4 Regular Habits Of Relational Leaders

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In our work with churches all around the world, we have found that healthy churches have a healthy staff. And what we have noticed among healthy staff teams is that the leadership is inherently relational. This is what keeps organizations healthy and growing for the long-run.

No matter how administrative or hands-off your role at your church may be, your role will always impact people on your team and people in your church. To create a church staff that helps your team and church continue to thrive, here are four habits to adopt. These should ultimately allow your staff to get to know you on a deeper level and vice versa.

1. Check in on your people regularly

My most memorable supervisors would often check in on me throughout the work week. By checking in, I am not referring to projects, deadlines, or anything work related. These bosses took time to learn about my passions, family, and aspirations.

This checking in communicated to me that my bosses did not see me as just an employee or an assistant, but rather as a person who has real goals, dreams, and a family.  Furthermore, checking in created a work environment that goes beyond projects and the day-to-day job itself. I didn’t just want to complete things for their own sake. Rather, I wanted to complete them because I saw that my supervisors not only cared about my work, but me as well.

2. Offer help

Offering to help your staff with their job communicates to your team that your team’s projects and deadlines have value. I can guess the natural response to this principle would be, “With what time exactly?" 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that you drop your own projects or work twenty extra hours a week. You were hired to do a certain job, just like your staff. But planning to take some time throughout the year to help different staff members not only communicates value in their work, but that you take joy in seeing them succeed. Living this principle will take some creative thinking because every staff leader has such a unique and different role. But I encourage you to ask yourself, how can you create an effective and efficient habit to help your people?

3. Surprise your team

Surprising your team is a great habit that communicates that you value the work they provide each day. It may seem obvious, but grabbing coffee, donuts, or tacos on occasions can make all the difference in how your staff perceives your interest in their work and who they are. Nothing communicates more that you see their hard work and care for them than random acts of kindness.

4. Spread culture

One thing I love about Vanderbloemen is that we come together at the end of each month and discuss a key theological issue that we regularly come across in our work. This allows our team not only to continue growing in our jobs, but to socialize and get to know other members of our team that we don’t see as often. Having a work environment that regularly allows the whole team to come together creates a staff culture that lasts.

What you do is important, but who you work with is also.

Being a leader is never easy, and being a great leader never happens overnight. It takes forming habits that seek to benefit those who you have been entrusted with. These are four habits that we have seen in great staffs. 

What habits do you have that cultivate relational leadership?

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