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TipsForSuccess: ARC Part 7: The Ultimate Management Tool

The Ultimate Management Tool
Affinity, Reality and Communication (ARC)

"The ARC Triangle is the keystone of living associations." -- L. Ron Hubbard

Affinity: how well you like or love a person
Reality: how much agreement you have with a person; what you agree to be real
Communication: your exchange of information and ideas
ARC Triangle: A triangle formed by affinity, reality and communication. When you raise one of the three points, the other two rise as well. When you lower one point, the other two drop.
Understanding: The result of combining high affinity, shared reality and open communication.

Part 7: How Raising the ARC Triangle Makes You a Better Boss

According to an annual job satisfaction survey, more than 7 in 10 workers are open to changing jobs in 2008 (Source: Yahoo! HotJobs). Why do they dislike their jobs?

Per the survey, 36% want a higher salary and 34% want more growth opportunities. However, the biggest reason these employees want to change jobs is they dislike their bosses (43%).

In fact, 55% of those surveyed agreed with this statement: "People don't leave companies; they leave managers."

Bad Bosses

Bad bosses break the ARC Triangle with their employees in many ways (see Parts 1 and 2 for information about the ARC Triangle at

As a bad boss, you break the reality point of the triangle when you lie to your employees, blame them for your problems or break your promises. Reality is also reduced when you are not as fair as possible,

Perhaps the biggest break in reality is when you do not do your job. Employees assume your job is to help them, to give them good advice and to lead them in a clear-cut direction.

Bad bosses are poor communicators. They do not have meetings, explain tasks or answer questions. They do not listen to their group members and do not acknowledge them.

Affinity is also low with bad bosses. They do not like their employees and their employees do not like them. They get angry with each other, treat each other with disrespect and do not care for each other.

Managing with More ARC

"A common denominator to all good executives is the ability to communicate, to have affinity for their area and their people and to be able to achieve a reality on existing circumstances. All this adds up to understanding. An executive who lacks these qualities or abilities is not likely to be very successful." -- L. Ron Hubbard

As a business leader, owner or manager, your business succeeds or fails based on the ARC Triangle. The most powerful groups in the world have the greatest amount of ARC between the members of the group and the managers of the group.

Having high ARC for your employees does not mean you are soft and permissive. You do not hug each other all day and expect a successful workplace. At work, the ARC Triangle is based on the work.

For example, when you and all the members of the group agree on a goal, you find it easier to talk. You find it easier to like the members of the group. When there is no goal, the group is not nearly as fun to be part of.

As another example, your staff members have more ARC for their work if they are trained. Training establishes hundreds of small agreements of how the job should be done and thus boosts their ARC for the work. If the boss does not train the workers, they feel overwhelmed and cannot produce much work. Well-trained workers know what to do and find pleasure in their jobs because they have a great deal of agreement with you on what they should do.

As another example, as a manager, you have a reality that your people can and should do a good job. You communicate that reality when you insist that your people perform to the best of their ability. They agree with this communication and bang! You have a hard-working group, doing what it does best. As a result, you really like this group and this group really likes you.

10 Recommendations for Bosses

Note: If you are not yet a boss, you will become one if you use the recommendations below with your coworkers and with your boss.

1. Write down how you can have more reality with your group. What more can you agree on?

For example, what are your goals for your group? What do you want them to accomplish this week? Today? What do you expect from them? Exactly what do you want them to do?

2. Communicate these points of reality to your group members as often as needed to obtain agreement. Take care to observe that they receive and understand your communication.

3. List the disagreements you have with your workers. Include all those "silent" disagreements in your group.

Clear up these disagreements by listening to their side of the disagreement and then explaining your side. You might be surprised when 90% of the disagreements then resolve as most disagreements are actually based on a lack of communication.

4. Make a list of things you want to tell your group members. Write down when and how you will tell them what you have to say. Plan to be persistent and gentle.

5. As a daily routine, take time to listen to your staff members. As long as they are discussing the job, be willing to listen. You will learn important information about working conditions, job efficiency, ideas for increase productivity and more.

6. Find ways to increase useful communication in and around your work. For example, replace personal chatter with discussions about how to get more work done in less time.

7. Take five minutes to list the things you like about each of your employees. Go find a few new things for which you can have affinity. You will be more effective with these employees if you admire them.

8. When you are unhappy with an employee, but not sure why, figure out if the problem is with reality, communication or affinity. Is there a disagreement? Is the a problem with communication? Is there a specific dislike?

Once you identify the part of the ARC Triangle that is broken, fix it. You will find it much easier to resolve staff problems when you break it down to its ARC components.

9. Find ways to increase your ARC for your group. For example, you notice that when you propose a productivity game, they immediately agree to play the game, talk about how they can win the game and seem to like their jobs more than ever. (Productivity game example: "If everyone increases their productivity by 10% this week, everyone gets a $250 cash bonus on Friday night. If one person does not increase by at least 10%, no one gets a bonus. So figure out how to increase your personal productivity, plan to help your coworkers when needed, and let's make this happen, okay?")

10. Be wary of anything that hurts your ARC for your group. For example, if a customer or client complains about an employee, do not automatically believe the complaint. If one worker criticizes another worker, do not assume it is the truth. In both cases, gather more information and listen to the person before you make any decisions.

Constantly increasing and protecting your ARC with your team not only makes your group more productive and powerful, it makes your job much more enjoyable!

Copyright © 2008 All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.

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