Charge the Line

It's All About Your Approach

By Josh Fowler

Ever hear of a concept called Betari Box Theory? Neither had I up until a year or so ago when I was preparing a piece on communication. There is little known about Betari Box Theory, but what we do know is that Betari was an ancient Persian city spoken of during biblical times and that it still exists today in modern-day Iran. What we don’t know is if this concept originated here.

Betari Box is a communication model that helps us understand the impact our own attitudes and behaviors have on the attitudes and behaviors of those around us.

Our attitude plays a huge role in the behavior that we exhibit, which in turn affects the people around us.

It takes one to know one...

We all remember the schoolyard retort when called a name we didn’t like. But what makes Betari Box so interesting is that the behavior you display is often the behavior you receive from others so in fact, the adage is true: it does take one to know one.

Betari Box model

Betari Box, in fact, is not a box at all. Rather it is a cycle. A cycle (if negative) that can be vicious and destructive if not broken. For example, if you follow the cycle beginning at the top (twelve o’clock) it would read like this example:

Questions to ask yourself and observe in others.

If my attitude…

  • Is naturally distrusting
  • And I don’t believe my subordinates/co-workers are competent

It affects

My behavior…

  • Which causes me to develop a controlling attitude
  • And causes me to begin to micromanage
  • Which drives me to give constant criticism and disapproval

This then affects

Your attitude…

  • You begin distancing yourself from me or
  • You turn against me altogether

Which affects

Your behavior…

  • In that you no longer make independent decisions
  • And/or you no longer take responsibility

Which then

Confirms my earlier judgment in that I’m naturally distrusting and I don’t believe that my subordinates/co-workers are competent.

As leaders, our role is to influence those we lead. The use of Betari Box Theory is about recognizing negative cycles and changing behaviors in order to break the cycle. Human attitude plays a tremendous role in the behavior we display.

Think: Cause/Effect – Action/Reaction

Remember, everything we display in our own behaviors affects the attitudes of others.