WATCH: What Is The Secret Of Sustainable Relationships?

In this episode I’d like to talk about ‘The Paradox of an Equity Mindset’ which is one of the 12 Paradoxes developed by Dr. Dan Harrison. And it’s all about being able to create mutually beneficial relationships that are sustainable over the long term. Because, when both parties feel that they’re g.aining from the relationship and there’s mutual benefit, then that makes it sustainable. If there’s lack of balance in that relationship, it can undermine the relationship and it won’t last very long


So, this paradox really helps us to see how that can happen. In ‘The Paradox of an Equity Mindset’ we’ve got two traits. Which may seem to be contradictory but in fact when they come together are synergistic. And that’s what makes it a paradox. So, we have ‘Assertive’ which is the ability to be clear about your own wants and needs and declaring them.


And, ‘Helpful’ which is looking for and seeking the needs of others and helping them to achieve their goals.


Now, if we’re very ‘Assertive’ and lacking in ‘Helpfulness’ we can be end up in this ‘Dominating’ quadrant. Where we’re out of balance because we may be very good at declaring our own wants and needs but neglecting the needs of others. And, that can lead to resentment, and it can lead to people feeling exploited, and that will undermine trust and cooperation.


And people may leave and choose to work elsewhere. Where, if we’re very ‘Helpful’, and low on ‘Assertive’, we can fall into the ‘Self-Sacrificing’ quadrant. And this is where we may build good working relationships because we’re very ‘Helpful’. However, we may end up ‘Self-Sacrificing’ our own time and effort to meeting the needs of others and therefore, not getting our own work done. Now as a manager, this can be quite detrimental to the growth and development of the team. Because, as a manager, you’re doing lots of the things that your team may actually have responsibility for, because you’re being very ‘Helpful’. And, then they become dependent on you, it neglects their growth and development because they’re not having to exercise their own muscles. And they may start to take advantage of you.

Mutual Benefit

Which will also lead to stress, and that can undermine performance in the whole team. So, what we’re really looking for is ‘Mutual Benefit’, where you’re able to be clear about your needs, be clear about the needs of your people, help them to achieve their goals, and build long-term sustainable relationships that engage, motivate, and retain your best people.  

So, when it comes to an Equity Mindset, stay curious! 

With best regards,

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 – 2022