Transformational Relationships (Ep. 1)

About this episode:

In this episode, hosts Jessica Beckendorf and Bob Bertsch explore the ideas and practices related to transformational relationships. What makes a relationship transformational? How is it different than other relationships? What can we do to make our relationships more transformational? Jessica and Bob address those questions and more through:

  • A discussion of their individual reflections on transformational relationships, recorded in audio journals
  • A conversation with Ellie (Anderson) Sheldon focused on learning more about transformational leadership and the actions that can lead to it
  • A commitment to practice something that they learned from this episode

Extras

Listen to the full interview with Ellie (Anderson) Sheldon (43 minutes)

Learn more about transformational leadership as part of the Full Range Leadership model from this Nebraska Extension publication.

Transcript

Segment 1: Discussing Our Audio Journals

Jessica (from her audio journal):I feel like transformational relationships are kind of like going on a journey together when everyone is open to being changed through the process and okay with not fully knowing exactly how you’re going to get to the final destination, and everyone fully understands that there will be changes along the way.

Bob: Hi I’m Bob Bertsch 

Jessica: and I’m Jessica Beckendorf

Bob:  Welcome to Practicing Connection in a Complex World. In this episode we’re going to be exploring the idea of transformational relationships, and as part of our exploration each of us recorded an audio journal and you just heard an excerpt from Jessica’s audio journal talking about transformational relationships as a journey. I really love this clip, Jessica, because I think there’s a lot to be explored there and unpacked in terms of relationships as a journey and the fact that we’re sharing things together and changing as individuals and maybe even our relationship is changing at the same time as we go on this journey together.

Jessica: That’s exactly why I started to think about relationships as a journey, and I think for me that I have always been invested in constant change and it has definitely affected my relationships, so even if the other person isn’t going through gobs of personal revelations and at least through our relationship there is some change occurring and I think that we’re still changing each other whether or not the other person is involved in their own personal journey. So it’s a personal journey I’m going through, but also the relationship is going through a journey, because it’s sort of being forced to. 

Bob: Yeah, and you’re kind of exploring this together kind of over time. It’s like…when we have contrasted this idea of transformation relationships, you know, with other kinds of relationships and sometimes we use the term, “transactional relationships.” That’s one difference, right, is just that the time. I guess you can have a transactional relationship that’s recurring. An example that I like is, you know, someone you see everyday but you don’t really have any depth of information. You know, the person where you get your coffee or something. You see the same person everyday, but it doesn’t really, it’s not necessarily a journey because you’re staying in oneplace, right. There’s no change happening. The relationship is exactly the same every time you repeat it, as opposed to this idea to have a relationship that can transform us both over time.

Jessica: Yeah, and I think that’s one thing that we forget about is that it takes time to really build relationships. We can have tons of relationships with people that are, even if they’re not transactional and they’re just sort of that surface I think we use that term a lot to describe relationships, but to really build relationships a lot of time and I think that’s something that we don’t often consciously put into our calendar for lack of a better term, you know. We really don’t think about it that way. We allow, kind of, convenience to rule. We allow our calendar to kind of rule the amount of time we spend on relationships. 

Bob (from his audio journal): Do we feel authentic and are we…are we presenting our authentic selves in that relationship? And how often are we allowing ourselves to take off our masks? And how dedicated are we to saying things that are true and again not in a factual way, true in terms of this is authentically how I feel or what I think or what I believe. 

Jessica: This idea of authenticity, our authentic selves, I think this comes up over and over again in my conversations with friends and in my reflection. I have gone through a ton of personal work in self-awareness and self-understanding, and I still have a ton of work to go because I’m constantly changing as if I go through life. And I think that somewhere in this self understanding really has to be part of this journey and part of transformational relationships. Really understanding why am I thinking this, why do I do this.

Bob: I think that opens you up to the change, right. How can the other person in the relationship…how can they affect change in you, if you’re not trying whenever possible to be your authentic self? When you’re trying to pursue a transformation relationship, you have to do your best to be as authentic as you can, so that I’m real with you and that means that I’m just open, I’m open to the change that we might experience together.

