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Are You the String, the Bow, or Both?


Richard Peck smiling in suit jacket and red tie

Flowers, candy, cards, and Cupid. Is this what comes to mind when you think of February? After all, this is the month of St. Valentine’s Day. Or do you view February as a month to reflect on your relationships? Those that you would like to strengthen, as well as those that you would like to develop.

An interesting characteristic of Cupid is his bow, which, at first, may seem to be odd for a cherub to have. Believe it or not, Cupid’s bow can be used to describe relationships, regardless of whether the relationship is between individuals or with a group or a team you lead.

How can a bow be used to describe a relationship? Let me explain. As the string is pulled back, the bow bends or gives. The stronger the pull, the greater the bend. If the string pulls too hard, the bow will break; conversely, if the bow remains too rigid, the string will break. Just like a relationship, it’s all about give-and-take. Take too much and the relationship will fail; give too little and the relationship will fail. When you reflect upon your relationships, are you the string, the bow, or a little of both?

Believe it or not, Cupid’s bow can be used to describe relationships between individuals or with a group or team you lead.

Building and maintaining relationships is more than just give-and-take, but knowing how to balance the two is vital to understanding the dynamic of relationships. Knowing what you are asking of others, or what they are asking of you, and knowing how they, or you, are likely to respond will help you identify the balance in the relationship. I have had personal experience with trying to pull a team too hard. The harder I pulled the greater the resistance I felt. Needless to say, the relationship was not successful.

As you continue to strengthen your current relationships and work on developing new ones, remember Cupid’s bow and ask yourself, Am I pulling too hard … giving too little … or is everything in balance? Relationships are built throughout the year, not just in February, but this is the time of year that we tend to reflect on them!

There is evidence that having close, positive relationships gives us a purpose and sense of belonging. This is more evident today, in these challenging times, than ever before. I wish you much success as you continue to build new relationships and strengthen existing ones.


Richard E. Peck, DTM

International President


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