Blogging, Blogs, Club Members, Depth of Relationships, Employee evaluations, Employment, Executive Management, Facebook, Friendship, Internet, LinkedIn, Management Practices, Membership Recruitment, Membership Retention, Public Image, Public Relations, Publicity, Quality of Relationships, Relationship Typing, Rotarians, Rotary, Social Media, Social Networking, Twitter
Several weeks ago I was at a Rotary District Leadership training meeting and I made a comment that the Social Media tools like Facebook and Twitter allow us to have more friends and more connections to other people. I was shocked into silence when one of the facilitators said that he didn’t want that. He explained that his friends were those very close, very special people that he choose to be friends with, and that he didn’t want to dilute his social circle with people from the Social Media.
It was an interesting point and it caused me to start thinking about the quality and depth of the relationships of the people around me. In several decades of business, procurement of two bachelor’s degrees, and almost a decade in Rotary I have learned that not everyone is my ‘friend’ even though I may have frequent contact with them. All of us have people who are important to us and we all have people who we just don’t like, but until now I hadn’t focused on the factors that seem to define my relationships.
Understanding what shapes my attitude is a significant step towards taking an active role in building better and less conflictive relationships with the people around me. For this reason I wanted to explore what determines what type of relationship we have with another person.
I have come up with three factors that seem to determine the quality of my relationships. 1) Trust, 2) Common Interests and/or Experiences, 3) Equality.
The trust factor seems obvious, but I find this to be a complex issue. Trust can be absolute, non-existent, or conditional. For example, I would propose that many employer/employee relationships are based on a conditional trust where both parties are on the constant guard of the other person betraying his or her trust.
The common interest and/or experiences factor may also seem obvious; however, sometimes common interests or experiences can create feelings of jealousy, envy, rivalry, or disgust. Just because two people have a lot in common doesn’t result in a bond of appreciation.
The final factor is not as obvious. My experience is that the level of equality felt by a person is a significant factor in determining the quality and depth of a relationship. In an organization of volunteers like a Rotary club we often mistakenly believe that everyone is equal, but my experience has been that the relationships that form in a typical Rotary club are often shaped, at least in part, by one person’s feeling of superiority over another.
Using these three factors I have been able to better define the quality and depth of my relationships. Because each of these factors have a positive and negative component, I use an 21-point scale (-10, -9, -8, … -1, 0, +1, … +8, +9, +10) to score their significance. For example a Relationship Type might be low in trust (-7), high in common interest (+8), and neutral in equality (0). While all relationships reflect a continuum of these factors I have defined seven benchmark relationship types and have scored each factor on the 21-point scale.
In part two of this article I will define the seven relationship types and their scoring. I also will discuss how the relationship type might impact membership retention in a Rotary club.
Click on the link below for the continuing article
Rotary@105: Relationship types affect membership retention
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