When Functional Skill is not Enough

Have you noticed that successful people seem to be able to negotiate relationships and get work done, despite that difficult co-worker or demanding boss?

The ability to negotiate business relationships, to work through and around people, is key to being effective and being noticed. People with sound relationship skills have an ability to influence; to read between the lines and make appropriate decisions that are aligned with the situation. They don’t react from a habituated pattern, rather they respond; making informed judgements based on the facts, tensions and personalities at hand.

They possess relationship acumen -a type of intelligence that not only understands the interpersonal and political dynamics of an organisation but knows how to impact and shape those dynamics for better outcomes.

Learning to negotiate your own personality quirks will help you to manage another’s.

You can be the best at what you do in the business – but if you can’t translate those functional skills into appropriate relationship behaviours – your effectiveness will be muted and your career trajectory stifled.

Work gets done through people. So learn to do people better.

3 Tips to Help

1. Map Your Connections

Draw up a relationship matrix (example here). This will help you to reframe and diagnose relationship issues. It may be that the difficulty you're experiencing has stemmed from reading the relationship dynamics incorrectly and adopting the wrong behaviours.

2. Know Your Triggers

Know yourself – said the Oracle at Delphi. Understanding your habits and pet peeves helps you to know what you'll react to. Learning to negotiate your own personality quirks will help you to manage another’s.

3. Watch the Overuse

A challenging, direct leadership style, if overused, can be perceived by others as hostility and dominance. Know when to step back and tone it down – act from authenticity - but don’t overdo it.

Work Relationships
Emotional Intelligence