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Leadership – like life generally – depends on strong relationships

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What we learn at work about relationships often helps in our personal lives too.

And vice versa.

Leadership is fundamentally about developing strong and healthy relationships with other people.

Because, organisations are social structures. At their core, they’re a collection of interpersonal relationships. Both in the workplace (peers, bosses, team members etc.) and outside of it (clients and other stakeholders).

And our personal lives also depend on strong and healthy relationships (with our partner, family, friends and community members).

So, when we learn more about relationships – and ourselves – in one context, it usually produces lessons and skills that transfer to the other.

Communication is a great example.

Effective communication is a critical leadership skill.

And it’s critical for our personal relationships.

So, when we become a better communicator in our personal lives – for example, by learning how to effectively have difficult conversations, we can often apply the same skills at work.

This has been my experience. For whatever reason, I’ve usually found it easier to advance these skills at work (probably because the stakes are lower: work matters less than personal relationships for most of us), but they made an immense difference to how I showed up to conversations outside of work.

And my life has been the better for it.

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