. For example, being
introverted may limit the number of relationships you build because your
preference is for fewer, more intimate, connections. For other individuals,
being disconnected from their own feelings may make them insensitive to the
feelings of others, inhibiting their ability to empathize and therefore create
meaningful connections. Still others may fear not being accepted or, worse,
rejected, which may make them reluctant to proactively engage in the
Being self-absorbed, needing to be the smartest person in the room, or being so
focused on tasks that the people you are working with don’t even cross your
mind are additional reasons why relationships may elude you. Find the root
cause and challenge yourself to consciously address it with a coach or mentor.
Seek feedback on how to change your approach so that you gain more comfort and
achieve greater success with this critical leadership currency. If relationship
building simply does not seem important to you, you may have a choice to make
with respect to your leadership aspirations. As you progress in your
professional career, your technical skills will start to matter less and your
interpersonal skills will matter more. If you aspire to team or organizational
leadership roles, relationship building is mandatory. If you can’t or won’t
address this vital area, you simply will not advance in your career.
Peitler is an
accomplished leadership performance coach and high-impact facilitator who
creates the conditions for change and growth with her clients so that they can
take the evolutionary or transformational steps toward achieving their full
potential as individual leaders, high performing teams, and organizations
operating at a level of excellence. www.ericapeitler.com