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Navigating Partnerships

Who decides how largely you live? Have you taken responsibility for your life or have you forfeited control to a cost-collecting landlord? Are you paying for a life space to which you are inherently entitled? Here’s a TIP: Take command of your life! Become your own landlord...

Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for a change.” --Ramsay Clark A partnership is a lot like marriage: the reasons two people stay together are usually not the reasons they got together in the first place. As life progresses, each person evolves and changes. Unless individuals adapt to the other person’s personal growth and development, the relationship can stagnate or even become antagonistic. Personal growth and development occur at several levels. On the individual level, a person may experience changes in attitude, interest, abilities, and goals over time. What might be personally intriguing at age 30 may be less motivating at age 50.

These are the types of questions that Navigating Partners ask:
  • Where are we going?
  • Why are we going there?
  • Why can you count on me to get us there?
  • What can I expect from you?
  • How can we harness and enhance out combined talents, passions, and skills?
  • What’s our plan of action?
  • What resources do we need?
  • How will we handle conflict and differences of opinion?
  • Where can we take charge, make things happen, and self-initiate?
For Navigators, “the buck stops here” and “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” Navigators don’t get caught in the blame game: “We got screwed,” and “It’s not our fault.”

No one is immune. We all experience hardships. What’s the difference between those who deal with difficulties head on, learn, recover, and move on, and those who fall apart, become overwhelmed, and give up. In other words, Victim Partnership. And Navigator Partnership. What’a Victim Partnership? About 20-25% of Partnerships fit the description of Victim Partnerships. The Victim Partnership Beliefs:

Sometimes upsets roll off your back and sometimes they don’t. It’s great when you go through the day as if you’re sprayed with an invisible shield of Teflon. Situational upsets and frustrations stay at a low impact level and you don’t take anything personally. Then there are those days where the Teflon disappears and the “slings and arrows” of everyday life hit deep and you get “triggered.”

“There were the best of times, there were the worst of times.” These sentences begin the famous book, “The Tale of Two Cities” by Alexandra Dumas. Partnerships can be great and at times terrible depending on the situation. Disagreements, squabbles, debates, and arguments can create difficult discussions for partners.

Where there is danger, there lurks opportunity; whenever there is opportunity, there lurks danger. The two are inseparable.” - Earl Nightingale. Breakdowns are inevitable in a partnership, especially if there are big dreams, goals, and risks. In strong partnerships, partners may get upset, frustrated, or angry but they don’t succumb to negative thinking and pessimism. They don’t bring up the past; they learn to move on. They use life’s challenges as opportunities for learning, breakthrough, and recommittment to action. Resilient partners learn to “right themselves and regain their footing.” Similar to the experience in piloting a small sailboat where capsizing is a constant companion, resilient partners simply figure out what to do to get the operation back in position after a project “capsizes.”

business partnership successA healthy partnership is does not mean the partners are always in a placid state of agreement. Disagreements are normal and natural in healthy partnerships. Words can be exchanged and tempers frayed. Whether or not it’s just a difference of opinion or an argument, partners need to talk things out. Someone has to initiate the “talking it out” conversation. It might as well be you! That’s one way you bring added value to your partnership. You provide an opportunity to create mutual understanding, respect, and problem solving. Your conversation might go something like this:

Partners often disagree. Sometimes disagreements throw partners off task. Rather than simply recognizing there are different points of view or perspectives about some issue, partners can slip into a dangerous, locked in location: the world of right or wrong thinking; the power struggle. In the power struggle, partners get positioned into a single minded thinking, “My way, not yours” or “I’m right, you’re wrong.” Collaboration falls by the wayside, giving way to a more competitive, heels dug in way of communicating.