Results AND Relating – Leadership Made Simple

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Using the Results AND Relating principle is a simple, profound, and comprehensive leadership approach. It is easy to understand and implement because it combines two of the most common elements when working with people.

Those two elements can be described with a variety of words:

  • assertive and cooperative
  • powerful and relational
  • separate and belonging
  • results and relating

But, using Results AND Relating tends to be the most easily understood.

Results AND Relating – Leadership Made Simple

The Slide Switch

In the graphic above, the red bar on the black line can move to the right or left and be anywhere on the line. The bar is on the Powerful or Results side, so the words are bigger. But, the red bar can move to the Relating side, then the Relating words would be bigger. You can see that in the graphic below. That helps you see a leader's range of behavior with anyone.

  • If the red bar is more on the left, more Results, Powerful, or Separate behavior.
  • If the red bar is more on the right, more Relating, Belonging, or Relational behavior.

Distorting Leadership - Focused on RESULTS

You directly impact your leadership approach using the Results AND Relating principle. And, right now, you probably overuse one side, which hurts your leadership. 

Think about how you tend to act in most situations. Do you focus more energy on Results (Separate or Powerful)? If so, you might say, “It’s my way or the highway!” “Just get the job done!” or, “If people get hurt, that’s life.”

That tendency creates more dominant, aggressive, vocal, and maybe even angry actions and attitudes toward others. But you can also be quiet and still be on the Results side.

It isn’t about being loud and vocal; it is about focusing on work and activities but not considering people as much. In other words, results are a bigger priority than a relationship. You are a control person. You relate to people, but they are secondary at best.

The further to the left on the slide switch, the more focus on results and less on getting along with people.

Distorting Leadership - Focused on RELATING

Leadership Slide Switch - RELATING

Or, you may focus more energy on Relating (Belonging or Relational) – the right side. That tends to say, "Let’s just get along!” “Unity is all we need!” or, “I just want everyone to feel good about each other!” You don’t like making things uncomfortable for anyone, and you might even say you agree with someone when you don’t.

The Relating energy values people not to the exclusion of results but as a priority to results. The further to the right, the less energy you have for results and the more energy you have for getting along with people. 

On the Relating side, manipulation is a vital tool for controlling people. For example, if you want to persuade someone, you would not force your idea on them. You manipulate them so they do not see you getting your way. Of course, that is not what happens when, on the Results side – domination and intimidation are the primary tools for control. Both are controlling, but it shows up differently. And both ultimately get controlled by the person they try to control!

Questions to Help You Move Toward Relating

Most people develop to be more on one side than the other. But, no matter how you develop, you can learn to use both Results AND Relating.

You know which side you prefer to use the most. If you aren’t sure, ask others. If you are more on the Results side, you may ignore important relational or people principles. So, if you want to move the switch more toward Relating, ask yourself questions like these:

  • What principle about Relating am I ignoring?
  • Am I caring for and about others?
  • Am I considering the power of gentleness?
  • Do I use the truth with mercy?
  • Am I pursuing their best?
Leadership Slide Switch - Change Results

For people on the Results side, remember, “People get results.” Results don’t just happen; it takes people to generate the results needed. This means finding better ways to relate to people will help you achieve your desired results.

It is okay to require a lot of work from people to get results. However, if used too often, you create a structure of rebellion. People comply with force, but only to a point. As a leader, compliance is different from what you want; you want the complete strengths of people to show up to help get the desired results. Gentleness, grace, and freedom reduce barriers.

Find ways to add more Relating to your leadership.

Questions to Help You Move Toward Results

On the other hand, your tendency may be more about Relating. You may not stand up and do what is right even when others aren’t. So, if you want to move the switch more to Results, ask yourself questions like these:

  • What principle about Results am I ignoring
  • Am I doing what is right, using good values?
  • Am I relating without violating my values?
  • Do I use truth for boundaries?
  • Am I pursuing their best?
Leadership Slide Switch - Change Relating

On the Relating side, you focus on people – you want to get along, belong, and be accepted. Sometimes, the other person in the relationship may be on the Results side, taking advantage of you. Or, they could be on the Relating side with you, which may mean values, boundaries, or truth are being ignored. Either situation requires work to increase the health of the relationship.

Moving the switch toward Results will take strength and courage.

Results AND Relating ISN'T About Balance!

Identifying your tendency may create an undesirable reaction – moving to the other side or even to the extreme other side. But, once you try to operate on the other side, you find a lack of experience or less ability to operate that way. That tends to drive you back to your original tendency. When you go back, you feel that is wrong, so you swing back to the other side again. This creates swinging back and forth from Results to Relating and back again.

The swing occurs because you see one side as excluding the other. That is how leadership gets distorted. The answer is not moving the switch to the other side or swinging back and forth – the answer is using the right PROPORTION. This is NOT about balance!

Sometimes, an extreme approach is the correct one. Consider examples that require primarily Results or Power. What if someone has stepped in the path of an oncoming bus? Wouldn’t you yell or push them out of the way? Of course, you would, unless they were your enemy (did I say that?). When you yell to someone to “Watch out!” you need Results now.

Or, Relating with someone who has gone through a tragedy in their life is not a time to focus on Results. It is a time to act like a mother caring for a newborn. That requires a tender touch and great care. You need Relating.

Proportion Changes Your Thinking

When you use the right proportion, you change your thinking. You see the bigger picture about valuing and developing people to get results. So, you change your thinking to things like:

  • Others may need to change, but change is their responsibility
  • I can invite others to change, offer truth to them, and let them suffer the consequences of not changing
  • My job is not to change others but to pursue their best even if they do not change.
  • Getting things done is essential, but not if it hurts people
  • Sharing the truth is essential, but share “truth in love.”
  • Harmony is good, but not at the expense of what is right
  • Relate and belong with others, but not without boundaries
  • Make choices based on values, don’t react/respond.

No matter how you have developed - Results or Relating your leadership needs to use the right proportion to be a GR8 Leader.

Results need Relating, and Relating needs Results.

The combination or proportion of both is best.


control people, distorting leadership, leadership slide switch, manipulate or dominate, powerful or relational, proportion, relating, results and relating leadership style

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