When it comes to our everyday lives, we usually don't live life completely alone. At some point we partner up with someone at work or in our personal lives. What does it take to have a good partnership? Here are a few of my thoughts:
Rules of Engagement - The first rule of a good partnership is to outline your expectations and find out theirs. Not following this step can lead to a lot of hurt and disappointment. Also, even when you have everyone's expectations out there, be prepared that they will change as time and situations change. Whether it's in the workplace or in a relationship, nothing and no one stays completely the same! New expectations come with new challenges and communicating those expectations can save a lot of heartache down the road.
Share Goals - Even if you have your expectations all lined out, it can't just stop there, you need to share your goals as well. Having common goals will keep the partnership strong and on the right track. You won't be able to reach the goals you want to reach if your partner's goals are in the opposite direction. Just like expectations, goals can change too. You may find that a goal you have isn't good for your partnership in general and you may need to adjust by coming up with a common one that fits everyone's goals better. Sharing your goals gives insight to your dreams, desires and how you will see what is important. Your partner can't work with you if they don't know those things about you and vice versa.
All In, Always - In any partnership, you can't just be half in one day and all in another day. It requires 100% of your commitment all the time. The most successful companies will have partnerships where everyone does their part to the best of their ability. They care about what happens to the company and they want it to be a success. In a relationship, the best relationships have the same "all in" behavior. If you want to have a successful partnership, you need to be completely committed to making it work, no matter what the circumstance. It takes both (or all) partners working together, not just one. Sometimes, a company or relationship can stay together for a long time even with one partner not really doing their part, but eventually this brings resentment to the other partner or partners who are working diligently. This will cause the partnership to never reach it's full potential for success. If your desire is for the partnership to thrive, then you need to be all in--always.
When to Dig In or Move On - During any course of a partnership, hard times will come. It may hit every partner, such as some shift in a company when a strategy isn't working and it needs to change or one of the partners may be having an individual crisis. Do you just cut your losses and close the company or end the relationship? If everyone did that when something hard comes along, there would be no successful partnerships in business or personally as well! A good partnership will work together to come up with a solution on how to face the hard situation and support their team during that time. You work to help carry that partner when they are having a rough time, not just because some day you may be having a hard time and will need the help yourself, but because you are committed to the partnership itself first. It is important to you. You care. However, there are times that no matter how hard you throw yourself into a partnership, it may not work out. Expectations may become too hard to meet, goals may change and no matter how hard you may be working at it, if others in the partnership don't care as much, it just may become too much of a burden to live through. Those are the times you may need to cut your losses and move on and find another partnership where you can thrive and be the person you were always meant to be! I make this sound easy. It is not. Whether it is a career situation or a personal one, when a partnership ends it is devastating and can feel like a huge loss. You may grieve for a while and you may need time to evaluate what kind of partnership you really want and need in your career or life. Sometimes this can affect your expectations and goals for the next partnership and it can be hard to trust and move on. But you can and will move on. Hopefully with more insight, determination and strength than before.
Our work or personal lives are much richer working with someone by your side. Building something of value with someone is one of the greatest joys one can have. It's well worth the risk to see what you and someone else can build together. You never know what wonderful thing may come of it!