How to Make a Strategic Vision Board Square 2: Relationships

This is step 2 in a series about how to develop a Strategic Vision Board for your business.

In this post, I discuss why building strong relationships is important in strategic planning and how to identify your Ideal Customers.

Read the basics in my Introduction.Strategic Vision Board, Strategic Vision, Strategic Planning, Vision Board, Vision boarding, basic element, yin and yangCheck out Square 1: Reputation

Strategic Vision Board, Strategic Vision, Strategic Planning, Vision Board, Vision boarding, reputation, element, fire element, yin and yang

If you have trouble visualizing abstract ideas like “goals,” “vision,” and “strategy,” this process can help. It uses the Feng Shui concept of the Magic Square (also known as the Bagua Map) as a framework to define a clear strategic vision.

In this post, we’ll discuss the second step in the 9-square process, Relationships.

I will be explaining:

  • the Main Concept,
  • the corresponding Color,
  • a natural Element,
  • the Season,
  • suggested Essential Oils,
  • a Focus Area,
  • its Purpose,
  • the main Goal,
  • some Keywords,
  • a Main Question,
  • Practical Applications to get you started, and
  • some Real-Life Examples.

Square 2: Relationships

This is the top-right square, Relationships (also called “Love” and “Family”).

4 – Abundance 9 – Reputation

2 – Relationships

3 – Health 5 – Center 7 – Creativity
8 – Wisdom 1 – Passions 6 – Journey

Feng Shui number


Strategic Vision Board, Strategic Vision, Strategic Planning, Vision Board, Vision boarding, yin and yang, relationships




Yin Earth

Strategic Vision Board, Strategic Vision, Strategic Planning, Vision Board, Vision boarding, yin and yang, basic element, relationships, yin earth


Late Summer

Essential Oils

Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, and Sandalwood

Strategic Vision Board, Strategic Vision, Strategic Planning, Vision Board, Vision boarding, yin and yang, relationships, essential oil, essential oils, ylang ylang, cananga

Watch my free 9-video series about how to use these essential oils in your strategic vision board!

Free Video Series Strategic Vision Board Essential Oils

Focus Area



Strengthen bonds


Connect with others more deeply


Home, Partnerships, Employee Engagement, Customer Satisfaction

Main Question

“Which connections should we improve?”


Consider the close relationships, friendships, and emotional support system you need to run as successful business.

Review your Contracts, Policies & Procedures, Company Culture, and HR Procedures (OnboardingOffboarding, and Participatory Job Design) from an objective point of view.

How would your staff describe your company if they were totally honest?

What do customers say when they decide to stop using your services?

How do you handle negative feedback—with empathy and curiosity, or with aggression and defensiveness?

Read more: Why Unconscious Aggression is So Hard to See as a Leader

unconscious aggression, aggression, aggressive, behavior, leadership, leader, anger, angry, management, risk management


Practical Applications

Here are 3 ideas for how you can enhance Relationships in your business including how to recognize Ideal Customers, develop a Customer Avatar, and create Healthy Feedback Loops.

Evaluate your Ideal Customers

This is an individual who:

  • arrives to appointments on time
  • is upfront about her/his symptoms and concerns
  • respects your policies and procedures
  • pays you without complaint
  • responds well to services or treatment
  • is a pleasure to serve, and
  • agrees with your philosophy and beliefs.

Create a Customer Avatar

Once you know who you’d like to serve, think about the attributes and characteristics they have in common. Then develop a composite that includes:

  • Demographics (age, gender, relationship status, children, income, education level, political views, financial status)
  • Work roles (owner, director, manager, employee, specialist, or stay-at-home parent; work status, job title, employment status, and responsibilities; industry and sector)
  • Psychographics (hobbies, interests, values, personality type, learning style)
  • Media (most frequent and/or effective way to receive information, favorite books, TV shows, magazines, websites, news sources, social media sites)
  • Goals (what success looks like; ultimate dream; desired end results such as financial stability, wealth, generosity, luxury, freedom, recognition, comfort, etc.)
  • Pain points (top 3 barriers standing in the way of success; what keeps her/him up at night)
  • Fears (Worst thing that could happen; what results they’re not seeing; potential dangers)
  • Objections (top 3 reasons they may not buy from you; expectations and needs)

Define Healthy Feedback Loops

The most effective way to generate high-value ideas is to use a 5-step system:

  1. Empathetic Leaders. Experience the pain of those you serve (especially your Foundational Staff).
  2. Non-Retaliatory Culture. Make sure you welcome ideas, even if they are not pelasant to hear. Intimidation is never a proper response.
  3. Structured Feedback Mechanism. Consider how your feedback is collected. Make sure you are monitoring and testing them regularly.
  4. Analytic Framework. Decide how you will analyze and evaluate the thoughts and experiences being collected.
  5. Visible Follow-Through. In order to make lasting change, make sure you are communicating the decision and monitoring the new process.

feedback loop, healthy feedback, empathetic leaders, structured mechanisms


In the next installment, I will explain the significance of the 3rd square: Center.

Are you a business owner who feels frustrated about planning for the future?
Schedule a free 30-minute call so we can discuss ways you can regain control.

Grace LaConte is a Strategic Risk Expert who helps service business owners find and fix organizational vulnerabilities. Using her experience as a Risk Officer in the healthcare and technology fields, Grace shares a refreshingly honest approach to uncovering hidden risks and opportunities. Learn more at, or connect with her on Twitter @lacontestrategy.

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