Engineering Working Relationships:
A Definition
If like science, engineering has its foundations in measuring, understanding,
and bringing an amount of certainty and predictability to our world,
then Engineering Working Relationships describes well what we do with our clients.

One definition of the word Engineering in The Collins English Dictionary is:

“the science concerned with putting scientific knowledge to practical uses, divided into different branches, as civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering.”

Another definition from the same dictionary is:

“the act of maneuvering or managing.”

Actually, in the ways people relate to one another, very little is certain or predictable, unlike with the disciplines of civil, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering. 


Although some people’s interactions could be classed as ‘civil’ (or not), a bit ‘mechanical’ (in an habitual sense), most would agree that chemistry is a key factor, and with the right chemistry, many interactions can be ‘electric!’

Patterns of cause and effect are a common principle in all forms of engineering. However, much of our work with people shows this is not true in communicating with one another. It is a mistake to believe that humans can make one another feel or behave in certain ways. 


My emotional reactions result from my interpretations of your motives or intentions, rather than from what you actually do or say.  Without physically pushing, moving, restraining or striking me, no other person can make me do anything. 


Raising awareness of this principle can provide enormous freedom from feeling controlled by events or by others.  It can also show that it is possible to choose, where before there appeared to be no choice.  The infinite variety of interpretations available to all of us about what happens is the source of unpredictability (and happiness) in life and work. 


Our specialism is in identifying the hidden patterns in complicated interactions, and applying them to improve mutual recognition, trust and understanding.  We help people get on with one another.  By doing this, levels of predictability and certainty in our working relationships can be increased to the maximum possible, given the constraints already mentioned.

©  2019 Bitner Phillips Partnership Ltd