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What Is the “Relational” Aspect of Business?

What are “people” people? What is the relational aspect of business? Why should we care about understanding people if we are not in HR?

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A Harvard Business Review excerpt “Leveraging Your Team’s Interpersonal Skills” reviews the result of an 18-year study, which shows that interpersonal savvy is critical in almost every area of business, not just in sales or human resources. It shows how the deeply embedded life interests of professionals develop into their career roles, and that individuals do their best work when it most closely matches their underlying interests.

Managers, therefore, can boost productivity by using their employees’ relational skills to guide personnel choices, project assignments and career development — of others and of their own. The article reviews four types of relational skills: influence, interpersonal facilitation, relational creativity and team leadership. Managers can identify people with different skills and pick the right persons for their team.

While this article is primarily intended for use by supervisors, I think it offers some handy reference for employees as well. Check out the four categories, see which one(s) you fit in and try to pitch yourself to honchos whose team is your dream. What if you don’t fit in any of the categories? Well, then you’d better be a manager!

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