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Excellius Leadership Development

The Difference Between Interactions and Relationships

It is important to understand the difference between an interaction and a relationship as you work to raise your visibility in your organization and industry. I defined interacting in an earlier posting as “the degree to which you engage one-to-one with colleagues in your organization and industry.” While interactions are one way to raise your visibility in your organization and industry, it is inevitable that some interactions will begin to build a relationship.

How do you define the word relationship as it applies to your organization? I bet you found it difficult to quickly conjure up a definition. “Relationship” is one of those words that we use often, yet we find it hard to define when asked. Consider the following as a definition for relationship – a series of interactions where a dependency and/or an expectation is created.

You will quickly note that relationships are actually comprised of interactions. To become a relationship, however, these interactions need to create a dependency or an expectation between two or more individuals. As you work to raise your visibility in your organization and industry, some of your interactions will lead to the creation of a dependency and/or an expectation and some will not.

Ed Evarts is the founder and president of Excellius Leadership Development, an organization focused on coaching mid- to senior- level leaders and their teams in business environments. With over twenty-five years of innovative leadership and management experience, Ed possesses the ability to build awareness, create action, and deliver results. Known for his business acumen, his ability to resolve complex human relations issues, and his enthusiastic, accessible and responsive style, Ed partners with managers, leaders and business teams to explore clarity and communication, and traverse conflict and change.