Bob (from his audio journal): And it’s diversity. If we’re always talking about work or always talking about our kids or always just talking about whatever, you know, this one thing that we have in common, that it seems it’s less likely to lead to the kind of relationship that we’re…that we’re talking about. What we need is diversity of information, right? Multiple points of possible connection. Not that we have to share everything or that we have to agree on everything, that we have to have commonality on everything, but that…that…that we’re sharing diverse information with each other, and we’re open to it, even if it’s not not our thing or that we don’t find it as a point of connection.

Jessica: Yeah, we don’t have to share everything. We don’t have to agree. We need multiple points of connection. This really interested me, because I’ve run into this a lot and I’m naturally a pretty curious person. I love talking with other people. I love meeting new people, and so I love asking people a lot of questions about themselves, and I love to go beyond our societal roles. What I’m really interested in here is not just the diversity of information, it is also the quality and quantity and just wondering if you can talk a little bit about what each of these pieces are, because I think they all contribute to building relationships with people.

Bob: Yeah, this idea comes from a book called “Connecting to Change the World,” which is really a super important book for me. How do you deepen relationships? You increase the quantity, quality, and diversity of information that we have about each other. And I just found that just really meaningful just in thinking about how to maintain and build relationships with other people and just in regular practice. You asked me about quantity and quality, just the sheer amount matters to. And that doesn’t mean that we should be… especially like, when we think about Facebook it’s like I sometimes I have enough information about you in my Facebook feed, right? Thank you, we’re good on quantity maybe. We could pursue a little bit more quality, right, in that information. But other times, like in work situations which don’t have quantity of information. Every time we’re talking or most times we’re talking about getting something done or the next step in the process or what’s our take…you know our takeaways, what are things to do. We don’t have very much information about each other. We have, maybe, a “how am I doing” at the beginning of the meeting or, you know, a joke that somebody makes before things actually start get rolling. So…so when you really think about that, about how we develop relationships, and just think about the status of a relationship, that’s one thing to think about. Just like, what’s the quantity of information I have about this person? 

Jessica: I think it actually can work the opposite as well. What quantity of information and what quality of information, what diversity of information are we sharing with others? Are we sharing with others or are we just trying to get information from them?

Bob: Great point, Jessica. Those are the ingredients that we need to bring into that relationship to make it something more, to make it deeper, to make it a transformational relationship.  

Jessica (from her audio diary):Throughout my life, I have constantly moved on to the next person, to the next person, to the next person seeking something without really even knowing what I was seeking. It often has offended my current friends and relationships, because I love connecting with new people, I’m always seeking to connect with new people. And I think that that’s not necessarily unhealthy, but I do tend to not take care of the relationships I have. And I think it’s difficult to maintain a transformational relationship, if you’re not tending to it.

Bob: So I love this clip for a ton of reasons, Jessica. First of all because it speaks to sort of your nature, how you push yourself to be outgoing and seek out new relationships, but it also brings up this idea of balance, right, that not every relationship has to be a deep transformational relationship.

Jessica: Yeah, thank you for recognizing that, because I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to this. I recognize this about myself, that I love, you know, meeting new people is one of my favorite things to do, but I’m pretty hard on myself when it comes to following through on all of my new relationships and following through on my existing relationships and feeling…continuing that this feeling of excitement and cultivation, wanting to cultivate my existing relationships, while I’m out there meeting new people. I get caught up though in wanting to be part of everyone’s world and wanting them to be part of mine, and it just is not…it’s not practical, it’s not feasible, it’s not going to happen, no matter how much you both might want it sometimes.

Bob: I think that’s important to remember, right, every relationship isn’t going to become a transformational relationship, and that we need that diversity and strength of relationship and just remembering to tend those relationships that are transformational and and just keep working on it and be intentional about it I think that’s really what we’re getting to here.

