Relational Rebar

Over the summer and Autumn this past year, my colleague Tim and I have both had new driveways poured and have shared and compared the process along the way.  We have both had steel rebar added to our concrete and hope that the longevity this creates, will benefit in the lifetime of our concrete.  The driveway I replaced did not have rebar and was full of cracks and lifted sections caused by seasons of ware and shifting substrata.  I investigated the rebar application and have read that its primary purpose is to increase the tensile strength of the concrete, helping it to resist cracking and breaking.  With greater tensile strength, concrete is better able to resist breaking under tension.

As the writer of a Mandt System blog every few weeks, you will not be surprised that I have cannot been resist this metaphor for exploring what forms the ‘Rebar’ in healthy relationships.  The list of potential ‘relational rebar’ items is pretty long so I will limit it to three items.  These are;

Time: The impact of time on a healthy workplace relationships is not so much how long you have known a person, but rather the extent to which you are ‘present in the moment’ when you are interacting with each other.  I would rather have less time with a person but have their undivided attention, than more time where I do not feel they are as engaged.

Respect: Many of my colleagues are rather different to me as people and personalities.  This does not affect the huge respect I have for each of them regarding the value and worth that they bring to their respective roles.  The impact of this respect is evident when as individuals or a team we must resolve workplace conflicts.

Honesty: One of the things I most appreciate in my relationships is when people feel safe enough to be honest.  Whether this is a work or personal relationship it takes guts and some degree of risk to be totally honest with each other.  

Combine Honesty with Respect and Time and I believe you are well on the way to creating relationships that will be better able to resist breaking when under tension.

What would be in your Relational Rebar?

Simon Kemp – CEO

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