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Updated: Jul 26, 2022

There are times when a good cliché phrase brings our attention to a subject that we think we already know everything we need: relational intelligence. Did you know that relational intelligence is a skill? And therefore it can be learned. But how?

To get started, you need to define it. Relational Intelligence is the ability to deal, first, with yourself, and then deal with the other. From the deep intrapersonal relationship you have to have with your inner self to the interpersonal one, which is when you establish contact, affection, exchanges with other people, everything is relational intelligence.

Knowing yourself goes beyond solving problems and controlling emotions. This is about building your individual journey based on what you believe in. Personal and professional growth involves recognizing our strengths and weaknesses, what blocks us and what sets us free, and which tools and strategies will guide us to the desired success.

Self-knowledge is essential for you who occupy a leadership position. Who can inspire and be an example if they are not aware of their own limitations? To lead is to look at yourself through the other, it is to relate seeking mutual benefit and collective learning.

The leader who uses his relational intelligence respects personal differences, accepts to hear opposing opinions and new ideas. He is also able to communicate sincerely and assertively and, therefore, has an easier time resolving conflicts within the team.

Something to highlight is that, as a leader, you will have to relate to people who share the same tastes, values ​​and personality as you… and others who are the complete opposite. It is necessary to know how to deal with each profile that you find in your life, without favoritism and without prejudice with difference and diversity.

This is not an easy job, but over time you learn to better understand how each person “works”: some are more open, talking freely about any subject; others are more closed, and need an incentive and a solid relationship of trust and respect to open up; some do better with pressure; others need tranquility; some need constant feedback; others prefer different stimuli to motivate themselves... This wisdom is conquered little by little, with many mistakes and successes. To better understand the different profiles, today you can count on the help of behavioral profile mappings to get to know yourself and your team. There are many models on the market. If you want to delve deeper into the subject, just call me.

Another issue to be aware of is that every relationship needs limits, even with people who are friends and family. Even the most relaxed environments need rules, to ensure that everything is working the way it should. It is essential to have rules and make them clear to the entire team – in order to have a transparent conduct – as a way of guaranteeing the well-being and functioning of the group.

Of course, it's also not good to be an authoritarian leader, with a rigid set of rules and not accepting different opinions. Flexibility is one of the qualities of positive leadership, and knowing how to be open (and listen, as we said above) is essential for the team to achieve its goal in the healthiest way possible.

So, are you ready to take another step on your journey as a leader? Every discovery contributes to our knowledge, and every way of knowing deepens our understanding and adds another dimension to our worldview. So, take the opportunity to improve your leadership a little more by developing your relational intelligence.

Édila Souza, is a Gente Mais Columnist, Executive Educator.

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