Relational Intelligence (RI) by Steve Saccone is a wonderful reminder that the way we choose to relate to one another determines the quality of our human experience and reveals what we value most. Saccone, who serves as a catalyst at Mosaic, challenges leaders to no longer see people as a means to an end but to approach people with relational intelligence. He defines RI as “the ability to learn, understand, and comprehend knowledge as it relates to interpersonal dynamics.”
In the book, Saccone describes six roles of a relational genius and how these transform our approaches to influence:
• The Story Collector: People feel known when we strongly identify with a distinct part of who they are or when we recognize a unique facet of their humanness.
• The Energy Carrier: Energy is the fundamental currency of high performance.
• The Compelling Relator: The more interesting we are as people, the more compelling we become as leaders.
• The Conversational Futurist: We must learn to listen to the questions people are asking even if they aren’t being spoken in question form.
• The Likeable Hero: Likability is a fundamental characteristic that is underestimated and undervalued. Leaders must realize that it will enhance the quality and speed with which the mission gets accomplished.
• The Disproportionate Investor: Consumers always look for what they can take from others while investors always look for what they can give to others.
One of my favorite take-aways is: “In the past, authority and credibility were built on status, power, or position, but in today’s world it’s built on power and trust. To be relationally intelligent, we must shift from a positional authority mind-set to the crucial mind-set of relational authority.”
Another lasting thought is: “Leaders realize that the more people they bring with them, the more powerful the effect they can have on changing the future and making the world a better place.”
The promotional information on the cover reads: “This is the world Jesus envisions, where love and mission intersect – a world that can only become a reality if we begin to live – and lead with – this new way of being smart.”
The book is a great read with many practical truths.