This could cover building relationships with both staff and customers; staff may include leaders within the business, peers that you will need to work with along side third parties.
So what types of behaviours would any interviewer like to see you demonstrate at a competency based interview?
To build relationships with people you’ll need to listen, it’s a horrible bit of management speak but we have two ears and one month and we should use that 2:1 ratio when engaging with people i.e. listen more than we talk.
When we do that we’re trying to understand what that customer, stakeholder, staff member or peer is thinking. We have to demonstrate that we value their opinion, we wouldn’t though take it a face value, you may well look to explore an opinion though questioning which would also be in the form of open questions not closed. Your relationship may give you leads into other areas, this demonstrates that you value their opinions but also opens up routes to more information through more relationships.
We certainly don’t want to be confrontational – you might what to explain how when someone else was agressive you helped to defuse the situation and turned the relationship around.
You will need to demonstrate that you’re flexible in your understanding of perspective and that you’re prepared to look at problems, issues and ideas from another viewpoint.
Another overlooked point is the role of emotions in any relationship; people are very different and will demonstrate a range of emotions based on who they are and what their experiences have been. Don’t try and put their emotions or beliefs in a box and ignore them, emotional response makes up much of who we are.
As a leader you might well be asked about the culture you have created and the associated engagement channels what you have put in place. You will heed to consider how you have helped create a culture where great relationships have been formed between other teams, with stakeholders and customers. You certainly don’t want to demonstrate descriptive behaviours such as using processes and procedures in place of real relationships.
To help you can think about relationship maps. Think about the relationships you have in your current role both inside your team and within the wider company. How do you pick up the phone to when you have a problem ? how did you make that relationship, how do you keep it alive ? Your very likely to have relationships both professional the private outside of your company. They might well give you an insight into how industry works or doesn’t.