“Today we are faced with the pre-eminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
Right on Mr Roosevelt! This also rings true for our organisations. If we are to survive and thrive, we must spend time cultivating our ability to understand the science of human relationships. However, focusing on our ability to relate to one another at work, above focusing on the outcome, is not a natural tendency for everyone; to be fair, it is not at the forefront of most corporate cultures either. Leaders are typically rewarded for their achievements, their outcomes and their results, more so than their connections with other people and their ability to understand and cultivate different relationships. A focus on the outcome over relationship comes at a cost: it limits potential. Outcomes at the expense of connection equal short-lived success.
The competitive advantage therefore, in any leadership role is to focus as much on the people that drive the results as the results themselves. Building a real connection with people unlocks discretionary effort and drives full engagement.
According to neuroscientist, Matthew Lieberman (1), social skills are a multiplier. A leader with strong people skills can leverage the technical abilities of team members far more effectively. As Lieberman suggests, “often what initially appear to be task-related difficulties turn out to be interpersonal problems in disguise”. Socially skilled leaders are better at diagnosing and treating these common workplace dilemmas. They embody the notion that success in relationships, equals success in business.
(1) Lieberman, M. (2013, December 27). Should Leaders Focus on Results, or on People? Retrieved from Harvard Business Review:https://hbr.org/2013/12/should-leaders-focus-on-results-or-on-people.
Growing Leaders program
For leaders of leaders who need to develop the leadership skills of their team, and support their people to grow beyond their own roadblocks. Based on the book, Developing Direct Reports: Taking the guesswork out of leading leaders, this program is about building each leader's capability to grow the next level of leaders, on the job – where it counts. Contact Anneli today to discuss how this program can help improve the effectiveness of leadership development in your organisation, for tailored, targeted and sustainable results. e: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a professional People Whisperer, Anneli has been working with leaders and teams to improve their communication and interpersonal intelligence for almost a decade.
If you’d like to improve your interpersonal effectiveness and influence, or decode the behaviours’ of others, contact Anneli today.