Tap into the power of workplace relationships

Relationship management is the most important behavioural attribute that a high-performing and successful manager of people in any organisation needs to possess. Managers' skill-based capabilities nowadays will only yield success when they are underpinned by effective relationship building.

The adage "People leave their managers not their jobs" relates to the environment that you, as a manager of your people create, primarily through the quality of the relationships you build and maintain with each of them. This is fact, and therefore managers need to come to the realisation that, whether it is personality type, gender, age, cultural disposition or work experience, people are all different.

Therefore, managers cannot effectively manage relationships with every one of their people in the same way. This is what makes excellent relationship management mastery.

Understanding this, it is important for managers not to create unfair and unrealistic expectations for themselves but allow themselves the appropriate amount of time to get to know their people and develop their own relationship management skills.

Difficult as it may seem, the key for managers is to start managing in a more relationship-focused way, and then make a point of continuously developing and refining their relationship management skills by first attaining an intimate understanding of the factors that motivate, enable or inhibit their people.

The skill of relationship management is evolutionary for almost all managers. The development of this critical imperative is relative to the amount of time, effort and perseverance managers invest in developing it.

Rather than spending the majority of their day performing non-value-adding tasks, high-performing managers make it their business to understand their

people's different make-up to build strong, mutually respectful relationships by providing the appropriate support and environment that enables others to develop key skills and behavioural capabilities to be successful and maximise performance and earning capacity.

A high-performing manager whose primary focus is using relationships to maximise results and develop their people, are exceptional listeners. They couple this important skill with always publicly acknowledging and celebrating the achievement of their people and the display of honesty, confidentiality, open-mindedness, patience and respect.

Conversely, managers who are poor relationship managers and generally poor performers exert aggression, coercion and control when managing and interacting with people.

To be an excellent relationship manager of people and be supportive and trusted, one does not need to befriend everyone or show them the same love and affection they would show a child, spouse, or close friend. Nor do managers .need tube personal counsellors. However, what is important is that managers treat their teams with the same degree of consistency in displaying the above-mentioned attributes of an excellent relationship manager such as listening, honesty and other traits.

Relationship management is a beha­vioural skill that takes time to master. If you shy away from it, you will be doing both yourself and your people a great injustice. To become a  high-performing manager of people, you need to practise, practise, practise and ensure that you allocate sufficient time each day to develop your relationship management ability.

It won't happen while you are performing non-value-adding tasks. And don't forget, it won't happen overnight.

Author: Mark Manolas

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