Segment 2: A Conversation With Ellie Anderson About Transformational Leadership

Ellie Anderson: I’m currently a second-year master student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in their leadership education program. I’m also a graduate teaching assistant for the ALEC, Agricultural Leadership Education and Communications Department at the University and that’s where I teach undergraduate leadership classes specifically about the dynamics of effective leadership within organizations. And that ties in big time to a lot of my interests. I’m hoping to get into certain careers in different fields in terms of the organizational development, organizational leadership and leadership development practices. So, currently on the job market, on the hunt, but looking to get hired here soon in terms of leadership development,  trying to be a specialist in those types of fields.

Jessica: That’s Ellie Anderson. Ellie’s passion for organizational leadership led me to reach out to her to explore the connection between transformational leadership and transformational relationships. We talked during the COVID-19 self quarantine, so we started by discussing leadership during that uncertain time.

Jessica: What are some of the things that we might be needing, our society might be needing, from leaders right now?

Ellie Anderson: Yeah, that’s such a great question. And that’s been on my mind as I’ve been applying for these positions and these jobs. I just, I can feel it. And I think we all know that they need to be able to manage change and move forward and stay true to the path we’re on. It’s going to be so needed especially now, and moving forward I don’t think that we’re going to be able to adapt to the situation that we’re having, that we’re experiencing, in a week or you know figure it out once we got the virus under control. I think this is kind of a new normal that we’re going to experience and uncover something that might redirect some actions and directions that leaders and organizations take. And I think specifically tying it back to transformational leadership, because I really identify with that leadership style myself, one of the key parts of transformational leadership is this idea of vision or mission; that the leader is driving the follower in the organization towards. And I think that’s going to be really key in this time of change right now, too, is what is our purpose, what are we here for, and what are we going after, and how do I get people on board, and staying true to that path. And you know not letting the scary thing that’s happening in our context get in the way, but know that I have trust with my leaders, that they’re here for me, that they’re going to support me and motivate me the way that I need, in order to achieve and get done what I’m being asked to do. And I think that these kinds of transformational behaviors are going to really challenge leaders and organizations to take things one step further than normal leadership models, where it’s just a transactional exchange we’re looking at, and really thinking about how can I transform people in this process. Because, to be honest, people might be hurting right now. They may need that. There may be this more…you can’t just get away with this basic exchange of you do this for me and I’ll leave this for you. It’s a higher level influence that I think there’s a need and call for right now through all of this.

Jessica: It feels like, in the past anyway, that a lot of organizations sort of expect trust, expect trust and loyalty from employees, when they haven’t done anything to build that relationship. And I think that this is a good time for organizations, leaders in organizations, to build relationships with people. And I know that they talk about it a lot and they do a lot of work toward it, but I’m talking about relationship, I think, in a different context, like you said it’s not transactional. This is a real relationship that we need to be building, especially in the times now, where there’s not enough workers…I’m sorry, not enough workers for our jobs. Yes that is exactly what I was trying to say.

Ellie Anderson: Yeah, yeah. No, absolutely. And there’s fact to what you’re saying, too, within this model. So, transformational leadership actually lives within the full range leadership model, which also includes transactional leadership. And so sometimes people think, you know, transactional’s bad, there’s no time and place for that. But actually, what we’re finding is leaders, to some degree, demonstrate all of these leadership behaviors, both transactional and transformational. And it’s good, because when we’re talking about building this trust, these transactions have to take place initially, right, because that’s what we’re talking about when you say you’ve done nothing to deserve my trust. Those transactions are where we can show, here, you can trust me. You do this for me, I’ll do this for you. I’ll deliver on this demand or this ask and from there, this foundation for trust is built and that’s when leaders can truly grow and have this transformational respect because it’s above and beyond what we’re used to having. So when you were talking, I was like, yes exactly, trust is the key and it takes time, you know. It’s not going to happen immediately, or hey I got hired and I really have a good feeling about you. You know, it takes some time to grow and demonstrate that, before people know this is a…this is a worthwhile investment, and I can trust you. and it’s reciprocal.

Jessica: I’m wondering, transformational leadership has lots of different types of actions and and different, I guess, components. Could you walk me through…one of the components…four of the components would be the Four I’s: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Could you walk me through those?

