To view a PDF of this document please click HERE

Get yourself a notebook or open a new document on your computer and in your own time, reflect on these points:

  • The foundation of our relationships with other people is the way that we attach to them and the pattern of this is typically established in early life. Click here for an easy to read overview of this and here for an overview video. What’s your pattern of attachment?

  • All relationships involve the expression of your fundamental emotional needs. There’s a neat way of looking at them provided by the Human Givens school of psychology. Have a look here. Consider these needs in connection to any relationships that might be giving you concern. What are your conclusions?

  • Recent developments in neuroscience have indicated that our brains are wired to move towards reward and away from pain. One way of looking at this is the SCARF model from David Rock. This stands for Status, Consistency, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness. There’s more detail Are any of these issues at play in your relationships?

  • Some relationships seem to involve us getting into drama with people. Here, we start from and then move to one of three positions: Rescuer, Persecutor and Victim. This is called a drama triangle. Read more about it here. Are you in one of these positions with a challenging relationship?

  • In relationships, we all have differing needs for inclusion, openness and control. That’s the essence of the FIRO model. Just understanding this can be so helpful. Learn more about this here.

  • Navigating relationships usually means developing some skills to deal with conflict and friction. It’s about the balance between being assertive and co-operative. That’s the essence of the Thomas-Kilmann model and here is a summary. What might this mean for the style that you often adopt?

  • Sadly, some people are very difficult to work with. Some are positively dangerous to your wellbeing. It’s best to know what you are up against. Here is a book that’s a good place to start, from Oliver James.

  • Relationships can be repaired. Here is an approach that might be helpful.

  • Sixth Sense runs a workshop on this topic that you might enjoy. It’s called Connection Works.  

Want to know more? Search the range of resources here on There are book recommendations, links to websites, TED talks and worksheets and we are always adding to the list! Click here to begin.

Have a look at Chapter 3 of Staying Sane in Business. To order a copy, click here.


This site is maintained by two individuals who wear more than one hat – be it consultant, psychologist or psychotherapist – so you should expect to find a wide range of materials that are all about how people learn, perform and grow. Chris and Jackie founded Sixth Sense Consulting Ltd in 2010. We provide assessment, leadership development, team building, career transition, psychotherapy, and wellbeing services to individuals and organisations. Our aim is to share materials and resources we use in our day to day work with others in a digestible and practical format.


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