Three Ways to Develop Relationships with the People You Lead

In the article, Leaders Must Touch the Heart , I quoted these words by John Maxwell, One of the most common mistakes people make is trying to lead others before developing relationships with them.  It happens all the time.  A new manager starts with a company and expects the people working there to respond to his authority without question…the leader expects to make an impact on his people before building the relationship.  It’s possible that the followers will comply with what the leader’s position requires, but they’ll never go beyond that.

To succeed in business, never take people for granted.  Zig Ziglar says, The reality is, regardless of what business we’re in, since it is fueled by people, we are all in the people business.


Having a Sportsfest is one way of developing relationships with people.

Develop relationships with the people you lead through:

1.  Genuine Courtesy. People are delicate and sensitive.   They want to feel important.  Greet your people with a smile and don’t forget the words please and thank you.

Even the little courtesies that we give to them are important.

2.  Respect. Be punctual because punctuality is respect for other people’s time.  Listening is one of the greatest expressions of respect.  Listen to what others are saying and respond only after he finishes his statements.

3.  Appreciation for them and for their point of view

People want to feel valued and cared about.  Appreciate them for their hard work and contribution to the success of any project.  Be specific in your appreciation.  Give praises for their point of view and suggestions for the success of the organization.  Give them small gifts occasionally, as a token of appreciation.

In the book, The Leadership Challenge, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner say, Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who choose to follow.  It’s the quality of this relationship that matters most when we’re engaged in getting extraordinary things done.  A leader-constituent relationship that’s characterized by fear and distrust will never, ever produce anything of lasting value.  A relationship characterized by mutual respect and confidence will overcome the greatest adversities and leave a legacy of significance.

Public Allies, an AmeriCorps organization dedicated to creating young leaders who can strengthen their communities, sought the opinions of eighteen- to thirty-year-olds on the subject of leadership.  One of the questions was about the important qualities of a good leader.  Topping the respondents’ list is “Being able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view.”  In second place is “Getting along well with other people.”

I shall be very glad if you could leave your comments after reading this article.  I love to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia S. Acebes 

17 thoughts on “Three Ways to Develop Relationships with the People You Lead”

  1. This has never been more true. You simply must develop relationships, not only with your external but your internal customers as well. Without a relationship, your chance of winning are greatly dimenished.

  2. Thank you very much Ma’am…I like it…well taken.
    But, sometimes, it’s really so sad to lead those who don’t want to be lead, those who have different orientation and perspective.
    Anyway, it will still require patience, perseverance, lot of sacrifices and most of all unselfish love to our people… Everybody has a purpose.
    We learn also from them. Again, thank you for mentoring us.

  3. Hi! Nimia,it’s so nice of you to remember me,it’s been over 36yrs since we graduated. I like what you wrote about “lead from the heart”,i’m your fan…getting along well with people is my interest too…

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