Ellie Anderson: I’d love to. So I’ve done a little bit of, I guess we can say, informal research, if you will, on how do we differentiate these four I’s. I went to the Association of Leadership Educators conference back in 2019 and had a roundtable discussion with other educators, and I said, what are some of the actions or language that we can use to demonstrate these in the classroom and just in general, and that influenced a lot of other work that I did for my Master’s program, but a lot of it has informed and given me some clarity around what is the difference here. Because a lot of people see them as the two different sides of the same coin, if you will. And so starting first with idealized influence, some of the most basic ways that I explain this is this idea of role modeling behavior. So this is someone who, you know, is demonstrating to their followers, here’s some of the behaviors or actions that I’m expecting from you as well. So maybe, I’m not too great or too big that I can’t demonstrate or role model the behaviors that I want to see from you as well. And so, this leads followers to identify with the leader and want to internalize their vision or mission themselves. So because of these role modeling behaviors this is what leads followers to want to emulate or become more like this leader. There’s something about him that I just would run through a wall for or, you know, you ask and I’ll do it, because I am just here, I trust you, I admire and respect you, and I want to be part of what you’re doing.

Jessica: That’s a lot of power. 

Ellie Anderson: Yeah, yeah, so it starts to sound like this charisma component. A lot of different scholars conceptualize idealized influence as having this charisma/charismatic component. Which is tough in terms of development, because can we develop charisma? I don’t know, you know, is that possible or is that something you’re born with, necessarily. And so, when we talk about the massive influence that transformational leadership has, it really falls into this idealized influence because some people start to wonder, is it blind influence? Are we just following along, like you said, this power blindly? But I like to come back to this role modeling piece, where it’s ethical. It’s us demonstrating, you know, I’m going to demonstrate the same behaviors that I’d like to see in return from you as a follower, and so that’s how I start to see it being, yes this is profound influence in something that you know maybe could seem dangerous, but we’re keeping it guided because its role modeling. It’s this kind of ethical piece of where we’re increasing the morality here of our followers. So yeah, you definitely hit on that part for sure. The next one is inspirational motivation. This hits on, kind of, the other key outcome of increased motivation of followers, and so this is where you really start to give your followers’ tasks, the things they’re working on, meaning and purpose. So they don’t feel like, wow, why am I sitting here doing payroll, but I am doing payroll because I am making a difference in this company. So that’s the type of motivation they’re going to feel, because they know that I bring something special to the table, I’m really serving a key part of this organization, and I’m pulling my weight. And so they also create some optimism through these behaviors and they’re inspiring the followers through their actions. So inspirational motivation is pretty much exactly how it sounds. With a lot of that comes from high expectations that are set by leaders that, because they really have this trust and identification with their leader, they want to do that for him. They want to chase after those high expectations and achieve it. Kind of like what we were talking about with, we can go after anything, let’s reach the impossible. I really think that I can get there because you have faith in me that I can do it. So that’s I, the second I, I number two. Moving on to our third one, it’s intellectual stimulation. This is also similar to how it sounds. It really involves challenging the status quo, looking at old problems in new ways, trying to take on a new perspective potentially, and just looking at situations in different perspectives and from different angles. And the coolest part about this is that it goes both ways, so it’s not just the leader challenging and asking for the stimulation of followers, but followers can also say, hey boss so and so, we’ve always done things this way. Have we ever thought about changing it up? Maybe we want to tackle this problem from this perspective or have we thought about it in this way? And so that’s the coolest part for me is that it’s not just what the leader says goes. It’s both ways. It’s this collective trying to challenge the way we think about things. And so we kind of find this innovation through the process of intellectual stimulation and some creativity as well.

Jessica: It sounds like a partnership.

Ellie Anderson: Yes.

Jessica: You know, it sounds like there might be someone in there who has the formal power, right? The leader because of their position has been given this formal power, but it seems like this is really pushing toward a partnership, a relationship in a way, and it’s not ever going to be an equal relationship but a more equal relationship if that makes sense.

