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Relationship Skills - we're in this together

RocheMartin defines Emotional Intelligence by a set of 10 competencies and this is one in a series of blogs covering each one: Why develop Relationship Skills, what is it exactly and how can you develop it?

Why develop Relationship Skills?

...because, as the name suggests, it's all about relationships and therefore important for your home life, for leadership, for all your work relationships and for effective teamwork.

And more specifically

It leads to healthy, productive, win-win relationships that focus on collaboration and partnership, recognise the value that everyone brings to the relationship and that feel good!

...and any other type of relationship involves an imbalance of control or power which tends not to feel nice, bring out the best in people or create the best results from the relationship.

Projects example

I have worked on many technology projects and observed the impact the client-consultant relationships have on how well the project goes. And when the two organisations work collaboratively as partners, the output of the joint team has always been better and the project experience far more enjoyable.

But that's not always the case:

Consultants assume superiority...
  • This can easily lead to frustration, resentment and a lack of engagement from the client. “Who do they think they are?!”.

  • It can also lead to good ideas being missed or a solution not taking into account key information due to an unwillingness from the client to share.

Clients assume superiority...
  • And treat consultants almost as inferiors that can’t be trusted. They are there to do the client’s bidding. They need to be ruled with an iron fist. The client is determined to “get their money’s worth” from the consultants and make sure they don’t step out of line.

  • That easily leads to resentment and a really difficult environment to work in. I’ve seen hours wasted on projects where consultants have had to spend time justifying their every last move rather than just getting on with what needs to be done.

..and the same is true for relationships between teams in any business and in our personal relationships.