From the summer read:
Why Loyalty Matters, Keiningham & Aksoy, Benbella Books, 2009
in a prior post, I highlighted 25 notable nuggets from the book.
In my opinion, the most useful part of the book was a relationship framework based on the notion that each of us has our own relationship DNA that serves as the code for how we interact with one another.
While no two people are identical in how they connect with others, all are made up of the same 10 basic building blocks:
- Problem-focused coping
- Emotion-focused coping
Being high or low on a particular factor does not imply good or bad, since each factor has the potential to have both the positive and negative impact on our relationships, regardless of where one falls on the factor.
People have their own idiosyncratic relationship styles. We are able to build strong, loyal relationships with one another precisely because each of us is different. It is our differences that allow us to enrich each other’s lives.
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Leadership is the ability to influence others to follow you voluntarily. Leaders have a general sense that they are in control of themselves and their surroundings, are motivated to achieve success, attain a comfort level interacting with others, and are not afraid to take risks. The leaders competitive spirit fuels ambition. Some people see this fortitude as a blessing; it alienates other people who see it as being too competitive and too aggressive.
Reliance describes how well a person trusts and attaches to people around him. Reliant people have a support web that is based on openness and accountability. They are willing to ask for help when it’s needed. Reliant people tend to have “deep” and long-lasting friends. People low in reliance usually try to solve problems autonomously without depending on others. They often have difficulty building long-term relationships.
Empathy is the ability to identify and sympathize with others. Empathetic people tend to have a more flexible outlook and appreciate people for who they are. This brings with it more friendliness and is inviting to others. Empathetic people are compassionate, kindhearted, and understanding. They see problems through the eyes and hearts of others. People with low empathy create distance between themselves and others.
Security is a general sense of stability and comfort with oneself and one’s environment. It’s a feeling that things are going well and there is no need to worry excessively or be anxious. This leads to life with a lower amount of stress and pressure, and prevents being needlessly encumbered by a sense of the impending. Secure people are able to manage anxiety and stress successfully. Insecure people often feel “on the edge”, and think that things are either wrong, or are going to go wrong. Insecurity leads to worry.
Calculativeness is an attempt to control and promote one’s self image and create an ideal environment for personal benefit. Calculating people place importance on showcasing themselves in the right way. So, they have an air of formality in their interactions, selectively articulate themselves to others (versus “being themselves”), and tightly control their self-presentation. Calculating people are often viewed as contrived, less sincere, and less worthy of complete trust. They are often perceived by others as unemotional and manipulative.
Connectedness is how one interacts with others on a personal level Close and tight relationships typify the crux of this dimension. The feeling of connection to others forms the basis in the bedrock of happiness. People low in connectedness may be loners, or may be surrounded with casual friends — lacking deep and intense bonds.
Independence is marked by autonomy, self-discipline, and thoroughness. On the upside, independent people are rarely disappointed by others, since they usually take matters into their own hands. But, they often miss out on valuable opportunities by failing to capitalize on other people’s ideas and strengths.
Traditionalism reflects a desire for consistency, normalcy, and regularity. Traditionalists like to operate within their comfort zone, and are cautious when approaching truly unfamiliar situations. Traditionalists rarely flaunt their successes, instead preferring humility. As a result, they may sometimes be underrated and underappreciated. Of course, traditionalists miss out on new experiences that could potentially provide novel perspectives and excitement.
Problem-focused coping is taking a planned, reasoned and rational approach to solving problems, meeting challenges, overcoming obstacles, making choices, and withstanding the consequences of decisions. Problem-focused people dissect issues and examine them from multiple angles. They are sometimes viewed as coldly analytical and callous in their decision-making.
Emotion-focused coping tries to suppress or manage the emotions surrounding a problem, rather than the problem itself. Often, advice and comfort is sought from others.
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Next up: The “Are you loyal? “ checklist.
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