Ellie Anderson: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I think that relationship, the…the word “relationship” identifies it perfectly. And what transformational leadership is after specifically, because you can’t do these things unless you have a relationship with people and that takes being equal on some level. You know, it takes two to make a relationship, and so that really brings us into the fourth and final “I” which is individualized consideration and this is noted by those coach-like and supportive behaviors. And so I really think about it in terms of the follower knows me as a unique and individual human. I am Ellie to them. I’m not just the role or position that I hold within this organization. They know what I do really well, but they also know what I might need to be supported. So, you know, we think about maybe languages of appreciation, or love languages, or things like that. This leader might be more in tune with, “Ellie likes words of affirmation and wants to hear when she’s doing a good job,” or you know that’s a really simple example but it can go beyond that way. They also may know that I liked outlines and a little bit of structure when I’m starting projects, and so they can help provide that for me before they let me loose. So you start to see how the leader starts to know each of their followers uniquely, and so that relationship between leader and follower is not going to be the same as the next person on the team or the next. It’s completely different, individualized just as the name sounds, and unique to them. And one of the best parts, I think in a way I like to describe this, is that the leader has an individualized development plan, almost, for each follower. So they know, “I know this about you, and I know your goals, and what you want to get after, and here’s how I can see us getting there, getting you there and getting you to achieve that.” And so it’s…there’s just a personal investment in you, and who you are, and what you’re after. And so there’s been some talk and questioning of is individualized consideration, maybe where it all starts. Maybe that’s where we have to go before the rest of these other things can happen. And there hasn’t necessarily been much to support that quite yet, but you know that’s starting to be a thought of it sounds like this individualized component almost plays a role within every dimension.

Jessica: How do you think the actions of transformational leadership can translate into some other everyday relationships and everyday relationship building?

Ellie Anderson: That’s a great question. I love that we’re talking about this because, I mean, us being leadership folk who probably see leadership everywhere, all the time, everyday, it’s so fun to boil it down to, “Okay, but really here’s how it works.”  And, you know, I like to kind of preface this with, like we talked about in previous conversations, there’s no correct way to do leadership, and there’s definitely no correct way to do transformational leadership. And as I’m sure you probably picked up on you know as I went through these four I’s, they’re still kind of broad and general. And it allows, you know, every shoe to fit, so to speak, or for everyone to figure out, what does this look like for me. And so, I think that’s a key thing to people,listening to this is, don’t think that maybe because you’re not extroverted or outgoing that you can’t do these things. It’s just, what do they look like for me. How can I provide this to someone else? I think that’s a really broad first step of what can that look like in relationships is know yourself but also know who is in this relationship with you, who is that other person. And so for instance, when we look at idealized influence in those role-modeling behaviors, if you come into a relationship with certain expectations of this is what I need from someone to be able to get the depth out of a relationship, get to know you, know whatever it may be that you have expectations about, what you’re looking to get out of that, or you know outcomes or whatever it may be, role-modeling those behaviors of here’s what I expect from you, so I’m going to demonstrate that myself. I think that right there is demonstrating idealized influence because you’re role modeling. It doesn’t matter if it’s leader-follower. It’s just person to person at that point, of I expect this and I want this frankly from you, so I’m going to demonstrate it myself because I’m not bigger than or above being able to do that myself. So I think that’s a really basic level for that one.

Jessica:  I wonder if some of that is also understanding how to…how to know what your boundaries are and set them as well. Like…

Ellie Anderson: Absolutely.

Jessica: …in a healthy way obviously.

Ellie Anderson: I love that. So that next “I” was inspirational motivation. And, I think, this one really gets to be individualized in terms of, you know, valuing what your partner, or friend, or whomever it is in that relationship is doing, and really giving it purpose and meaning. So I’m trying to think of an example, but you know if someone always makes the effort to schedule the reservation, or I don’t know what it is, and you just…they feel that that has purpose and meaning, and that they’re doing it for a reason with in this relationship, I could see that being a really small detailed way of showing this motivation of…it has meaning, or creating optimism, you’re inspiring these actions, these high expectations as well. But I think on a really individualized level just knowing how to motivate your peers. So, if that means a workout buddy or trying to stay diligent working from home and having an accountability partner, that’s very relevant right now. How might we in a motivate our peers, or our friends, or our partners to stay true to their goals and what they’ve said. And I think that’s individually knowing what do they need from me that’s going to make that feel individualized, but also it’s actually going to be intrinsically motivating. They’re going to want to do that, and not just go, “Oh, here they go again, trying to make me do this.” 

