WATCH: Are you seeing Friend or Foe?

Today, I’d like to talk about relationships and in particular, the concept of ‘Friend or Foe’. 


“Human Craves”

Because ‘Humans Crave Connection’. Because without connection, we’re not going to ‘Survive’. If we go back to you know, 200 or even 70,000 years ago, humans were just in small tiny little communities. And, they were able to survive together by sharing and communicating together and hunting together. And if someone from outside of that, someone who’s not part of that community showed up. 

They would instantly be ‘Foe First’ Someone who you can’t trust. You don’t know what their intentions are. You don’t understand anything about them. So, you know ‘Foe First’. It’s a safer strategy and that has served us well up until you know, up until modern society.

“Hypersensitive to Intention”

Because we are ‘Hyper-sensitive to Intention’. We always want to know what is the intention of another human being. So, they’re ‘Foe First’, until we can understand their intentions. And, it’s interesting that ‘Mirror Neurons’ help with that process. That we can actually when we’re face to face with someone in close proximity to them. We can understand and begin to pick up the nuances of their behaviours and go okay, “What is their intention?”, “What are their goals?”, “What are their values?” “What’s important to them and what is their intention towards us?”. When that shows up, and we believe that they have a positive intention towards us.

We get ‘Oxytocin’. Oxytocin is a neurochemical that helps us feel bonding and a trusting with a person, “Oh you must be part of my in-group, you’re safe, I can build a relationship with you”. But the trouble is that’s all getting very fractured at the moment. We’re not necessarily getting as much face to face as we used to in the past. Therefore, we don’t necessarily know the intentions of others. Especially, if you think about it in emails, where we can easily misunderstand the intention of an email.

“From Foe to Friend”

So, we need to move from this constant feeling of someone as a foe to getting them to be a friend. And, the way to do that is to ‘Connect on a Human Level’. And that might even be with a small how are you type of thing in an email, ‘Share Personal Stories’. And, when you’re together, build relationships with people. Let them know what’s going on in your life. What’s going on in your relationships, working relationships, etc. Because, that helps them understand your intentions and ‘Create Positive Cues’, look for things to acknowledge people. Look for gratitude and look for ways of being able to help people feel good about themselves.

So, when it comes to Relationships,

Stay Curious!



I would be interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about any of the above so drop me a line at

Or to learn more about our Live-facilitated Online interactive experiences visit our New Webpage.

Remember . . . Stay Curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

Need help motivating your leaders? Get in contact with Talent4Performance.

Schedule a FREE 30-minute CONSULTATION with David Klaasen

Talent4Performance help business leaders clarify complexity. We inspire people and drive continuous performance improvement, so they can convert thinking into action and results. 

©David Klaasen – 2014