Leaders, Can you RELATE?

I started teaching a series on leadership today for one of my client companies. Thanks to synchronicity, there was recently an article about relational skills for leaders in Forbes.

Called “Leadership Is A Relational Skill,” the author made some very good points about what leaders must do to connect with their teams.

The article, and today’s class discussion, has inspired me to create this acronym for leaders, using the word “relate:”

RELATE for Leaders:

Respect – Effective leaders have a deep respect for their followers. They show it by asking for input, by listening, by speaking the truth, by keeping promises, and by building trust.

Engage – Effective leaders practice lively engagement with their people, seeking their involvement in change initiatives, seeking their ideas and opinions on improvements, having frequent two-way conversations, and making them feel like they are part of the very heart of the business.

Listen – Effective leaders are great listeners, opening up to everyone’s perspectives, even making sure that dissenting voices are heard.

Acknowledge – Effective leaders notice each member of the team as an individual human being, recognizing each one’s talents, strengths, issues, and goals.

Teach – Effective leaders know that they lead by their example (i.e., ‘everything they do teaches’) and they coach on a regular basis, always on the lookout for potential that can be evoked and developed.

Empower – Effective leaders do everything in their power to support their people so that they can be successful. In a nutshell, the best leaders em-power their people. By giving the team the tools, the training, the equipment, the information, and the authority, plus whatever else is needed to get the job done, the leader has set the team free.

As the Forbes author says, The best way to find out how effective a leader is, is to ask the led. The followers know best how well their leader is doing.

Do you have the courage to ask them?

Posted on Tuesday May 7, 2013 by Terrence Seamon.

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