Wendy Talbot PhD – Director

2 December 2019

Introducing the JUST Leadership© Activity Cards

Click Here for a PDF of Blog Post 2 December 2019

JUST Leadership Activity Card 1: Relationality

 

Principle Māori: Whanaungatanga – Relationships

Western Principle: People are in evolving relationship with themselves, each other, cultural perspectives and experiences

Relationality involves understanding people as being in relationship with each other as well as themselves and their contexts – their historical, current and future cultural values and beliefs, their environments, organisations and so on. These relationships are always evolving, multifaceted and complex.

For many, thinking and leading relationally involves a shift from understanding relationships as an object that people have (a noun) towards the idea of relationship as an evolving process that people do (a verb).

There are some useful relationships that leaders can hone to make the shift towards a relational perspective.

These include relationships with

  • diversity and appreciation for the many perspectives that exist
  • openness to learn about different perspectives
  • curiosity and the art of inquiry that helps make meaning and create understanding
  • inclusiveness and the ability to suspend judgement that some ideas are more superior or valid than others
  • power and ways of managing power equitably

These relational skills can contribute to environments where people are more likely to talk about their lives, foster relationships and address issues that arise.

In these environments, leadership can be encouraged with everyone in the organisation and not just the domain of those in positions of authority.

In summary, a relational view is based on the idea that people are in evolving relationship to everything – to themselves, their actions, experiences, histories, futures, environments and cultural perspectives – as well as to others and their actions, experiences, histories, futures, environments and cultural perspectives.

A relational view is based on the idea that people are in evolving relationship to everything – to themselves, their actions, experiences, histories, futures, environments and cultural perspectives – as well as to others and their actions, experiences, histories, futures, environments and cultural perspectives

Here are some questions you might wish to reflect on or discuss with others

  • What do you think about the idea that people are always in relationship with themselves, others, actions, experiences, histories, futures, environments and cultural perspectives?
  • What would it take to adopt a more relational approach to your leadership or organisation?
  • Where might you begin?

 

References

There is one particular source that I selected the Māori principle of Whanaungatanga from –

Harmsworth, G. (October, 2005). Report on the incorporation of traditional values/tikanga into Contemporary Māori business organisation and process. Auckland, New Zealand: Mana Taiao Ltd.

I recommend two books, dedicated to relational leadership from an organisational perspective, that address some of the ideas I have presented –

Hersted, L., & Gergen, K.J. (2013). Relational leading: Practices for dialogically based collaboration. Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute Publications.

Hornstrup, C., Loehr-Petersen, J., Madsen, J.G., Johansen, T., & Jensen, A. V. (2012). Developing Relational Leadership. Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute Publications.

Adventurous Conversations Ltd work with organisations to develop values driven, people centred, relational and collaborative culture and relationships. Call, email, or book a no obligation 30-minute introductory consultation if you want to turn the tide towards more relational organisational culture and approaches. Click here to contact us or book an appointment.

 

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