Jessica: And you can ask them, too, what they need. 

Ellie Anderson: Right.

Jessica: You can ask them how you can communicate with them about it. I had a friend recently where I said, “will it push you away, like, if I haven’t heard from you for a while and…and, you know, I really want to know how you’re doing or whatever, does it bother you if I’m, like, checking in on you?” And she said, “No, please do!” On the other hand, I specifically asked my husband if he would tell me, you know, help me stop biting my nails once. And so, unfortunately, I maybe don’t even know what I…what I need myself, because now whenever he tells me to stop biting my nails, I just get mad at him. 

Ellie Anderson: You’re like, “Hey now. I know I asked, but still…”

Jessica: So, apparently that’s not what I need, and I need to figure that out, but anyway. Sorry, that was a little off track.

Ellie Anderson: No, I think you bring up a great point. There’s probably a misconception out there that I’m just supposed to know what I’m supposed to motivate people on and what I’m supposed to be doing or whatever it is. But it’s totally okay to ask. And why do we think that we shouldn’t have to ask, you know? I think that’s also taking the time to say, how can I help you or how can I best serve you in this, or you know pull my way in just saying how can I best motivate you? There is no shame in asking, and I think people are going to feel really valued and that might actually result in motivation just by you showing this interest in trying to know, how does this happen for you, what does that look like. Everyone wants to be known, and seen, and loved, you know. So anyway, I liked that. And that brings up a great point and made me think about that. When it comes to intellectual stimulation, I see this as like your advice-giving friend, the one who, you know, maybe when you’re mad it feels like devil’s advocate, I don’t know. But the person who can sit back and go, well have we thought about it on this way or have we put ourselves in someone else’s shoes to think about maybe what else is going on in their life right now? Or just all these other perspectives that, when were so caught up in the the thick of things and we’re feeling all the emotions which is totally okay to do, but when someone brings another perspective and says okay I totally see you, I feel you, and I know where you’re at, but have we thought about it from this way. I could absolutely see that being intellectual stimulation in terms of, you know what you’re starting to ground me right now I didn’t think about it that way. I’m just feeling emotional but really there’s a lot more behind-the-scenes that I’m not even aware of about the situation or whatever it might be. And so that one is such a clear connection to what that can look like in relationships for me, because I think those are the moments when we really become better and we start to become our best selves. And that’s something that, you know, ties into an outcome of transformational leadership is engaging the full person, developing them, and having them exceed expectations. And I think that can also look like exceeding our own personal development goals. And so, you know, I would say that in a relationship I would feel that I was my best self or I was becoming my best self, or you know whatever it is, if these types of behaviors were demonstrated in a relationship. So that brings us to our fourth and final “I,” individualized consideration, which I think is going to be a really broad answer, but it’s all about… it’s individualized, right. And so I think maybe you start to see some of those motivation pieces in this one as well. But who is it the person that you’re developing this partnership with or you’re in a relationship with? Who are they? What do they need? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What are their differences that make them awesome? You know, what is it about them and how can you then support them through all that, and recognize them, and say, “Oh maybe I’m a terrible organizer but Susie Q, my best friend, is amazing at that.” And so I might ask to enlist her help, which is going to make her feel so supported and encouraged, because one, she’s being seen and she’s being seen in a context where, “I do this really well and it’s a talent and strength of mine.” And so that leaves them feeling empowered and like “I can take on the world after that.” And so it’s also individualized because you’re saying this is my friend and the one person I thought of in this moment, and who doesn’t feel good when someone says, “Hey, I thought of you because of XYZ.” That makes us feel all warm, and fuzzy, and great. We love that. And so I think, you know, being able to recognize who’s in front of you, love that person in front of you, who are they, but also like how can I coach them up and support them. Same thing when we talked about how do we motivate people, this is kind of what is their love language? What is their appreciation language? Maybe what are their top 5 Clifton Strengths? Whatever it is that they maybe identify with. What’s going to work for them and how are they going to feel loved, supported and encouraged, motivated through the actions, the things that I’m saying to them? I think that’s all how these can look in a relationship through individualized consideration because that’s the beauty of two really different people, that there’s no one like them in the world, coming together in a relationship and you get to figure out who is this other person I’m in a relationship with, what do they bring to the table, and it’s just like how can we work together then and then bring this to make an even more unique relationship. And so, I mean, I could go on all day but individualized consideration sounds as individualized as it is. You know, and there’s going to be no correct way or one way to do it. It just starts with who are you in a relationship with. Like, who is the person right in front of you? And so, like we’ve talked about as well, one of these key influences of transformational leadership is helping people achieve and reach their full potential. So not just, “Hey, great you met the bar right where it’s at, but you just exceeded and you became everything that you’re meant to be. And I think that…that touches something really relational for me in terms of maybe this person makes me a better person, makes me my best self, or I’m best when these types of things are happening. And I think that’s when all that’s…that’s the door for these transformational leader behaviors to come in and play. And I think that’s the impact you can have on someone in a relationship whether that’s leader-follower, boss-subordinate, co-parenting, just you and your partner, whomever it is. I think it’s that feeling of you make me better.

