One of the good books I have read in the past year or so is called "The Emotional Intelligence Quickbook". I have researched this topic a fair amount since I first discovered it in one of my Master's classes.
The book has some great points. One that was made regarding relationships was in the chapter entitled "Taking Emotional Intelligence Home"
The authors (Bradberry and Greaves) make the point that emotionally intelligent relationships are driven by two people who focus their energy on repairing their disagreements.
They noted that when you argue with your partner, every word and every act serves to make things better or make things worse. I think this is a very important aspect of any relationship that can't be overlooked. It is crucial to work at repairing disagreements rather than perpetuating them. The problem, most often, is that people differ in opinions which causes the disagreement. Many of us are not willing to change the way we look at things in order to repair the disagreement.
Whether it be a personal or professional relationship, it is important to choose your words and actions wisely when trying to resolve a conflict or a disagreement. One of the analogies I use when speaking about handling different situations is that of two buckets. When an adverse situation occurs such as a disagreement or a conflict, you arrive on the scene "of the fire" with two buckets. One contains gas and one contains water. Which bucket fans the fire and which puts it out? I often ask people to think about how they handle situations and which bucket they carry with them and use most often.
It pays to slow down so you won't overreact. It pays to think of things from the other person's perspective. It pays to THINK before speaking and reacting. IT PAYS TO USE THE WATER BUCKET.
Lastly, if you do get into a disagreement or conflict, everyone will benefit from an attempt to repair the situation as soon as possible. As Bradberry and Greaves state, "A repair attempt sends the powerful signal that you care, you respect your partner, and your love is more important than proving you are right". The key to remember is that relationships can be far more powerful than you imagine. Things don't always have to be done your way or looked at only from your perspective. There are a lot of different ways to get significant results in any relationship but nothing can be accomplished without consistently building the relationship. Showing others that you genuinely care about them and their opinions can make a huge difference in the relationship.
Handling your emotions and building relationships can help lead you on a path to success as a leader. Remember to carry your water bucket!