Learning to Relate – Part 1

Leadership is a technical and spontaneous event. Generally, the technical issues of leadership relate to goal setting, systems, planning, and evaluation procedure.

The spontaneous pole relate to relational, social, and interactive team building. The relational issues of leadership are more spontaneous and flexible because they involve human beings. Too often the process forms of leadership are encouraged, over relational issues, and of course, vice versa.

When developing people, there are three main areas that the leader will work with. The first area is TASK or what people do. The next area is RELATIONAL or social skills. The last area, one that is not discussed frequently, is AFFECTIVE or attitudinal issues. Relational issues are the harder to work with, as many social skills usually come naturally or relate to the experience or upbringing of the person you work with. Relational Leadership is the ability to use influence, power, and dependency in such a way that others become more empowered and are released to perform at the highest level possible. By definition, to be a relational leader, one is using relational strength to move people to higher levels. I meet many leaders who are very relational, that is they, form strong and vibrant relationships with people, they are popular, well liked, and even admired, but they are unable to cause growth and high performance in others.

Do not confuse, spending time with people, having people in your home, social ability, or people around you as relational leadership. All of these will help but do necessarily constitute a relational leader. Relational leaders move people forward. Relational Leadership is based on three important criteria. They are character, culture and values.

Character is by far, the most powerful and important.

Character: Relational leaders are only able to have high impact through demonstrating high character abilities. These include: integrity, trust, confidence, consistency, and commitment. These together create a quality character base that followers want to link to. Today these elements are still is short supply when it comes to leadership but leaders that can reproduce these elements in others go a long way to maintaining a great relationship to others. People today are looking for those who can lead the way through powerful character traits that create relational bonding both for the follower and those around them (spouse, family, friends) so that there is a release of energy and power to the environment they serve.

Read the second part of this post here.

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Scott Wilson

Based in Denmark for over 20 years, Scott has been a leadership trainer and coach to church leaders. He is the President of Eurolead.net, a network of churches in Europe. He is also the founder and Director of the Institute for Creativity, Leadership and Management (ICLM). Scott travels extensively, teaching and training leaders on building great church. He holds two masters degrees, one in theology and the other in organisational development. He also holds a doctorate through an adjunct college of Liverpool University, England. He has authored eight books, is married to Linda who pastors churches in Denmark. He has two adult children.

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