Relational leadership is essentially a kind of situational leadership. It refers to valuing other people’s strengths and working with people and through people to achieve win – win results. A relational leader is the person who is aware of others competencies and strengths. She aims to value people and get optimum results by stepping forward when she is capable and leading others to step forward when she is not.
At first glance, leadership can be seen as managing or directing a group of people. However, real success comes from encouraging and allowing others to take responsibility when they have the improved knowledge and ability to lead in the given situation.
Trying to be perfect at all times is wearing, and it also wears on the people around us. It leads us to struggle for the approval and appreciation of others.
Since childhood we have been expected to be our best. Being second in a race or getting an average grade on an exam was always considered insufficient. You might have seen someone bewail getting an A- instead of an A+.
Take TV ratings, for example. Is it a failure to come in second in the ratings? Or is it the program’s success in appealing to diverse cultures and being talked about that really matters?
The constant struggle to come first and the addiction for approval eventually lead a person to ignore his own needs as well as others. By trying to be the leader at all times, one can only position himself as a troublemaker and a follower, because his own individual greed will trump group interests. People will quit seeing him as a natural leader, as they won’t feel comfortable with someone who doesn’t pay attention to their needs.
Constant leadership breeds addiction to constant approval. Leadership means walking together, not ahead. A good leader listens and values; he strengthens personal relationships.
Everyone has different and distinct ways of doing things. A good leader respects this and tries to take advantage of this by empowering people. It’s also crucial to be able to take a step back when needed. Relational leadership improves morale by allowing people to feel valued.