The Technical VS. The Relational Leader

Part of being a great leader is being able to relate to others. Have you ever had a manager that was excellent at their job but they couldn’t handle people correctly? They could perform their daily job duties but probably had issues in the way they spoke to their team and understood the different personalities of the people they worked with. Many people in leadership roles battle this. Their job performance has led them to get promoted into a higher role but the never learned how to relate to people along the way. I want you to try an exercise. I saw this in a leadership training with Executive Trainer, Nancy Reese and fell in love with it. Take a moment and try this on your own or with your team at your next meeting.

1. Get a sheet of paper and write Relational on one side and Technical on the other.
2. Think about the best managers/ leaders you’ve encountered and think about the top 5 characteristics/ skills you loved about them.
3. Now list those 5 characteristics either under Relational or Technical.

Which side has more characteristics listed under it? Usually you’ll find that your best managers/ leaders have more relational characteristics than technical. Characteristics such as good communication, being kind and understanding, and going to bat for the team outweighs if a manager can conduct a good meeting or fix a computer program. The moral is that the technical is necessary but great leaders know how and understand the importance of relating to people. It really leaves an impact. I challenge you to work on relating to your teams if this is an area you need improvement in. Also, make sure it’s genuine. People can tell if you’re doing something out of obligation or if it’s truly meaningful to you. By effectively relating to people, you can work together to accomplish strategic goals and be successful.