The Relateful Scale

Written by Dara Harmon and Jordan Myska Allen

The Relateful Scale is a new and exciting research project that we believe has widespread implications for interpersonal development practices going forward, including certification, trust, community involvement and giving more precise feedback on a wide range of skills cultivated by this practice.

In essence, the Relateful Scale is a bottom up, dynamic and constantly-updating rating system, where people who are good at a particular skill then have more “weight” in ranking others in that skill. It’s modeled after Ray Dalio and Bridgewater’s “Dot Collector;” developers might think of it like “page rank for relateful skills.”


An opportunity to bring more honesty

Although this may sound complicated, most of the business happens in the backend. For practitioners, the challenge is to bring more honesty and clarity to the nuanced assessments we are already making about each other. 

Rather than pretending we view each other equally, we’re opening the vulnerability of admitting we see some people as more skillful than others. We do this in a way that opens up growth and development, rather than makes people feel “not good enough” or always competing.

Rather than pretending we see each other as monolithically good at everything relatefully oriented, we’re admitting that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. This allows for people to see their relative strengths and weaknesses in much finer detail. For example:

Through practicing relatefulness, you’ve probably noticed a wide range of skills and ways of being that you hadn’t previously honed in on or taken the time to witness. Some of those competencies probably come naturally to you, they are part of your essence. Others you might admire in others. I remember for myself I found myself traversing empathy for others with ease, and deeply admiring those who were able to speak up for their own needs.  The journey of being relateful is an ongoing process of learning and practicing ways of being that bring more truth and love to both ourselves and others as we traverse this path together as humans.


Research is just beginning

Our research into rating the skills the relatefulness is just beginning, and we’re excited to invite you in. But currently the only way to be a part of this research project is to sign up for Level Up ⬆, where we are both honing in on the how this can help people grow, and how to best hold and understand the vulnerability of feedback.

The Relateful Scale is more than assessing and revealing a person’s relateful capability—it's a developmental tool in the spirit of  the organization and practice's commitment to the awareness of the nature of being constantly transforming. We are also committed to distilling and sharing the skills that we’re learning through this practice with wider audiences; this scale is a part of our effort to do so.


Relateful Lines of Intelligence

This scale breaks down what it means to be relateful across various dimensions, or “lines of intelligence”.

This comes from asking practitioners “what are the qualities of being relateful?” The scale is inspired by what we’ve observed so far; we may discover more lines, or we may discover that some of these correlate so tightly we might as well consider them one capacity. We also believe these are likely unbounded.

  • Claims Experience / Self-Inquires
      • Show a willingness and ability to take responsibility for what’s happening in your experience, not take responsibility for what’s happening in someone else’s experience, and inquire more deeply into the motivations underlying what has you doing what you’re doing in any given moment
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: (In response to something outside) “I notice that I…” (rather than blaming the outside experience); or “I’m curious about my reaction”
      • Potentially looks very different, eg: “recognizing wholeness


  • Comfort in the Unknown and Discomfort 
      • Can allow discomfort, distraction, uncertainty, and ‘disconnection’ as points of relational connection. The opposite of this would be demonstrations of authoritarian control, persistent nervous system dysregulation when the path isn’t clear.
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “I am not sure where we are, and I’m curious about the impact that has on me” or speaking a difficult truth that maintains or increases connection.


  • Empathy
      • Demonstration of feeling one’s own heart in connection with others. Being with others and loving their humanity. 
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “What would it be like to believe this or feel this way?” “Who would I have to be for this to be the innocent and obvious way for me to show up?”, noticing resonance in myself as others share themselves, other people say they feel seen and understood by my reflections


  • Embodiment
      • Including the body’s wisdom, movement, trusting the sense the body has. This can also look like living your espoused values.
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: Noticing body sensations without needing to make sense of them or trusting an impulse to move. A deeper willingness to surrender to feeling.


  • Holds Container
      • Integrates boundaries of the practice including time keeping, guiding people toward presence, not shying away from leadership
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “I am willing to maintain a structure even though the session feels yummy or potent, I know why and I’m fully behind my decision (rather than simply following a rule);” or noticing the information and directionality of emotions like boredom, anger, or annoyance.


  • Manages triggers
      • Demonstrates capacity to be with multiple parts of their awareness, has capacity to do what’s needed to stay in connection, including stopping the group or session in extreme cases
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “My nervous system is activated, so I need to go slowly here,” being able to move energy like anger in your body rather than lashing out, shutting down, or self-criticizing; “I need to take a break from this”


  • Others make sense of themselves in a new way
      • Reveals themselves in such a way that others can see their own nuance, capacity, reflection, and ways of being more cleary
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria:  moving from receiving feedback as personal to me to seeing it in a greater, less personal context; feedback like “wow, that’s a great question, I’ve never thought of it that way,” and generally helping people make subject-object moves


  • Self-Trust & Surrender
      • Trusting that whatever is happening in your experience is relevant as it’s indisputably here in the present moment, with a willingness for the relevance to always be about you. Surrender includes the capacity to develop and include discernment and boundary-setting-ability.
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “I’m not sure why but…” or having a strong desire to share something, but the intuition to stay quiet, and trusting your intuition


  • Thinks for themselves
      • Autonomous, sovereign, able to stay with integrity in the face of pressure, doesn’t automatically agree to make people happy, and offers novel or unique insights into the situation. Embracing your own signature as part of the evolution and emergence of Relatefulness
      • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: using your personal language to explain or demonstrate aspects of the practice


  • Trusts of the unfolding of life
      • Willingness to be with emerging circumstances that you’ve yet to make sense of, without making anything right or wrong. Every moment is full of awe in its own way. 


  • Updatability
    • Ability to receive feedback non-defensively (or with awareness and nonattachment to the defensiveness), hold curiosity and openness for new perspectives and input with a willingness to adopt what seems to fit
    • Internal or external questions or noticing that might demonstrate this criteria: “You’re absolutely right, thank you I didn’t see that;” “Wow, this helps explain so many patterns I’ve been confused about in my life;” or loosening grip on being seen in a particular way


We firmly believe that Relatefulness is a dynamic and evolving practice. As such, this scale will continue to develop and transform alongside our practice. Our goal in defining and identifying the emerging criteria of Relatefulness is to highlight the skills that enable practitioners to bring more truth and love into all aspects of their lives. Through this analysis, we expect to gain a deeper understanding of how these criteria evolve and give rise to new ways of being that adapt to and emerge from the present context. 

Staff facilitators Level Up ⬆ participants can opt-in to participating in the relateful scale or believability rankings. If you’re interested to learn more or help us further our mission, reach out to [email protected].


Find out more about the authors:

Dara Harmon
Facilitator at The Relateful Company

Jordan Myska Allen
Founder CEO at The Relateful Company

Check out our amazing memberships →