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Relationship Intelligence – Navigate Conflict and Build Trust


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One of the hallmarks of a great leader is how you understand and respond to emotions, and, then in turn, how that understanding helps you cultivate relationships.

Have you ever encountered these kinds of scenarios with your leadership team after staff meetings and retreats?

  • Someone on your leadership team was too afraid to mention something they didn’t agree with.
  • Some members had questions but felt too intimidated to ask them.
  • Someone with a dissenting opinion buried it because they didn’t want to “rock the boat.”

If so, you’re not alone. These are common and challenging scenarios. I know because I’m coaching members in my Owner’s HQ or Director’s Inner Circle programs who are facing them right now.

And I’m sure you’ve experienced at least once with your own leadership team.

When your team reacts with feelings of fear, intimidation, and withdrawal, there’s a larger issue going on.

It usually means your team doesn’t feel enough trust or connection with you and the rest of the team to say what’s really on their minds.

As the school leader, improving this begins with practicing a meta-skill I call relational intelligence.

Relational intelligence refers to your ability to connect with others, understand their emotions, and ultimately form relationships. Relationally intelligent people recognize body language, have the ability to be vulnerable, and are unafraid of difficult conversations.

In the stressful, emotionally-charged environments within early childhood centers, relational intelligence is an incredibly important meta-skill for you to have and to model for your team. It’s the second meta-skill of the six I’m introducing in my latest podcast series on the B.R.I.D.G.E. Concept.

You’ll want to make time for this week’s podcast episode if you’re looking to initiate productive conversations with your leadership team, break down silos, and encourage effective teamwork.

Join me for a conversation about:

  • The importance of reflecting on your own relational intelligence skills
  • Creating a leadership team based on trust, connection, and vulnerability
  • Questions to ask your team to get them to open up and be honest with you
  • The difference between professional relationships and dysfunctional codependency

You’ll get clear on how to use relational intelligence to encourage your leadership team to share information freely, experiment with new ideas, and think outside the box.


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

As a school leader, you must first be in tune with yourself before your leadership team can be in tune with their own emotions, feelings, and needs. This kind of inner work is challenging, and you’ll likely have questions along the way.

Right now there’s a group of like-minded school leaders grappling with this very same meta-skill. You can connect with them and find support inside our Owner’s HQ or Director’s Inner Circle programs.

Together, you’ll work on relational intelligence as well as the other five meta-skills you need to build and sustain your school of excellence.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!