Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership – Engaging Hearts and Minds

CPC Career Development

By Dr. Andrew Vujnovich, Colin Holbrow, PCC, and Linda Schnabel, PCC,
© 2008-03-18

In Reach out and touch someone; connect with kindness and respect! Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership demands we engage all hearts and minds in a special, organized, performance and behavioural enhancement effort. This is aimed at creating community and inclusivity, growing relationships, solidifying teamwork, building reciprocity, improving services, reducing costs, and pleasing customers and team-mates; as well as improving quality, work and home life, and employee morale. It calls for empathy and emotional maturity.

The key to Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership is maximizing human capital and relationships. You don’t have to have dramatic improvement. Modest, incremental improvements add up over time; their cumulative effect can be substantial and rewarding.

Relationships are crucial to improved productivity and sustained positivity. Developing an understanding of, and a capacity to tap, our emotional competencies is a core component of creating, energizing, building, and re-building effective relationships – of creating significance. It’s not always interpersonal conflict or the inability to find a common ground that hampers improved and sustained productivity and positivity. Often systems, rules, policies, and regulations get in the way. Ultimately, it’s our ability and willingness to deal with relationship breakdowns that make or break Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership.

Step One — Planning

  • Articulate passionate, purpose and vision
  • Understand what business you’re in ( i.e., your organization’s product, service, or offering as well as your own personal identity, brand, and offerings)
  • Know your customers’, your colleagues’, and your family’s expectations about your brand and offering ( i.e. expectations of what you stand for)
  • Understand your competition and team-mates; and how your product, service, or offering is unique
  • Realize that Relationship-centred quality, service, performance, and leadership improvement is an all-encompassing cross-organization, cross-family, cross-neighbourhood intervention. It is not just something which occurs at the point of contact with others, be it customer, neighbour, team-mate, or family member
  • Appreciate that everyone has a role and responsibilities in behavioural agreements and interactions
  • Create an action plan to include philosophy, information, and training
  • Training must be skill- and people-focused, not just smiles. It must also include and demand accountability to ensure the application of the learning and the desired behavioural change, and to feed continuous improvement

Step Two — Implement The Plan

  • Communicate your co-created Relationship-centred change process to everyone involved or affected
  • Encourage Listening Intently, Questioning Well, and Offering Recognition
  • Hear the voices of all stakeholders and what the system and processes are saying
  • Establish teams; encourage a sense of belonging
  • Agree on behaviours, actions, and outcomes
  • Identify monitoring devices
  • Solve initial problems
  • Encourage intelligent risk-taking in an environment of security

Step Three — Follow-up And Adjustment

  • Conduct review meetings as appropriate; recognize successes; demonstrate fairness and integrity
  • Receive and act on project team reviews, reports, and feedback; listening intently, questioning well, and offering recognition appropriately
  • Trumpet successes; learn from mistakes
  • Build better Relationship-centred actions; encourage respect and dignity
  • Correct behavioural shortfalls
  • Revise as needed
  • Sustain momentum and continuity

Step Four — Continuous Improvement

  • Identify sponsors and champions; assume the role yourself
  • Heed industry reports, best practices, and benchmarks
  • Deploy continuous improvement teams; expect fulfillment and commitment
  • Implement Relationship-centred change processes; leverage successes
  • Articulate processes for continuous improvement and Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership
  • Go back to the relationship drawing board when your effort fossilizes. Start with as much a clean slate as possible to co-create better relationships

We urge you to engage all hearts and minds and to nurture and grow Relationship-centred Transformational Leadership. We commend you for your efforts in evoking the power and passion of partnership.

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