The Betari Box packs a punch. It appears simple on the surface but, on closer inspection, turns out to have real power and nuance.
Managing interpersonal skills can be tricky at the best of times. Analysing and understanding complex human interactions can be confusing and frustrating.
I have yet to encounter a model more useful and practical in everyday life. Once you get your head around the Betari Box model, I predict you’ll feel the same.
BTW – if you prefer an audio version of this, I have included one at the end of this article.
The Betari Box model and Emotional Intelligence
Despite a lot of searching, I haven’t been able to track down any definitive origin story for this model. If you find one, please let me know.
You can still use it to great personal effect regardless of its origin.
Here it is in all its elegant hand-drawn glory:
The Betari Box is a closed-loop cycle. It illustrates the inter-relationships between people’s attitudes and behaviour.
The Betari Box concept works on a one-to-one level. It also works on a one-to-many level and a many to one level.
Let’s assume you and I were interacting in some way. The Betari Box loop shows that my attitude affects or influences my behaviour. My behaviour then affects your attitude. Your attitude now affects your behaviour. Finally, your behaviour affects my attitude and we’re back at the start. The cycle repeats.
With reference to Emotional Intelligence (EI), the Betari Box covers all the bases. Self-awareness and understanding others are the primary elements. When we break the cycle, we will include the self-regulation and managing relationship elements.
The Betari Box is a powerful way to enhance and apply your EI skills. This will in turn boost your self-confidence when interacting with others.
A less than stellar example to analyse
Picture the scene.
You’re attending a networking event and the problem is you hate networking events. All that glad-handing and inane chatter. The people are always so insincere, and they never get in touch with you after the event. It’s a waste of good business cards.
You wonder why you joined the group at all. The organiser said that many members were doing great business and getting loads of referrals. Yeah right! You’ve foolishly paid for a year’s worth so you might as well get the bad coffee and stale croissants until then. What a rip-off.
You get to the venue right at the last minute because of heavy traffic and poor directions from the organiser. At least you haven’t had to hang around too much. The odious introductions round begins. You focus on energetically selling your services and try to drown out the rest of the needy pitches.
The guest speaker for the morning is droning on about some sort of printing services – you try unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn. You ask yourself once again, “Why on earth did I get up at 0600hrs for this?”
After what seem like forever you get to the chatting over coffee stage. Very few people approach you as usual. A new and enthusiastic member of the group does engage you in conversation this morning. You moan about the traffic, the venue, and how bad the events are for generating business. You hand them a business card and they soon go away.
Finally, you make your excuses and hit the road. Lots of work to do today and networking doesn’t pay the bills does it.
Another waste of time and money and once again you know nobody will get in touch or offer you any business.
Practical uses of the Betari Box model
The Betari Box model is ideal for practically analysing just the type of situation outlined above. It is perhaps an extreme example, but in my experience it’s all too easy to get into such negative emotional mindsets. You find that the outcomes reinforce the initial approach and beliefs, and a downward spiral occurs. A self-fulfilling prophecy is often the result.
The Betari Box is also ideal for mentally rehearsing approaches to upcoming interpersonal interactions. You can identify emotional and behavioural changes ahead of time to make any desired or required improvements.
Using the Betari Box to review past situations
Let’s use the networking example to try out an analysis.
There is an immediate and extreme expression of hatred for networking events. Even the purpose of joining the group has been lost by taking this stance.
All the poor interpersonal behaviours and negative thoughts demonstrated flow from this initial attitude of loathing. These low-quality behaviours then promote low-quality feelings in the people encountered and they then exhibit appropriate behaviours which reflect this.
The person concerned sees evidence for justifying their hatred of networking. It’s a disaster.
To make any changes here, the cycle must be broken.
Using the Betari Box to plan for upcoming situations
Let’s develop the scenario.
The networker has now seen the light. Who knows, perhaps they read this article 😀. They want networking to work for them and they need to break the cycle for the next meeting.
There are two only places where someone can realistically and sustainably break, and subsequently change, the Betari Box cycle. Nobody can fully influence how someone else feels or behaves. They can however change how they feel and behave.
Betari Box element “My Attitude”
The cycle can be changed by adopting a different attitude. In my experience this is the more powerful of the two intervention points. You can of course try both and see which works best for you.
In our example, the networker can decide that, although they are nervous and they do generally dislike networking, it is potentially very valuable to them and would be a valuable skill to develop as much as possible.
Approaching the whole thing with an attitude of curiosity about other businesses and what they might need would then enable a more useful portrayal of their own offering. Perhaps this would then generate the desired business improvements.
They decide therefore to adopt a more curious approach to their networking.
This will now drive different and hopefully more positive behaviours which will likely result in better outcomes by positively affecting the attitudes and behaviours of the other networkers.
The Betari Box cycle has changed.
Betari Box element “My Behaviour”
In our example, the networker can also decide that whilst they still don’t like networking, they will nevertheless bite the bullet and start to copy the behaviours of the better networkers around them.
It feels uncomfortable at first, but they do a good job at “faking it” and this again yields more positive attitudes and behaviours from the people they are interacting with.
The networker now starts to notice these better outcomes. Perhaps their business takes a turn for the better. They start to feel that networking might really be a good thing after all.
Their attitude now changes in a positive manner and their behaviours become more authentically positive.
The Betari Box cycle has changed.
Over to you
Take the Betari Box model for a practical spin. What could you do with it?
Take some time to analyse some interactions you’ve already had. If they went well then ask yourself why they went well. If they didn’t go so well, ask yourself why that was the case.
Project into the future and give yourself the best chance of success in future interactions. Ask yourself, “What is the most useful attitude to hold and what are the most useful behaviours to exhibit during my upcoming interaction? What responses are likely to occur as a result?
What can knowledge of, and indeed application of, the Betari Box model do for your communicational development?
That is all for this one
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In the meantime, you might also like to check out these related articles:
Monitor your emotions EI Tip 3
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PPS Here is the audio version of this article if you would prefer to listen.