Category Archives: Articles

It takes two to tango!  The elegant Argentinean Tango that appears to be a highly structured, planned and choreographed performance is, surprisingly, an improvised dance with no rules, where chaos coordination is required through continuous connection and mutual trust. Spontaneity and creativity come together resulting in two satisfied players who have mutually created a spectacle of beauty, movement, and passion. The watchers, observers or audience have admired with envy, fascination and “I want it too”. The same applies to relationships Improvisation – No Rules – Chaos – Coordination Required – Connection – Communication In tango we have: “Two people, Four legs, but only One Heart.”, The art, in tango, is to navigate through the chaos of a dance floor, avoid obstacles, all while enjoying the depth of the “encounter”. Who leads? To achieve that it’s better if one of the two is appointed safety officer (the leader). This role is…

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The two chairs placed in a 45o angle represent a meeting of two people sharing intimacy and relational freedom. They are part of an original logo that had two parts, a stage and the chairs. The stage represents the “stage of life” where we live. This original designed was developed by aboriginal artist Bronwyn Bancroft in 1991. It depicts: The two chairs represent two people in the relationship who are able to openly communicate with each other as well as having the freedom to expand their own thinking, believes and interests without the other person feeling rejected. This is what martin Buber calls I and Thou relationships. This is the goal of Relationship Capital. This sitting differs from two people sitting one in front of the other that can represent intimacy as well as confrontation. When in intimacy the two are enjoying closeness and togetherness while both share the same thinking or…

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In this article we use the word “team” but note that this is also applicable to our personal relationships with our families, partner and friends. Please interchange the term “team” with “family” or “friends” as necessary. Working as One Team is not a new idea. It’s the centre for community building. The idea of creating “community” at work is not a “wishy-washy, soft touch” superficial concept. It’s a key for sustainable organisational success. As it takes a “village to raise a child” it takes a “village to succeed through change”. Anthropologists and sociologists tell us that communities who don’t work together are not able to innovate and would greatly suffer through change and even cease to exist. A common strategy of colonisers-invaders was to weaken community trust, foster gossip to create wedges to disrupt communications in the “village”. Villages have successfully faced and thrived through change by practicing: •A deepening…

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Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. We hear this phrase often and it sounds great, but how can we practically apply it to our lives? One simple way is what we call Active Roles. We actively play many roles in life in response to each person with whom we interact with at any particular time. We’re not talking here about Social Roles such as policeman, a mother or father, but about the dynamic at play. These are Active Roles, and they are the essence of our behaviour. For example: Purposeful Encourager Resentful Carer Confident Boundary Setter Resigned Complier FEELING  ACTION Active Roles can be: Constructive | Fragmenting | Ambivalent Constructive Roles (C) A Constructive role grows you as a person. When you play a Constructive role it enhances your life and brings about a sense of fulfilment. It’s satisfying and energising. E.g.  …

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Nature and biology are great teachers from where we can learn about systems and processes and use them as metaphors for living.   [gview file=”http://www.relationship.capital/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Lets-talk.pdf”]   We know that everything that comes into our body must go out; if not, we’ll become sick and may even die. The following metaphor is taken from physiology. It may sound rather grotesque, but it’s a reality for everyone independent of what social position we have. It’s the digestion process called metabolism. Whatever we eat will be broken down into small particles that some will be absorbed as nutrients, this process is called anabolism, and the rest excreted through the lungs, kidneys, skin and digestive system, which is called catabolic waist. This process is regulated through homeostasis and temperature regulation. It’s like a car engine where fuel comes into the injectors, creating the energy to move the pistons to move the car, and the exhaust expels what is not necessary. I’d…

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Are we really working? This article challenges some of the ways in which we are operating in the business world; in an apparent culture of entitlement, where rights and obligations have become unbalanced. It focuses on the difficulty some leaders/bosses have in confronting low performance and low accountability. For a printable version click here: [gview file=”http://www.relationship.capital/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Are-we-really-working-1.pdf” width=”100%” download=”all”] Expending energy at work does not mean we’re working Often times, we find ourselves working very hard, for long hours and for extended periods of time, and as a result, we often feel tired, exhausted and with no energy or drive left in us for our own personal enjoyment, family and friends. We often times even catch ourselves say things like, “I’ve been working so hard,” and we hear our family or friends say, “You are working way too hard, are you a workaholic?” But are we really working? What if I find…

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Leaders take one of the most explored topics in business articles and MBA programs and we forget, sometimes, that we’re leading, well or not so well, all the way in everything we do in life, as Chris Lowney expresses in his book “Heroic Leadership”. Parenting is one of the roles that can give us some connections into the no so mysterious role of leadership. It’s time to demystify leadership.   [embeddoc url=”http://www.relationship.capital/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Parent-Leader.pdf” download=”all”]  Parent – Leader On the last Father’s day in Australia. I was writing some SMS’s to fathers I know from family or friends. While I was writing “happy father’s day” to a leader I’ve been coaching for a long time, knowing how dearly he had his children at heart, it came to me that he’s also a great leader and aspires to be an even greater leader. While writing, I connected in my mind the key roles…

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New Wine in New Skin We often ask ourselves why we’re not moving forward, repeating the same mistakes and as a result not progressing in business and in life. One of the reasons is that we may change on the surface, but not deeply enough. As the saying goes, we put new wine into old skins. This Middle Eastern saying is based on the idea that there are moments in life when we cannot continue adding wine to the skins as they will eventually burst, as we have learned that a bubble can burst. When necessary, we’ll need to change the skin, and sometimes, there is a need to examine the container, not just what it contains. This often means dealing with real overhauls of the way we do business and the way we live. Sounds scary, but if we follow certain principles, we can change the skin as we…

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Stephanie’s 7th birthday coincided with a weekend where I had to run a weekend workshop. As it was her birthday, we decided to spend the weekend together as a family. It was a good time. In the evening of the first day Stephanie came to me to share something she was doing. As I was tired and worried about my workshop for the next day, I brushed her off and didn’t give her any attention and she went away. A few minutes later she sent Erasmo with an envelope with a card inside. It was a black and white drawing of a girl crying and a broken heart. Personal reflection 1 I felt terrible. I felt oppression in my chest. I had not been aware at the time what I did to her. When I realised it, I called her and placed her on my lap. I said I was…

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