Relationships in Leadership (Why You Need One to Have the Other)

Mark Steel Podcast

Great leaders understand the importance of relationships in leadership and why you need one to have the other. Have you ever clocked into a job and felt like you were just a number? You were uninspired, and completely unsatisfied by the time you left for the day. Or have your sales not taken off the way you had hoped? There is something missing from your performance that keeps you from being at the top, but you just can put your finger on it. 

The secret? It’s relationship. 

Most people don’t like to be talked at or sold to. When there is no emotional connection or persuasion, a sale is less likely to happen because the consumer doesn’t feel they need what you are selling. When there’s no relationship with your employees, they are less likely to do their best work happily because they don’t feel cared about or seen. 

Think of all the times you have had a great idea to help your company. Now think about all the times you felt heard when expressing said idea. Big difference isn’t there? The potential for growth in any company, whether it be via employees or customers, is exponentially higher when people work as a collective, boss AND employees, employees AND customers together. If your leadership is all command and no relationship you are missing out on tons of growth and potentially sabotaging yourself. 

Not only does building relationships help grow your company, but it inspires those around you to do, be, and work better. Remember, people often forget what you say to them, but they always remember the way you made them feel. 

Being a leader doesn’t always just mean shouting directions, but it means to guide. Guide your workers and co-workers through tough situations, get in and do the hard work with them, understand their struggles, and celebrate their wins.

Imagine this: You are the top point of a triangle and following behind you are your employees. You are forging a new path into the next level of your business, but it is in uncharted territory. This new territory does not have paths already paved or street signs to follow but it is an open field in which you must start fresh. As the leader, it is your job to take the blow of knocking down obstacles that stand in your way, making the path clear for those who follow you. Setting them up for success. 

This is the process of building relationships. This builds trust. An article from Forbes.com states that building depth in relationships means to, “Treat people as people. Not as jobs, tasks, or outputs. Doing so requires you to take an interest in them, ask questions, and listen attentively. When leaders demonstrate an interest in people and their work, it helps to develop mutual commitment to the job at hand.”

You’ll not only see the relationships in leadership form between yourself and employees, but you will see it trickle down to your employees and the customers. You will have begun to lead by example and your customers will feel a more genuine connection to your company and really feel like they need or want whatever it is you’re selling. They will feel like you have their best interest at heart and that they do in fact, need your product or service.¬†

Relationships in leadership isn’t tricky, it’s just genuine. As I refer in one of my TEDx Talks, to be an invincible leader isn’t trying to be great at sales but to be great at serving. You provide value to your customer by showing them how you can serve them and make their lives easier because you’ve listened to their problems and concerns. 

Sometimes all it takes to see growth is genuine inspiration and motivation among our leaders and for us to step into those roles with open ears and open eyes to truly understand our employees and customers. 

Let me know in the comments below how you plan to build relationships in your company and become an invincible leader!