The 70/30 Rule

A test that I see most often, and the one I have found very hard personally, is what I refer to as the 70/30 rule. You see it with friends, you see it in the workplace, you see it everywhere…

Everyone wants help but the 70/30 rule says that 30% of people are prepared to do what they need to do to help themselves but 70% want it conditionally.

In my field for example, 70% of people want to use my work to validate what they are already sure they know and 30% just want help to get the solution and are open to that.. My work is objective therefore I can help the 30%, it is that it is objective that makes it get the results it gets.. In personal relationships often friends will be conditional, they may be friends as long as it suits them or when you are doing the giving, but ask them to help themselves a little more and suddenly things turn around, why are YOU being so judgmental. People in customer service roles know this one too well.

But the most challenging aspect of the 70/30 rule is that in order to help the 30% you have to pay the price of dealing with the 70% and as soon as you set boundaries with them the silliness starts.. Blame, judgment and emotional games.. Again ask anyone in a customer facing role about this one..

I suggest that most of this is that we all too easily clutch onto concepts in order to avoid facing emotions we don’t want to face. And in clutching onto these concepts we can all too easily try to force others to buy into our particular emotional need, and all too easily make them pay a price they didn’t deserve to pay when they won’t. From personal experience in my work, its not the people who I have worked with are the problem, its the ones I say I cant help because they want it conditionally is where it all gets crazy.

And so in order to help the minority we ( society ) have to suffer the actions of the majority, and these can be extreme because in setting boundaries we are seen to be actively de-validating whatever it is they are clinging onto in order to emotionally survive. I think we all understand that and we would all like to help as much as we can.. after all didn’t we choose to get into businesses that help people in order to help people ??? Likewise we can empathize, we will have all clutched onto things ourselves in our time.

BUT in order to be able to help people it is necessary that they drop the blame cannon.. until we can be in their demilitarized zone we can’t help.. And should we pay the price for their anger and frustration ? no its not fair. Empathy yes, blame and consequences no…

If we as a society are going to move forward we need to teach people about emotions and dealing with them. Its bewildering that in the new millennium that the 70/30 rule hasn’t become the 30/70 rule. Our obsession with progress being about technology has stopped us focusing on teaching people how to deal with emotions and grow as people.. And worse than that we live in a culture that seems to accept people blaming others for everything…

Its hard enough trying to do your very best for the 30% without all the extra stuff from the 70% and if we want more people to want to help people we need to teach people about emotions.. give them tools, talk about it in schools, teach meditation.

Most people who go into roles to help others do it from passion. Without that passion they most likely wouldn’t be able to survive the terrible imbalance and unfairness of the 70/30 so lets support them, lets not take our pissy anger out on the next person who wants to help us, lets admit we’re scared and ask for help instead of seeking to validate.. Lets own it and grow and help teach others to do the same. Its not easy and all of us have failed at it at some time, that’s for sure.. but if we want to progress as society there are sure as heck some issues much more pressing than how many free upgrades I get on my cell phone account…

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