Powerful Relational Leaders Use Proportion Not Balance

Powerful relational leaders are all about getting results AND developing people. When you are a powerful relational leader you understand the critically simple point that people get results!

Of course, both new and seasoned leaders, wrestle with how much they should get results from the people and how much they need to relate to the people. For example, how much to be the boss and how much to be a friend. These are structures that you form and they will impact your leadership.

Powerful Relational Leader

Every person has a tendency toward either getting results or toward relating to people. Even the best powerful relational leaders have a tendency toward one or the other.

RESULTS or RELATING is a very easy way to think about your leadership style. If you prefer to use the 5 styles of leading (Directive, Transactional, Delegative, Participative, and Transformational), that is great. On the other hand, if you want something that is easier to remember and fits all of life, try the Results AND Relating model.

Results and Relate

You might describe the RESULTS tendency as you...

  • - push information to others
  • - fear not getting the job done
  • - advise, direct, instruct
  • - help by sharing your view – teaching, knowledge, experience, and perspective
  • - observe others, provide feedback on what they are doing and state why they need to change

On the other hand, you might describe the RELATE tendency as you...

  • - pull information from others
  • - fear hurting people’s feelings
  • - ask, listen, invite
  • - help by seeing their view – asking, listening, exploring, and discovering
  • - help people observe themselves, learn from the observations and invite them to apply what they learned.

Now, as you read each of those lists, you probably can see your tendency. The difficulty with the lists is RELATE actually sounds better! So, you may not want to consider that you are actually more on the RESULTS side.

Here is the best approach - powerful relational leaders know how to use both.

One Extreme or the Other

If you are on the RESULTS side, at the extreme you may be saying, "It's my way or the highway. Just get the job done! If people get hurt, that's life!" Of course, using that language will make most people say, "That's not me." But be honest with yourself. You may not be that extreme, but you still may have more of a RESULTS orientation.

If on the RELATE side, at the extreme you may be saying, "Let's just get along! Unity is all we need! I just want everyone to feel good about each other!"

If you do not understand the Results and Relating Principle, you tend to stay with the side you feel more comfortable. That is because you have developed and used that ability more than the other. 

And, another problem can pop up. If you think the way you are acting needs to change, you may go too far in the other direction. That often leads to oscillating. For example, you may be more driven and results oriented, but see the need to relate more. Instead of pushing the slide switch a little more toward "Relate" you push it too far. You become uncomfortable, because you are under-developed on that side and you jump back to Results.

If you continue that behavior you set up an oscillating pattern that is very unproductive for you and others. Take little steps and grow into new behavior.

Balance or Proportion

Too often people start talking about BALANCE between the two approaches, but that doesn't work  well for the legitimate situations that call for the extremes. For example, you want to be all about "results" when it comes to safety. And, it is best to only relate in those times that people are really hurting, like a death in the family.

So, what's the answer - PROPORTIONYou want to use the right proportion for each situation.

If you are primarily Results oriented, it will be good for you to maintain some thinking that asks, "What principle about Relating am I ignoring? Am I caring for and about others?"

Or, on the other hand, if you are primarily Relating oriented, ask yourself, "What principle about getting Results am I ignoring? Am I doing what is right, standing on good values?"

Both RESULTS and RELATING are legitimate for specific situations.

GR8 Leaders learn to read the situation and use the right PROPORTION.

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