How do we Collaborate & Connect to strengthen organizational culture and relational congruence?
“Relational congruence is the ability to be fundamentally the same person with the same values in every relationship, in every circumstance, and especially amidst every crisis.”
– Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains (Page 67)
Relational congruence is a leader’s ability to cultivate strong, caring relationships while maintaining healthy boundaries and communicating clear expectations.
There can be a tendency to wear masks in some conversations while being our authentic selves with others. This is dangerous and can lead to erosion of a healthy culture. However, there is an opportunity to be involved in meaningful work together to transcend individual concerns and develop new capacities while strengthening relational congruence.
Often the life of a leader is full of people demanding so much that that results in the leader continually pouring into others. It is important to reflect and consider the NEED for the leader to be poured into as well.
Embracing Exploration to identify who in your life right now is meeting the 18 relational needs defined by John Townsend is an amazing place to start in strengthening relational congruence.
A spouse or close friend can only adequately meet 3 relational needs at one time.
Consider taking a moment to write down the names of people in your life that meet these relational needs. Take notice of where the gaps might be. This activity has helped me to see who I need to prioritize spending my time with and where I could consider new friendships.
Needs for GRACE
- Acceptance: Connect with the real me, no judgment
- Empathy: Let me know you feel what I am feeling
- Validation: Let me know my feelings are significant and not to be dismissed or minimized
- Identification: Let me know your experience to help me feel connected and not alone
- Containment: Let me express intense feelings and stay with me until they resolve. Let me vent and don’t fix me
- Clarification: Ask me questions to help me understand myself
- Understanding: Let me know you comprehend what I am experiencing (fact-based empathy)
- Perspective: Help me connect the dots at a deeper level (don’t jump to conclusions)
- Encouragement: Let me know you believe in me to continue the growth plan
- Comfort: Be with me when I need to grieve a loss
- Forgiveness: Let me know I am forgiven, and help me forgive as well
Needs for TRUTH & WISDOM
- Feedback: Tell me how you experience me, to develop my own self-observation
- Wisdom: Give me information from experience or from the Bible that can help
- Confrontation: Point out something that I am doing that is destructive, so I can stop doing it
- Advice: Recommend some action to help me change and grow
- Structure: Help me establish self-control
- Prayer: Connect with me and help me
- Challenge: Push me from my comfort zone to what I am actually able to do
Are you being your truest self in all situations? Are there individuals you interface with where you find yourself wearing a mask?
What AHA’s did you experience as you were filling out WHO in your life is meeting the different relational needs?
What are some next steps you can take to make sure each of the relational needs is being met?
“Preparing for the Unknown” Canoeing the Mountains, by Tod Bolsinger, Intervarsity Press, 2015, pp. 67.