We’ve been talking a lot about transformational leadership and the tools to use to help you grow in becoming a transformational leader. As you apply these relactional (yes, that’s right – relactional) and transformational leadership tools and processes every day, they will become woven into your lifestyle. They will become a part of you. I’ve jotted down a list below of some of the main tools that you’ve been learning about in these blogs.
As a reminder about a relactional leader, you will know that you are becoming a relactional leader when you walk with others in such a trusting relationship that no “transaction” can separate you. That does not mean that you might not work someplace else or play for another team, but it won’t be because of a transaction within the relationship. As a relactional leader, you can stand on a firm foundation of your relationships and look down both ends of the relationship continuum of highly relational people on one end, those who prioritize relationships, and highly transactional people on the other end, those who prioritize transactions and be confident in yourself. As a true relactional leader who has combined both those elements, in that middle place, you have become someone who interacts equally well with both kinds of people. You will find that neither emphasis will drive you crazy. In fact, you will have discovered a need for both of these kinds of people in every organization or sphere in which you have influence. This will make you a truly transformational, relactional leader and give you greater influence in every organization or sphere of influence in which you live, work, or play.
Here is a short summary of some of the other terms, tools, and ingredients we’ve been learning about as transformational leaders. These are the ones that I would first put into the leadership you are building. The more of these you use, the better your relationships will be. Better relationships lower stress and anxiety, which leads to higher performance.
(When you need to establish a code of conduct and steps for resolution among individuals and groups)
- Sit with a team member, your entire team, or your family, and ask this question: “When we’re together, how do we want to treat each other?” Write down a list of words that describe how you all say you want to treat each other.
- Ask this question: “How would we want to handle it when one of us breaks that agreement?” Or, “What process would we use to resolve the breaking of that agreement?”
(When you need to engage in difficult conversations)
- With humility
- With pre-forgiveness
- In love
- In truth
(When you know you have been wrong)
- State the offense.
- Acknowledge that you were wrong.
- Ask for forgiveness
- Ask for accountability
- Ask if there’s anything else
(When you need to recognize and take charge of the way you think, feel, and act)
- Change the thought.
- Change the feeling.
- Change the action.
(When you realize you need to change)
- See it.
- Own it.
(When you need to better understand who you are and the source of who you think you are)
- Personal experiences
- Social comparisons
- Internalizing others’ judgments
(When you need to understand its sources of anger and learn how to respond in appropriate ways to challenging situations)
- Physical or emotional pain
(When you need to learn how to be an effective listener)
S = Square up and be silent.
L = Lean into the conversation.
O = Maintain an open posture.
W = Be willing to be engaged.
E = Make eye contact.
R = Relax, respond, and repeat.
(When you need to improve written communications)
- Don’t read energy or emotion into emails or texts.
- Use a greeting.
- Use the communication channel on which you want the person to respond.
- Be careful about using bold or all caps.
- Use a clear subject line in emails.
- If addressing several topics, use bullet points or numbering.
- Keep conversations intact when responding.
- Limit sending carbon copy or blind carbon copies in emails or copying everyone on text streams.
- Don’t try to resolve conflict through e-mail or text.
- Avoid using words in the wrong context.
- Ban cussing.
(When you need to train someone to elicit a certain pattern or behavior)
- The Off-The-Record Meeting
- The First Recorded Meeting
- The Second Recorded Meeting (success or ask the questions again)
- Success or Consequences
(When you need to regain and build relationship after a conflict)
- Remain silent.
- Remain silent.
- Remain silent.
- Thank the person for the feedback.
- Repeat back to be sure you fully understand what the person is saying.
- Make a commitment and follow up.
- Make a commitment and follow up on the problem once you have all the details.
(When you want to say something positive directly to someone)
- Remove insincere phrases.
- Make eye contact.
- Make it about the other person, and don’t use flattery.
- Be honest.
- Affirm the person directly.
(When you want to learn to lead meetings that engage and motivate the participants)
W = Welcome
A = Ask questions
D = Discuss
E = Empower
L = Launch
(When you want to learn to be a leader who develops effective goals and practices with the teams you lead)
V = Vision
S = Serve
T = Teach
T = Train
E = Equip
E = Empower
L = Let go
E = Evaluate
(When you need to overcome blocks that prevent growth toward a goal)
- Identify the biggest constraint.
- Exploit the constraint.
- Subordinate everything else.
- Elevate the constraint.
- Break the constraint.
(When you want to grow your team and organization into its most effective interactions and transactions)
- The Visionary Model
- The Servant Leadership Model
- The Functional Responsibility Model
- The Relactional Model
- The Continuous Improvement Model
(When you want to grow leadership that develops effective teams)
Stage 1: Visionary
Stage 2: Servant Leadership
Stage 3: Functional Responsibility
Stage 4: Relactional
Stage 5: Continuous Improvement
(When you need to identify people, places, activities, and things that are lifting and draining)
- Spend more time with the fillers and less time with the emptiers.
(When you want to develop a meaningful, personal roadmap for your life or organization)
V = Vision
P = Purpose
M = Mission
O = Objectives
S = Strategies
A = Actions
(When you want to choose people who will help you stay on track)
- People who love you enough to tell you if you are getting off track
- People you trust enough to tell you if your mind or your heart is wandering off track
This is just a quick review and a brief listing of some of the tools we’ve been talking about over the past months. I encourage you to start using these tools today. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the details, go ahead and look back at blogs we’ve posted or check out Transformational Leadership and you’ll be able to review and familiarize yourself in more detail about each of these tools.
When we combine these strategies and processes I’ve listed above and adopt them in our leadership endeavors, we can become a positive influence and will make a positive impact on those around us and the organizations in which we live, work, and play. These tools help us all become transformational leaders.
Ford Taylor is a leadership strategist, keynote speaker, and the author of Relactional Leadership. As the Founder of Transformational Leadership, he is known as a man who can solve complex business issues, with straightforward practical solutions, while maintaining his focus on people.