The Relationships Facet in Leadership and Education

The Relationships Facet in Leadership and Education

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8327-3.ch008
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Abstract

This chapter examines how leaders promote the relationships facet via the leader/follower relationship, mentoring, coaching, and advising, building their own support network, establishing boundaries, and demonstrating caring, and using referent power and relationship-oriented leadership. In addition, this chapter also examines how educators promote the relationships facet of trait EI by establishing boundaries, building their own support network, caring, mentoring and coaching, and practicing relationship-oriented leadership. Finally, this chapter also entertains the views of those who suggest that the relationships facet does not merit promotion in leadership and education.
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Introduction

Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people. -Albert Einstein

Think of the people you know— family members, friends, friends from work, your boss, your followers on social media websites, acquaintances, and enemies. This is because, as human beings, we seek to connect with others, due to our inherently social nature (Khulood & Raed, 2007), and we want to sustain those bonds because the alternative is loneliness and isolation, which goes against our genetic programming. This need to connect and sustain bonds with others what Petrides (2009a) defines at the relationships facet of trait EI, since relationships are, after all, the process of “starting and maintaining emotional bonds with others” (p. 60). Petrides (2009a) explains the facet further for he suggests that relationships also involve the ability of an individual to “know how to listen and be responsive to the people close to them” (Petrides, 2009a, p. 60), thereby creating a lasting bond.

Both leadership and education are inherently social (Khulood & Raed, 2007), because they involve one individual interacting with others to accomplish goals in the case of leadership (Goleman, 1998), or to learn in the case of education (Mortiboys, 2012; Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010). In fact, the quality of the leader/follower or educator/student relationship is so important that it can affect productivity, learning, performance, satisfaction, matriculation, student engagement, and a vast array of other areas (Goleman, 2005; Kouzes & Posner, 2003; Mortiboys, 2012; Powell & Kusuma-Powell, 2010; Roy, 2013a).

In order to provide further discourse on the importance of the relationships facet to leaders and educators alike, this chapter will meet the following objectives:

  • Determine how leaders can promote the relationships facet by scrutinizing the leader/follower relationship, mentoring, coaching, and advising, building their own support network, and by using referent power and practicing relationship-oriented leadership.

  • Explore how educators can promote the relationships facet in their classrooms by surveying how educators can establish boundaries, build their own support network, caring about their students, mentoring and coaching, and practicing relationship-oriented leadership.

  • Give authority to the views of those scholars who suggest that the relationships facet has no place in either leadership or education.

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Relationships In Leadership

Leadership is at its heart about relationships (Kouzes & Posner, 2003), and leaders who are able to create and sustain high-quality relationships with their followers, are more effective leaders (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002), and they are able to accomplish organizational tasks via others (Goleman, 1998). However, it is also the responsibility of the leader to create a positive psychological climate in their organizations, where followers feel emotionally and psychologically safe (Klem & Schlechter, 2008). In such an environment, followers are encouraged to voice their opinions, and respectfully challenge authority (Kouzes & Posner, 2003), and this can only occur if the leader is able to create and sustain high quality relationships with each of their followers.

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