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Interpersonal Needs and The Human Spectrum

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We call these “domains” because they resemble the nature and dynamics of domains that existed in Europe during the Middle Ages. During this period of time, there were not large political states in Europe; rather, there were many smaller fiefdoms run by kings and queens (living in the legendary castles of Europe). These royal leaders presided over a specific region that was called a “domain.” Each domain operated with its own set of rules, codes of conduct, history, legends and even variations on a language of the broader culture. The same dynamics operate in the domains of information, intentions and ideas. Each of these domains has its own rules, codes of conduct, history, legends and language. As in the case of the domains of Europe, we must shift our perspectives and practices when moving in our life from one domain to another (from information to intentions, from intentions to ideas, and so forth). Furthermore, each of us is likely to feel most at home in one of these three domains. We want to dwell in a world of information and reality, or in a world of intentions and vision. Perhaps, instead, we prefer to reside in a world of ideas and action. These preferences reside at the heart of the human spectrum.

The Human Spectrum and Interpersonal Needs

The perspectives and practices of the three domains penetrate virtually all aspects of our life. These influence the way in which we lead organizations, approach the personal problems we face in our life, and even select the people in our world with whom we wish to work and share our like. In this essay, I specifically wish to focus on how these three domains related to the needs we wish to be met in the groups and teams that we have joined. Specifically, I relate the domain of information to the need for inclusion, the domain of ideas to the need for control and the domain of intentions to the need for openness.

At this point, I also wish to introduce the Human Spectrum template, for it relates directly to the preferences each of us may have for one of the three domains. In the fiefdoms of the Middle Ages, not only did every domain have its own norms, values and narratives, it also had a shield or at least colors that provided this domain with a powerful, visual representation of its norms, values and narratives. While we are not in a place to design a shield for each domain, we can assign it an appropriate color. As I have noted we have chosen to assign each domain one of the three primary colors on the spectrum: red, blue and yellow (acknowledging that there is a competing model concerning the three primary colors).

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