Naming the Element

Interchange relationships often contain multiple elements, both in type and quantity. The elements seem simple in description, but in practice, they are quite complex. Our ability to spot elements determines our success in creating interchange relationships. When performed regularly, this exercise develops our ability to separate the elements and see how they connect to each other.


Think of any interaction between members of the group. Identify the interchange elements that moved between participants during the interaction. For each element, answer the following questions.


  • Who was the giver, and who was the receiver?

  • What triggered the exchange?

  • How did these elements contribute to the performance and maintenance of work?

  • What structure established this exchange - a policy or procedure, organizational habit, a request from one participant? Is this the appropriate level of formality?

  • What interchanges allowed this interaction to occur? What would be the consequence if those previous interchanges failed?

  • Were the elements in a form that was useful to the receiver? Did the giver understand this form?

  • Are the elements needed by anyone else in the group?