Uplinks, Downlinks, and Laterals

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

One thing that I talk about a lot in real life or in e-life is margin. I can probably link you a good 10 blogs of mine that hit on establishing/maintaining/losing margin. But it’s been something I have to check in on regularly. Otherwise, I lose balance, and the important things get neglected.

Recently, I got a new understanding of the importance of certain relationships in my life and how they impact that margin. There are three major groups: uplinks, downlinks, and laterals. (I just made up those terms…but if I unconsciously stole them, let me know lol. I give credit where it’s due. )

Uplinks – These are like mentors, big brothers, or big sisters. Essentially, I’m looking up to these people for something. They are in a position to pull me up.

Downlinks – These are like mentees, little brothers, or little sisters. They’re looking up to me and I’m in a position to help them get to higher ground.

Laterals – These are the people walking side by side with me. In some areas, I’m the Uplink, and in others, I’m the Downlink. But ultimately, we pretty much balance each other out.

Each type of relationship is very necessary, and one key to being healthy is having an equal balance between the three. When I stepped back and looked at my relationships, I realized that I’m lopsided like crazy…wayyyyy more Downlinks and Laterals than Uplinks. So as I looked at my list, I got a very clear statement dropped on my heart…

Establish more Uplinks, or let go of the Downlinks.

The reality is I give a lot of myself without having the structure to get replenished. Giving, loving, and serving is a GREAT thing! But it becomes dangerous when there’s nothing available to refill the tank.

Tough words. But having good bigs will make up for that. Mentors provide wisdom and experience, without requiring you to pour back into them. In good mentor-mentee relationships, there is some give-and-take, but that’s not the focus.

So that’s one of my goals. Be a better downlink. Be a better mentee. I’m still working on what that even means, but I think it’s worth the effort. Any suggestions on how to be a better mentee?

  1. This sermon is the best I’ve heard on this subject: http://ow.ly/60FXQ

    Great blog!

  2. DeAnna says:

    i loved this, simply because it made me realize i have the same problem.

    working on that…

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