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T2P26 – Relationship Management

Monday Motivation! For my 26th blog it’s only fitting to share my 2 pence on one of the agreements from COP26. The US and China have agreed to boost their climate co-operation over the next decade, which is significant as they are the two biggest C02 emitters. Most of the agreements are self-policing so it’ll be interesting what lengths are gone by both countries to meet this. In other news, this evening I’ll be heading to Soho Theatre to watch Sessions by Ifeyinwa Frederick, a play I’m eager to watch as it is about therapy, masculinity and mental health, a timely topic with winter depression arriving along with this colder weather. Last week wasn’t my best, a fair few Ls (Losses), I was even meant to have seen Sessions last week, but London signal failures had other ideas, and yesterday I had the rude awakening of a dead car battery just to name a few. Tis a new week however, and word to Lewis Hamilton after an eventful weekend ‘STILL. WE. RISE’, I was blessed with an amended ticket and a good friend and neighbour to jumpstart my car. Making me greatly appreciate again, the essential nature of today’s blog, relationship management

Relationship management can be defined as the ability to build value-adding relationships with others. Relationship management goes beyond friendships or family since a relationship is where two or more people are connected. One form of this is with our colleagues or more commonly thought of romantically with partners. It’s key to distinguish between the different types of relationships, as to have a relationship with someone doesn’t equate to friendship. The common theme between relationship management, self-awareness and self-management is that they are all key aspects of emotional intelligence. Relationship management links with emotional intelligence as with developed relationship management skills, we can be more sensitive to those around us, it’s exhibiting the right level of emotion to the situation at hand, and accordingly tailor our approaches with them. No two people are exactly the same, even identical twins require a different approach in how they’re parented for example.

Solid relationships are something that should be cherished. Better relationships with people allow for greater collaborative working, and can lead to favourable treatment or terms, your network can really be your net worth, organisations are employing this role for good reason. With fruitful relationships developed our satisfaction with those relationships improves too, at work with colleagues you have a good working relationship with your job satisfaction increases too. I can attest to that myself, it really did provide both a pick me up and enhance the highs to have good working relationships with some colleagues. So how best to improve our relationship management?

  • Communication: Be prepared to tailor your communication for your audience, be sensitive to the different communication styles that people respond best to

  • Feedback: Good feedback is a blessing, (if you’ve got any for the blog, do share) it can help us identify our blind spots and avoid repeated mistakes, so look to provide and receive it well

  • Proactivity: It’s best to tackle things head on, and if not then it’s still better late than never. Never tends to result in a much bigger problem than what was originally faced, so by this, be ready to place yourself in uncomfortable circumstances to aid some relationships

Improving our relationship management skills is a benefit to us individually and to organisations too. Individually it can aid us twofold, as it will allow us to engage with people better professionally and personally. Organisations are empowered by staff with great relationship management skills as they can find creative solutions for conflict resolution, influence others positively and communicate in an assertive yet respectful manner. Failing to build your relationship management skills may not prevent you from progressing in your career but it can make it more difficult than it needs to be. Life seems pretty difficult enough without self-inflicted damage, so I’d highly recommend looking to enhance your relationship management skills, I’m certainly trying

I must say, 25 blogs after my first, I may have underestimated just how much Monday motivation I’d need myself. You won’t need reminding, but the end of the year is fast approaching, which presents a great time for reflection. If you don’t know where to start, use those relationships! Ask your friends to share some feedback. Towards the end of the year, my friends and I like to have a walkthrough of how our years have gone and what we’d like for the new year. Maybe you could do similar and use that as a chance to get that feedback. Your friends are probably less critical than mine, who have let me have it, but honestly to my benefit as my communication style did need toning down. Spend some time having a think about your current relationships and general relationship management skills, improving with qualifications/certifications is great and visible but soft skills are still valued highly today and will be continue to be in the long term.

N.B. This is coming out later than planned, but that did let me see Sessions, which received a standing ovation, it was intimate, engaging, and heavy. Parts of it fit with today’s topic, it’s all too common for men, African men notably to lack in their emotional intelligence which hampers their relationship with their kids. I thought this was well captured and performed so again, improving our relationship management skills can be of great benefit personally too.

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