Relational Proximity

At WeAreCompany we help you to assess, review and improve relationships by looking through three lenses.

The first lens helps you to examine the foundations of great relationships – call it ‘emotional intelligence’. The quality of any relationship is shaped, to a significant degree, by the innate self-knowledge and social awareness that each individual brings to the relationship.

The second lens focuses on the contextual factors that affect great relationships. However strong our emotional intelligence is, a set of extrinsic factors have the potential to both weaken or strengthen our relationships with others.

The third lens highlights the marks of great relationships. If relationships are flourishing we should expect to see certain patterns of behaviour and indicators of collective effectiveness. For example in the following areas: how well we manage conflict, our propensity to forgive and to apologise, our willingness to be vulnerable, the degree to which we focus on impact and results.

Our systematic approach to strengthening relationships uses all three of these lenses.

To give you a taster for our approach the Individual Relational Assessment tool takes a look at the second lens, where we explore the contextual factors that affect great relationships. Here we draw on the ‘Relational Proximity Framework’ (developed by our Partner, the Relationships Foundation). This framework introduces five drivers of relational proximity.

Encounter. This first driver assesses the quality and nature of communication between individuals and how this builds a sense of connectedness. Do the ways individuals communicate (face to face, email, text, video-conferencing, etc) create transparency in the relationship, help to avoid misunderstanding and forge a sense of connection? If you need to improve you ‘encounter’ score, here are some initial ideas for you to consider:

Storyline. The second driver explores the time and story of a relationship. Do the various interactions between individuals over time build a sense of momentum, growth and stability? Does their history together build towards a sense of belonging and loyalty? If you need to improve you ’storyline’ score, here are some initial ideas for you to consider:

Knowledge. The third driver considers the different contexts which shape how we are known and our ability both to read a person and to manage a relationship. Do individuals know enough about each other to manage the relationship effectively? How might a deeper understanding of a colleague’s life at home and outside of work affect how we interact with him/her at work? If you need to improve you ’knowledge’ score, here are some initial ideas for you to consider:

Fairness. The fourth driver examines power and how it’s used and experienced within a relationship. Is authority used in ways that encourage engagement, participation, creativity and openness? Is power used in ways that promote fairness and convey respect? If you need to improve you ’fairness’ score, here are some initial ideas for you to consider:

Alignment. The fifth driver looks at purpose, values and goals, and the degree to which these are shared across individuals in ways that bring synergy and motivation to a relationship. When examining the purposes of an organisation and its people, how deep rooted are their intentions or are the two parties pulling in different directions? When working in a team are we clear and committed to shared goals and values, or are we pursuing different and conflicting agendas? If you need to improve you ’alignment’ score, here are some initial ideas for you to consider:

If you’re interested in learning more please and exploring our full diagnostic tools, please get in touch with us here.

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