A different way to look at relationships, between lovers, a family or a team, is to view them as living systems. When you do that, it allows you to take distance and hover over them, almost as if you were in a helicopter. In such living systems, people take positions all the time when they interact.
In a healthy system, each of these four positions is present in a more or less balanced way. Why? Without movers, there’s no action. Without followers, there’s no completion. Without opposers, there’s no correction. And without bystanders, there’s no perspective.
Each of these perspectives can present themselves in a healthy or a less healthy way.
A couple of examples to get an impression:
“Our team event is coming up. Let’s go for a bike ride together.
“Sure. I’ll rent the bikes.”
“I’m not sure that’s a good idea. Looks like it will rain on Thursday.”
“I see you want to go for a bike ride, John’s willing to organise it and Bill says he doesn’t wanna do it because it might rain. What could we do to mitigate that risk?”
Each person has typically got a STRONG, a weak and a STUCK position. As an example: you can be a strong mover. That makes it likely that you can be a weak follower (you like taking the initiative after all) and it could also mean that you are a stuck opposer (you dig in, because “they” are not following your initiative).
Note that (in Anglo-Saxon) culture, there’s often a social premium on “mover” behaviour. People who oppose are regularly perceived as difficult.
What do you think your preferred stance is? That of your team members? Your partner?
This is an adaption of a chapter of my book on teams. David Kantor deserves all the credit for the body of work this piece is based on. The introduction is in yesterday’s post.
Or try it as a game.