Relationship Management - Part 1: Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Relationship management refers to the ability to use your own and other’s emotions to manage relationships successfully[i]. It involves clear communication and coaching skills, conflict management, the building of trust and rapport, the ability to tell the truth with compassion, influence, inspiration, and collaboration. Emotionally intelligent leaders can manage relationships more effectively, developing more efficient and engaged teams. In part one of this two-part series, we will reflect on the importance of two aspects of relationship management: conflict management and coaching & mentoring.
Try as we might, there will always come a day when a conflict will arise. Whether the conflict is between you and an employee or between two employees fighting over personal or professional issues, effective team leadership is crucial. The ability to accurately read and react to your team-members’ emotional states, turning conflict into agreement, is one of the most significant challenges that you will face as a leader. Leaders need to be able to resolve disagreements. Fortunately, the more you develop your self-awareness, self-management, and empathy abilities, the more you will be able to manage conflict in the work environment[ii].
Acknowledge the conflict and don’t expect the situation to resolve itself.
Be proactive, recognize the first signs of conflict, and work towards a solution.
Listen carefully to the different points of view involved before coming to your conclusions.
Coaching and Mentoring
Becoming effective coaches and mentors is one of the most important skills for leaders. A recent study by Gallup estimates that the cost of poor management and productivity loss due to non-engaged or actively disengaged employees in the U.S. is equivalent to $960 billion to $12 trillion per year[iii]. To engage and set employees up for success, managers should become coaches who can establish expectations, continually mentor, and create accountability[iii]. As a leader, you need to invest in the development of others, starting with recognizing the needs and interests of your team members.
Invest in the establishment of trust.
Give consistent and meaningful feedback.
Recognize your team members’ strengths, and also consider their individual needs and interests.
Indicate areas for further development as part of a continuous process of coaching and mentoring.
Be compassionate when telling the truth.
How important do you think relationship management is for a leader? What has been your experience in conflict management and coaching & mentoring? Has relationship management enabled you to be a more effective leader?
Dr. Cristina Rosario DiPietropolo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Leader Essentials Group, with extensive experience across multiple industries and highly skilled in the areas of strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, change management, and leadership. Over ten years of teaching experience as a university professor of management, with a special focus on leadership in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and international management.
[i] Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart. [ii] Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press: Boston. [iii] Clifton, J. & Harter, J. It’s the manager. Gallup Press: New York.