Thursday, 3 June 2010

4 kinds of relationships

So much of spreading good, known and evidenced practice is based on social connections and relationships. John Maxwell has four ways in which relationships can be categorised.

1. Some people add things to life (we enjoy them) +
2. Some people subtract something from life (we tolerate them) -
3. Some people multiply something in life (we value them) *
4. Some people divide something in life (we avoid them) /

If a key role of the person who group is trying to influence others to change their behaviour then it might be useful to reflect on the relationship between the "spreader/pusher" and the "adopter/puller".

There are some people I avoid (4) and I am unlikely to even receive the messages they are pushing out, let alone act on them. In a similar vein, those I tolerate (2) I will probably put them low on my priority list and will be fairly sceptical about what they put out. Whether I adopt anything they are pushing will be a matter of personal judgement.

On the other hand, those whose company I enjoy (1) I will probably get to hear a lot about what they are saying, thinking about and pushing in my direction. I will take their information in quite quickly, though may still toss the ideas about before making any changes to my behaviour.

Those I value I will probably not wait for them to send me information. I will be finding ways to connect, listen out carefully and will most likely shift my behaviour quite quickly when they send out behaviour related messages.

So which types of relationships are you creating and endorsing?