Patricia A. Comella, JD
Having an operational knowledge of reciprocal functioning is essential to understanding the dynamics of such diverse relationship phenomena as leadership in the workplace or the field observation of other species. With that in mind, this paper chronicles the process of collecting, interpreting, and validating observations of the author’s own functioning in an emotionally challenging relationship system where missteps had the potential to have significant adverse impacts on the well-being of herself and her spouse. It documents an eleven-month period in the author�??s life when she was finally able to operationalize the concept of reciprocal functioning and make understanding of that concept part of her core knowledge about relationship processes. The process by which she achieved this breakthrough is the subject of this paper. Since that breakthrough, the author has been able to apply her insights about reciprocal functioning with predictably reliable results in many and varied workplace relationships.