Strategy in the individual and collective context – Part A’
At this point we will touch the matter of whether it benefits the individual to perceive the personal relations and goals the same way as dealing with International Relations issues. The term International Relations encapsulates all political, diplomatic and military practices and theories that focus on the management of relations between international agents (States, international organizations, etc.).
So, is it eminently helpful for the individual to draw and implement a personal plan having in mind the same methodology and terms used in the diplomatic and military strategic planning or not? This is an interesting question, a moderate answer to which we will attempt in the following paragraphs.
First of all, is not very prudent of us to expect a successful outcome of a venture without the precedence of a plan, a step-by-step map. Therefore, strategy is the common denominator at all levels. Whether we define it as a “strategy”, or as an “action layout”, or as a “plan” the desideratum remains: designing a sufficient number of appropriate steps that will increase the chances of achieving the goal we have set.
Secondly, the key principles of negotiation in the international diplomatic field do not deviate much from those used in daily life (either between representatives of companies or between individuals).
It’s obvious that we have to be quite circumspect when aligning the personal decision making with the bureaucratic-organizational processes. However, both processes share an increased number of steps, such that it would be quite challenging to match them one by one. And definitely there’s no substantial difference in the action or reaction in reference to an environmental stimulus.
Many International Relations theorists are particularly negative against any parallelism between those two contexts. Nevertheless, it’s not so off balance, if, for instance, we tend to liken the path of information assessment from the lower to the highest levels of the military (or foreign office) administration to the path of electrical signals from neuron to neuron through synaptic areas or from one organized brain region to another.
If strategy planning is based on a realistic assessment of available capacities, weaknesses and circumstances, then committing to a mimicry perception does not in itself constitute a sufficient condition for failing the goal. The reason we should avoid identifying the implementation of a personal strategy with the collective decision-making and executing pertains to the way the interpersonal relationships work.
Still, with a closer look the actual problem is not interlinking interpersonal and international relations, but rather the corresponding code and terminology in our daily communication. To put it plainly, it is not the way of thinking, but the way of communicating in terms of strategy.
And here lies a point worth noticing. Being methodical in our way of thinking, as well as the way we do things could not be the key reason for instigating a reaction. We humans organize personal and group plans alike. We also try to shape a well-constructed way of acting.
On the contrary, we find it unnecessary – and often annoying – to have to listen in every single subject someone analyzing the course of his conclusion in strategic terms and vernacular. Likewise, her attempt to interpret our position or someone else’s in the same sophisticated and specialized fashion. And this, of course, becomes even more annoying when it comes to subjects of a personal and emotional content and color.