Relationship management for emotional intelligence

Improve your ability to communicate in an assertive, respectful, and non-defensive manner, particularly when providing feedback or managing interpersonal conflict. 

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Why this matters

The skills in this area are designed to help you strengthen the following abilities:

  1. Communicating assertively: engage in assertive, non-defensive communication that avoids aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive behaviours.

  2. Giving and receiving negative feedback: share negative feedback in a constructive and respectful manner to help minimize your own and others’ negative emotional reactions and responses.

  3. Managing conflict: approach, manage and resolve emotionally charged conflicts and disagreements effectively.

  4. Influencing others positively: understand how to effectively manage the emotional dynamics of a team or group.

When you enhance your relationship management, you can improve the quality of your relationships. Individuals with strengths in this area are:

  • Non-defensive
  • Clear and respectful in describing their concerns and perspectives to others
  • Open to negative feedback from others
  • Skilled in giving constructive feedback to others
  • Balanced in their view of others’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Effective at approaching, managing and resolving conflict
  • Calm and confident in difficult or emotionally charged situations
  • Proactive in addressing interpersonal difficulties
  • Skilled at managing team or group dynamics, personally and at work
  • Motivational and inspirational leaders
  • Skilled at creating a positive and hopeful mood even during stressful  or otherwise challenging situations

Relationship management assessment statements

Each of the following are related to relationship management and are included in the emotional intelligence self-assessment .

  1. I generally avoid expressing my concerns if I know addressing an issue might upset someone.

  2. I tend to communicate more intensely when I feel I’m not getting my message across.

  3. When I’m upset I tend to show, rather than say, how I feel.

  4. I tend to immediately defend or justify myself when receiving negative or critical feedback.

  5. I’m uncomfortable providing constructive or critical feedback to others.

  6. I’ve generally found that others become upset when I give them negative feedback.

  7. People would describe me as skilled at resolving conflict.

  8. Dealing with conflict is something I find very stressful.

  9. I feel I have a good ability to understand others’ views and opinions, even when I disagree.

  10. I know how to create a positive mood when those around me are under high stress.

  11. Others would describe me as being respectfully direct when the situation calls for it.

  12. I’m generally calm and confident in difficult situations.

Relationship management strategies

Improve listening and speaking skills

It can be challenging to communicate effectively when emotions are involved. Communication can be more complex and demanding than in calmer or more neutral situations. A few basic techniques or tips can improve your communication style when speaking and listening to someone with negative emotions. See Improve listening and speaking skills to learn more.  

Emotionally intelligent emailing

Many of us use email to connect with the people in our lives. In many workplaces, emailing is a necessary part of the job. Although emailing can be an easy and efficient way to deliver information, there’s a risk the messages will get “lost in translation.” See Emotionally intelligent emailing to learn more.  

Express respect and appreciation

People feel good about themselves and proud of their contributions when they get positive feedback. It can help them feel capable, motivated and valued. It can also boost the person’s confidence and help them develop a meaningful bond with others. Expressing respect and appreciation is important to maintaining positive relationships. See Express respect and appreciation to learn more. 

Find action-oriented and reflection exercises that can help you refine your emotional intelligence skills here: Emotional intelligence for employees and Emotional intelligence for leaders.

Contributors include.articlesDr. Joti SamraMary Ann BayntonMyWorkplaceHealth

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