Do you tend to be a relationship-focused person or a task-focused person? Both are needed to effectively lead a team. A strong relationship with your team builds trust and connection. Then the transactional work that must be done to accomplish your goals will be a given.
Many leaders are task-oriented and wired to just go in and get the work done. Working for this kind of person makes it more difficult for team members to feel and stay connected. When people don't believe that their leader or manager cares about them as an individual, they're more likely to (1) leave, (2) stay, but not give their best work or (3) sabotage the organization in some way.
What is a relactional™ team?
Relactional™ is a word coined by Ford Taylor, a friend of mine and the founder of Transformational Leadership. Effectively and efficiently getting the work accomplished to reach your goals and serve your customers requires more than transactions. Relactional leaders acknowledge that not only do you have to get transactions done, you also have to have relationships in order to get those transactions done. It’s taking that relational/transactional continuum and moving to the center of it to inspire and lead both productivity and profitability. A relactional leader builds their team on a foundation of relationships.
People who work in inherently transactional fields, like financial services, sometimes struggle in the relational side of their business. Their business can't reach its full potential because that relational vacuum is a constraint. The team needs a leader who helps get the best out of them, honors the best in them and brings that all together into one cohesive whole.
How does a relactional team drive profit?
A recent Harvard Business Review article explored the cost of leadership that is strictly task-focused instead of people-focused. They found that highly efficient leaders are actually less effective overall because of the negative impact on organizational climate and burnout of team members when things like building relationships and showing empathy fall by the wayside. In fact, research conducted by Robert Anderson and William Adams for their book Scaling Leadership identified that the number one differentiator of effective leaders is strong people skills.
When you take the time to develop relationships, over time you’ll have people that are more committed to their team and to the work that they're doing. They will make the commitment and find a way to get it done on the transactional side, because they care for their team members who are counting on them to come through.
If leading your team is draining you, you can develop new team leadership skills in order to be more profitable. I help people step into those soft skills of leadership so they can focus on their true job as a leader – to release the energy of their team and help their team be empowered to do their relactional work. If you’re ready to work towards that goal, schedule a one day coaching intensive with me. We’ll identify strategies to build a strong foundation of relationships that supports your teams work.