Updated: Jan 31
Do you know what it takes?
Every role requires 3 key skills, yet one of these skills is especially critical in building a high performance team.
There are three main skills that each person needs in order to perform any role in any industry.
Skill 1: Content is your knowledge, your ability to predict cycles, patterns and trends in your industry. Content includes your qualifications, training and the physical and mental expertise to do your job. However knowledge alone is not enough. Many roles which are heavily reliant on content alone are quickly being replaced by automation, algorithms and apps.
Skill 2: Process skills what you use to deliver your content in a way in which others can best receive it. Your ability to use software programs, manual labour, perform repetitive tasks quickly, host a meeting, follow checklists, convey verbal and written communication, presentation skills, your time management skills and even self-leadership skills such as self directed learning, work-flow strategy, self motivation and strategic thinking are all process based skilled.
Skill 3: Relationship skills are the most important skill-set that any business owner or Leader could have and yet are the most undervalued. The reason this skill is so undervalued, is because it is a “Leadership Soft Skill”, meaning; it is an intangible set of subconscious mindsets and behaviours. It is the humanity piece that cannot be learnt from a single book and it not taught at school.
This third skill, has become more sought after in leaders as the world moves more into automation. Content and Process skills are already being outsourced to Ai technology, as knowledge becomes more available online and task based or repetitive skills can be performed with greater speed and efficiency by automation. Leaders with the people skills that highlight genuine humanity, can build rapport and inspire others are the drivers behind highly successful and innovative teams.
Knowing what your job entails and how to do your job is only half the battle.
Relationship skills are the missing key that will land you sales, create repeat and loyal clients, ensure successful team collaborations and be the deciding factor in the success or the failure of a high performance team.
The skills required to build and run a highly performing team whether you operate a busy cafe or oversee a multi-million dollar portfolio are the same and it all comes down to the skill-set of the person leading the team.
You probably have had experience working with a Leader who has little or no relationship skills, you may have even quit a job because of one.
A Gallup 2017 poll of more 1 million employed U.S.workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor.
75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses and not the position itself.
Relationship skills are more than just good people skills.
Good people skills can get you through an interview and may even help land a job; smiling, politeness, friendliness, being well presented, patience and helpfulness are qualities everyone needs but real relationship intelligence or RQ skills can bond a team, build trust, loyalty and respect as a Leader.
Relationship Intelligence (RQ) skills
Leadership Empathy is critical in understanding the needs, learning styles and motivations of each team member, knowing when to push and when to rest. Empathy is understanding the context of where people are coming from, what drives them and what scares them. Developing a deeper level of understanding of your clients needs, will help you provide better service and hence stronger relationships.
Leadership Trust skills are needed to allow the team to innovate, fail and innovate some more, knowing they have the trust and support of the leader. Trust within your team, allows members to come to you with problems, confidentialities and even challenge your leadership decisions with alternative perspectives.
Leadership Communication is required to ensure the team are clearly informed on the Leadership vision, direction and expectations. That messages are delivered timely, accurately and in context, so that decisions are understood and the team remains onboard and motivated.
Leadership Rapport is your ability to build strong and meaningful relationships fast, whether it be with prospective clients or new team members. Leadership rapport requires good listening skills, questioning and curiosity to learn more, genuine authenticity and humbleness. Good rapport means setting aside your agendas and assumptions, to allow the other person space to open up and be heard.
Leadership by Example – never asking others to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself is a key trait of leading by example, a boss who refuses to get their hands dirty every once in while does not gain respect of the team. Being a good role model means being part of the team rather than above it.
Leadership Support – Ensuring your team has all the resources needed for their success, getting the training, funding and approvals, ensuring the right human resources, materials and inter-departmental cooperation to support your team. Showing your team that you support them means knowing and meeting their needs.
Leadership Responsibility – Not only being responsible for doing your job, but taking responsibility for the team including setbacks and failures. Team bonds can be destroyed in an instance when a leader blames, shames or takes all the credit for the team.
Resolving conflicts and ongoing performance management are all the responsibility of the Leader and should not be left unresolved.
Leadership Empowerment – Creating psychological safety within your team is a key way to empower team members and this requires stamping out negative behaviours such as bullying. Entrusting team members with more responsibilities, space and time to achieve results. Providing challenges and collaborations that stretch and ignite passion within the team.
These Leadership Relational skills form the back bone of an inspiring Leader and without such the team will under-perform, do the bare minimum, sabotage or disintegrate altogether.
By increasing your Relationship Intelligence skills you can improve your leadership to build and sustain your high performance team.