End Game Analysis: Relationship Spectrum

This article, and the articles that follow analyze my thoughts on what I am calling my “end game.” You can read more about this concept here.

In my Connectedness post, I highlighted the importance of staying reasonably connected with others when one’s primary energy is focused on challenging work. Maintaining a balance between the two contexts can improve the quality of both.

Unfortunately, not every connection will result in a positive experience or outcome. Hence, it is very important to consider the use of “early warning systems” and boundaries to enable one to continue to stay reasonably connected regardless of the participant “mix.”

Thus, it’s worth exploring another spectrum, one that I have traveled along and gained experience from. Let’s call this the “relationship spectrum.”

At one end of this spectrum is naive openness, where one’s relationship with others places no restriction on the types of people or the relationships themselves. All advice and opinions are weighted equally regardless of source, and there is little-to-no “post-processing” done before acting upon such advice. All behaviors are tolerated.

At the far end of this spectrum is complete isolation and containment. Here, all relationships are discouraged, and the concept of “post-processing” has little to no meaning given that advice is neither sought nor recognized. All behavior is absent.

These are extreme positions.

Without an appropriate understanding or management of this spectrum, one can find themselves needlessly vacillating. This pattern of behavior, if left unchecked, can result in a cascade of poor decisions, the outcome of which can be difficult to unwind.

In my next post, I’ll talk about “minding the gap” via a comprehensive understanding of what lies between these two positions, and a starting point for defining a set of operating principles to maintain perspective and a positive outlook.