Practical insights for leaders

The Relationship Edit

You have heard of IQ and EQ, but what about RQ? RQ – or Relational Intelligence – helps you to adjust your communication approach to make interactions more effective. In my coaching work, I see the same unhelpful relational patterns play out again and again. These range from making assumptions about another person’s intent to being convinced that only one person can be right (i.e. you!). Getting smarter about relationships requires us to slow down, reflect on our role in an inter-play, and ask ourselves, “What do I really want to achieve here?”.

Olivia Meyrick, Founder & Executive Coach, Cadence


ARTICLE:  How to Fix the Fights You’re Sick of Having | Esther Perel (10 mins)

Relationship expert, Esther Perel, can teach us all something about how to fight smarter. There are lots of nuggets in this article, which gives an overview of relational patterns, lists the mistakes people make, and shares advice on what to do differently. A favoured approach of mine is what relationship guru, Dr. John Gottman, calls an XYZ statement: “When you do X in situation Y, I feel Z” [e.g. “When you cut me off in our team meeting, I feel undermined”]. Someone can take issue with your assumptions, but they can’t argue with how you feel.



Before entering into an important conversation, take some time to collect your thoughts so that you do not carry negative emotions into the exchange, which might impact your success. To help you prepare, consider your responses to these six questions:

  1. What do you want to feel going into the conversation?
  2. Why do you want to feel that?
  3. What’s the best thing you can do beforehand to feel that way?
  4. What could throw you off balance in the midst of the conversation?
  5. What can you do to recover your poise?
  6. What do you want to feel when you’re done?


How do you rate your poker face? Some of us are measured (i.e. ‘under-emoters’) whilst others are more demonstrative (‘over-emoters’). Neither is good or bad, but it’s useful to be aware of your natural tendency. For example, if you’re an under-emoter, you might show little excitement about a job well done, leaving your team feeling under-appreciated. If you’re aware of this tendency, you can make an effort in some situations to express a bit more praise and gratitude.

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