A cloud is shown in the sky with dark background.

Relational analytics help you see in the dark. Here’s how

Think about a relationship in your organisation that looks great on paper, but has never gelled as you had hoped it would. Maybe an acquisition that never quite integrated. Or a joint venture that just feels like sand in the gears. Perhaps a management team that is increasingly siloed. 

As a leader, it can feel like your choices are limited to either tolerating underperformance or terminating the relationship and starting over. 

This is a maddeningly common experience. Put it down to poor chemistry and cut your losses.

Can you think of any other part of your business where that kind of value depletion is tolerated with little more than a shrug of the shoulders?

You have another choice. One that is familiar to you in every other expression of your leadership

  • Get better data
  • Frame your real options
  • Make the best decision available

At Neometric, we can help you reliably measure the key relationships that power your organisation. 

Our methodology is based on 25 years of research and study by the Cambridge-based Relationships Foundation. The key insight is that enduring and effective relationships have 5 measurable components or domains which together describe Relational Proximity®. 

Think of these analytics like relational night-goggles. The tool isolates and gives separate definition to each of the 5 different wavelengths that together provide light (or which make up the relationship). When all you can see is conflict, you may assume that the relationship is terminal and a waste of your energy. The analytical insights might reveal that 4 of the 5 domains are incredibly strong and that a simple adjustment to the fifth would transform conflict into high performance. 

You might be on the brink of unlocking that shared value that prompted you to form the relationship in the first place.  

So, what are these 5 relational domains that allow us to measure Relational Proximity®? 

1. Purpose – alignment around a shared purpose is foundational to any relationship. The deeper the commitment to shared values and goals, the tighter is the connective tissue, and the greater the capacity to overcome apparently disparate positions

Shared purpose allowed the NASA team on the ground to work with the team on the Apollo 13 capsule to solve enormous challenges under considerable time pressure. There was unquestioned common interest in bringing the astronauts safely back to Earth, allowing a healthy contest of ideas before aligning different positions into a collaborative approach

2. Equity – power dynamics are at play in every relationship. The way power is held and used can deepen trust and loyalty through a sense of parity and fairness, or destroy it by promoting individual (rather than collective) interests. The capacity to exercise agency is key

The major Australian banks have begun the process of restoring trust by deferring interest payments for customers experiencing financial stress in response to COVID-19 (shared pain). Contrast this with the way loyalty was destroyed just a year earlier (as revealed by the Hayne Royal Commission) for acting to the detriment of customers in the narrow interest of shareholders, and ignoring the customer voice

3. Awareness – the more we know of each other, the greater our capacity to recognise true motivations for behaviour, and avoid damaging assumptions. Relationships between organisations tend to be much richer and generate greater mutual opportunities when there are multiple points of contact across contexts

Many of us have close friendships with people who started as rivals. Now that we know each other, we laugh at the early misunderstandings of each others’ motivations and our faulty attribution of intent. We wonder at the deep friendship that was almost missed by our wrong assumptions

4. Continuity – every relationship has a storyline or narrative. Those with greater continuity (a more durable and consistent story over time) tend to be more robust and generate a stronger sense of momentum

The Queen’s longevity and historical consistency is a core foundation to the bonds in the Commonwealth. Her eventual passing will expose weakness if not supported by strength in the other domains that define the relationship

5. Encounter – the way we communicate with each other powerfully informs the nature of the connection. Do we adopt highly transactional and efficient modes of information flow, or do we take the effort to speak, observe body language, and encounter each other more meaningfully 

The counter-intuitive response to social distancing has been to purposefully embrace videoconference facilities from each others’ homes that restores a sense of humanity in our work and  relationships

Our relational surveys touch on each of these dimensions, and provide data for leaders to understand what may have been missed in the dark. They also provide a unique insight to drivers of conflict, which can be transformational in our mediations.

Don’t be caught blaming chemistry again. Get the data and make higher quality decisions to strengthen your relational capital.