In Feedback and Professional Development

The Key to Building Relationships

Our ability to develop and build relationships with others can determine how successful we will be in our workplaces.  In this article, we look at some key habits to building relationships that are positive, strong and collaborative, and why it’s important, as School Leaders, to foster good working relationships.

The function of a leader is to lead and guide people who will follow with the same values.  Being able to encourage people to follow comes down to well-developed relationships, modelling excellence through a personal commitment to improvement and change, and being a catalyst of change in the way others think and act.  

Leaders who build good working relationships set the foundation to making work more enjoyable for everyone.  And, people are more likely to go along with changes that we, as leaders, want to implement.

The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is the ability to get along with people.  – Theodore Roosevelt.

The key to building quality relationships is down to some very basic human behaviours: communication and being able to actively listen, displaying empathy, and giving respect to people even before they’ve earned it to gain trust.  

The effective leader is first an effective communicator.  Communication and feedback, should include everyone. It involves both speaking and listening, as both are equally important. It would be difficult to build a relationship with someone if you are uncomfortable speaking to them and hearing what they have to say.  Working relationships are much stronger when people feel informed.

Skill in the art of communication is crucial to a leader’s success.  He can accomplish nothing unless he can communicate effectively. – Anonymous

Individually, leaders must also develop their people so that they, on a personal level, feel a sense of forward movement and direction.  Every teacher, support staff member and employee has talents, skills, and experience.  If you can help harness their best abilities by developing them, building rapport, and having a good working relationship with them, you benefit the entire school.  

With a good working relationship established, and the cumulative effect of a leader’s people skills, there will be higher levels of trust individually as well as in the school itself.

Remember, the key habits to practice for building relationships in the workplace are;

  1. Communicate – ask the right questions and actively listen to understand, not just to respond.
  2. Show Empathy – be open, honest and genuine, take an active interest.
  3. Trust your colleagues and develop them!


EI for Leaders helps school leaders develop their leadership practice.
 Its method is to provide leaders 
with meaningful 360 feedback that gives them clear suggestions for achievable changes in behaviour that, in turn will make them better leaders and, build upon their interpersonal skills to sustain good working relationships.

For more information about EI, or to learn more please do not hesitate to contact us today.

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