• Mark Hannafin


What is interdependence? It is and can coexist with independence, in my last blog “from dependence to independence” (https://markhannafin.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/from-dependence-to-independence/https://markhannafin.wordpress.com) I discussed how we can develop from a dependent person to an independent person and what I believe the 5 different areas of intelligence needed for this growth are. They include Intellectual, Emotional, Social, Physical, and Financial intelligence. All of these aspects work together and each step is necessary to become an independent individual.

Interdependence happens when two or more independent people come together to work in harmony, on a single task or goal, both confident in the knowledge that each member of the group has different talents and strengths, and know that their objective will be met easier than if they had tried to complete it on their own. One of the keywords in this is harmony. If the group are not able to work together harmoniously and are instead against or unhappy with the group this is not an interdependent relationship. An interdependent group must not be confused with teamwork.

Teamwork can be defined as dependent and independent people working together in groups. The independent people are usually at the head, the leaders, managers, bosses, whereas the dependent people need direction so that they know what to do or how to do something or other. Although teamwork can be effective, in many instances it is a group of individuals working for their own gain. There is also the possibility that one member may take charge and direct the group to their way of doing things, which may not be accepted by the group and so a power struggle ensues.

Interdependent relationships are the key to the attainment of any goal. If we examine successful people we will find that they surround themselves with intelligent, independent people. One of the most successful individuals in the last few centuries is Steve Jobs. He, however, may have amounted to little without the help and friendship of Steve Wozniak, his partner. Jobs was difficult to work with undoubtedly but this partnership was made possible because of their drive and want to provide, and so, they were able to work in harmony with one another in order to meet their goals. Although they were not the only two responsible for the success of Apple is it here we can see the workings of an interdependent origination. Other successful men and women have become successful because of the people they have sounded themselves with.

Described in another way the idea of an interdependent relationship can be referred to as a “Master Mind.” Defined by Napoleon Hill as “Coordination of Knowledge and Effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” A “Master Mind” is understanding that we can work better together than we can as individuals, in reaching a goal. As we work together in harmony we draw from one another, energy and intelligence grow as it becomes incredibly empowering, and we begin to feel as if everything is flowing, working, and connected, each individual giving their all to the project. This is only possible within an interdependent relationship, where knowledge is given over by each person without resentment or fear.

Growing your circle of friends and talking with people from professions other than your own helps to grow connections and broaden your thinking. It increases our intellectual intelligence as well as our social and emotional intelligence, as we become more comfortable with certain individuals we begin to see and feel that both parties wish to help and work harmoniously. It is not always easy to identify or form these partnerships but it is possible. Not only within the workplace or originations but in your relationships with friends, family or personal partner that such thinking can develop and prosper into interdependent relationships.

Identifying firstly whether you are independent or dependent is an essential step and a worthwhile endeavour. If you are dependent on someone else to provide you with one or more of the five factors of intelligence I described above you may need to ask yourself some hard questions before you proceed into the interdependent dimension of thinking. One cannot become interdependent unless they have first developed into an independent individual.

Thanks for reading if you wish to read my last Blog on “From Dependence to Independence” click on the link


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