A Message from the Military Families Learning Network

I’m Jen Chilek from the Military Families Learning Network. We bring you online professional development opportunities, like this podcast, along with webinars, conferences, and more, in support of those who support military families. Geared to Cooperative Extension educators,  military family service providers, and others who support military families much of our online content comes with continuing education credit and all of it is free. Visit us at militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org to find more content like this geared to people like you.

Segment 3: What We Intend to Practice

Bob: That was an awesome interview, Jessica, with Ellie. I just really appreciated everything that she had to say about transformational leadership, and really kind of opened my eyes to some things, and really also gave me some things to think about practicing in that context. You know, when…when Ellie talked about, you know, really individualized attention to people, you know, I think that’s something I could use in my own relationship-building practice. I don’t know if I always do that. There’s that Golden Rule, like, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, but really, maybe it’s about what they would want, not what you would want out of the relationship. So I really want to start practicing thinking about that. So I’m going to pick three people, you know, that I…that I have a relationship with and would like to have a stronger relationship with, and I’m going to try and think about for each person, maybe, one thing that they might need from me or I think they might need, one thing that I really value about them that I see as a strength or an asset that they have, and one thing I know about them or one thing that I think I know that they aspire to. And use that to really be individualized in our interactions, but also to, kind of maybe, reveal some of the opportunities where I’m like, I don’t know what that person aspires to and maybe I need to get that information and deepen that relationship. 

Jessica: What a great idea, Bob. I’m actually though going to be working on exploring my boundaries, and…and setting some, maybe strengthening my ability to kind of stand in them a little bit, in order for me to have healthier transformational relationships. I tend to be someone who will…I want to connect with people so badly that I will say yes to every opportunity. And so, I need to be able to…to work on that a little bit, so that I can always be authentic in my yes’s, and I can…I can always be authentic, and kind, and loving in my no’s as well. So I’m going to explore some boundaries related to relationships. I’m going to choose three things that I need to set boundaries around in order for me to have healthy relationships, so that I can tend to my existing relationships better.

Bob: So we’d like to express our gratitude to Ellie Anderson today for joining us and sharing so much great information and her passion for transformational leadership.

Jessica:  And we would like to share some gratitude for Nathan Grimm, our awesome musician who wrote and performed all of our music.

Bob: And also to Hannah Hyde and Terry Meisenbach, our marketing gurus.

Jessica: And for our MFLN colleagues for helping us build the foundation of this podcast.

Bob: And finally we want to express our gratitude to everyone in our networks who have informed this conversation and to you for participating in this episode. 

Jessica: For more from this episode, including the full interview with Ellie Anderson, go to our website militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/practicing connection.

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