Relationship building fosters learning

For leaders, working well with individuals and departments across the organization can be quite beneficial. In addition to helping build relationships, working with others can lead to learning opportunities. It would be difficult to think of a good leader who is not consistently expanding their knowledge.  While we often default to thinking that knowledge is acquired through deliberate training, there are many different ways to learn. Each learning opportunity requires different levels of effort. One of the simplest ways to acquire new information is simply interacting with others. Leaders who make the effort to work with individuals and groups across their organizations are not just forming relationships, but broadening their opportunities to learn.

As social creatures, humans constantly learn from one another, often implicitly. By working across an organization, leaders increase their exposure to different people and areas of expertise. This can broaden their perspective and build their knowledge about areas that are related to what they do at work. The benefits are great. They might learn about others’ expectations and needs. Or they may learn to communicate better, perhaps gaining a better understanding of the right jargon with those who work in different areas. Leaders can also acquire vast amounts of new content knowledge closely related to their area of work.

How can we help leaders be more effective at working across the organization? Our new best practices study found eight behaviors that leaders should consider when trying to increase their effectiveness in this area. Download the report here.

About the author

Maria is Head of Research at MRG. She loves a challenge and often gets a little too excited about running new studies. She finds peace and balance by cooking (as long as her husband is doing the cleaning) or being anywhere near the ocean.

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