Tribal Leadership: What is a Triadic Relationship?

The Tribal Leadership Intensive is a 10 week training for Tribal Leadership Certification.  It is based on the work of Dave Logan and is held by Logan’s organizational design group, Culturesync.

A tribe is a self-assembling group of 5-150 people who have something in common.  This could be your business, your club, your colleagues, or your church group, for example.  And they are not always what you assume they would be.  They are groups or groups within groups where people find a shared camaraderie and interest.

There are 5 Stages of Tribes; I wrote about the 5 Stages of Tribes here.

What I learned from The Tribal Leadership Intensive 2: Triadic Relationship

Big Aha Numero Duo

One of the biggest differences between Stage 3 Tribes and Stage 4 or High Performing Tribes is that members of Stage 3 Tribes have what Culturesync calls “Dyadic” relationships: many one-on-one relationships.

In fact, people in this tribal stage protect and cultivate these “Dyadic” relationships not wanting to share them.  Leaders at this level will create a “hub and spoke” structure that keeps him or herself at the middle of their relationships so that others can’t connect.

Are you protecting your relationships by demanding that your employees go through you to get answers and solve problems? Do people in your business have to go through you to talk with clients, vendors or each other? That is the structure of a Stage 3 Tribe.  Do you find it a bit exhausting?

Here comes the aha: the value of a triadic relationship . . .

In order to transcend the hub and spoke structure and begin a transformation to Stage 4 or transform into a High Performance Team, you need to shift to a triadic relationship. A triadic relationship is where three people are in connection.  Not just three separate relationships but three people protecting and cultivating three relationships.

Triadic Relationship

Tribal Leadership: How to Build a Triadic Relationship

There are three steps to start using this powerful practice and build a triadic relationship.

  1. For every project that you have or that you start, be sure to have two others with you.  Create a triad that supports all three relationships and the project.
  2. If you are trying to get out of the pressure of the hub and spoke structure, each time someone comes to you with a problem or issue, bring in someone else to form a triad.
  3. When you ask your great question to help them solve a problem or make a decision, ask who else could be a part of the triad so that you aren’t in the middle of every relationship.  That way you aren’t the hub any longer.

For me, there is another very powerful part of this learning about triads and that is using a triadic relationship in mastermind groups.  For business leaders who are using mastermind groups as a way to support their growth, which I support and even provide, the addition of triads is powerful.

I have a triad in the Tribal Leadership Intensive.  Now I am adding triads to the masterminds that I facilitate.  For creating accountability, triads are stronger than dyads.  Hub and spoke dyadic relationships are less effective for achieving goals, solving problems, and creating accountability—both inside your business and for yourself.  If learning more about triads and being part of my next mastermind interests you, make sure to sign up on the right to receive updates.

As always I look forward to your questions or insights in the comments below.

XX, Ruth

Ruth Schwartz is the author of "The Key to the Golden Handcuffs". She is a high performance business consultant and leadership coach. Connect with Ruth to participate in the conversation. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube .

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