The Three Principles of Systemic Work

When relationships become difficult, we are often unable to pinpoint exactly where things went awry. In such cases, one of the following three basic systemic principles may have been overlooked: 

  • Everybody has a place in the system. You cannot exclude anybody, be it a family member, colleague, sports mate, or even a former colleague. You can treat members of a system differently but you cannot deny that they are a part of the system.
  • In every system, there is a hierarchal order. Within a family system, your order is determined by generation and age. In an organisation, your order is determined by your position within the corporate hierarchy and also the amount of time you have been with the company.
  • There needs to be a balance between give and take. If only one party puts effort in the system and others only profit from it, then there is imbalance and something within that system is bound to go awry.

Initially, these principles may appear relatively abstract. To understand these principles better, it could be helpful to take a relationship that is currently not working well for you in mind: for example, you do not speak with each other or you are angry with another person and examine whether one of the three principles are violated.