It’s About What You Add to the Interaction

It’s all about relationship. In some countries it isn’t uncommon for prospective business partners to first meet socially and establish a relationship with one another. Only once sufficient trust has been developed will the subject of business even be broached. The message is clear: first we need to trust one another (relationship), then business has the best chance of succeeding.

A good relationship is based on your inquisitiveness and your ability to ask the right questions, rather than how much information you give the other. So the first point may be clear: rather than telling team members what they’re supposed to be doing, get curious, start asking questions, start getting to know what makes your team members tick and above all, become genuinely interested in them as people.

There seems to be a direct correlation between your self-image (the ideas and beliefs you hold about who and what you are), self-esteem (how valuable you deem yourself to be) and the way you generally communicate. It seems logical: if your ideas about yourself aren’t that positive, the likelihood is that you don’t think you’re worth that much either. Also, your belief in what you are capable of (so-called “self-efficacy”) will affect your idea of who you are and how valuable you see yourself as being.

This is why it is so important that people realize that their own self-esteem is not dependent on others, nor on the way others approach them. Your reasons for approaching people in a certain way are actually empathic: By realizing how much self-esteem another thinks they have, and dealing with that in a sensitive way, you not only help them develop themselves, you also increase their willingness to collaborate with you.

Summing-up: One of the most potent social skills a leader can develop is a genuine high level of self-esteem. This will enable them to always add value in any social interaction, making them more attractive to collaborate with.

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