All You Gotta Know is How to Pick Your Partners January 16, 2006Posted by Yvonne in Distinctions, Evolution of We, Power of Dialogue.
An Historical Reference: I was 19, too young to drink legally, and had just started in my first “real job”. After hours, a group of us would trundle on over to the local dive bar, I’d slip to the back, and we’d play pinball till the traffic died down.
The rules: first two in are a team, second two in are the challengers, and everyone puts a quarter in to start. Losers buy the drinks; next challengers put in the quarters. I quickly learned that even if I was having an off night, if my partner was having a great night, all the drinks and games would be covered. Yes, I did get my name on the wall a couple times for high individual and high team score, but that’s beside the point.
So thanks to the guys and gals at The Sands, I found out early:
All you gotta know is how to pick your partners.
Since then, this wisdom is being refined to include:
Alone, I’m mostly unreliable.
Partner Principle #1 Anyone Anytime: I don’t know about you, but frequently, especially when I’m trying to get something tough done alone, I can get lost in my head. And it’s a bad neighborhood, so now I try not to go there alone. Dialogue works. Somehow two heads are better than one, especially if they are conscious and committed — because then there’s the chance at playing in “the between”. Someone’s listening, and I can hear myself think.
And then just last week, a whole new dimension popped open, vis:
Getting in communication works – except when it doesn’t.
Partner Principle #2 Rarely Someone Everytime: Even though we’d really, really like them to be, those close to us — one’s spouse, business partner, co-worker, brother, mom, neighbor or best friend — may not be the most effective partner for all occasions.
How it doesn’t work: You can tell it’s not working because after trying to discuss the thing you’re dealing with with someone, you don’t have a whole lot to show for it. No new thinking, no new energy on the subject, no breakthroughs in being, no real results. Nothing, except it’s later in the day and maybe you have a few things written down for tomorrow’s To Do list. But even that’s not really compelling — and if I’m truthful, I’d have to admit that I’m still going to not do what’s needed. Or on the slim chance I would do what’s needed, I’ll do it under duress, complaining and dragging my feet.
How it works:
- Leverage Love: It was a long time ago and I was stuck – too many things to deal with, not sure where to start, except I really did know – I really did, but somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to a-c-t-u-a-l-l-y st-st-sta-start! Then my sister called and asked how I was doing. I said I needed a “kick in the butt.” She said something like: “Move you’re blummin’ arse!” I said thanks and hung up and then just went and made it happen. What the heck was that?
- Explore Expertise: It’s been 8 years since I knew the deck needed repair, but had I done anything real about that? Nope, other than fretting here and there and a few converstations with contractors that had gone basically nowhere. But this winter along comes Roni. He’s a carpenter; he knows wood. And he really likes “messy remodels”. Suddenly, that rotting deck could be ignored no longer. Within a few hours, we’d gotten clear on the plan, and he jumped right in. Weather permitting, after 8 years, it’s finally getting handled. What the heck was that?
- Nail it Now: Just last week, I was having trouble getting things done for a non-profit I support. Met and worked with and had emails back and forth with my partners on that. Thought about it, ruminated about it, rescheduled it, beat myself up about it, journalled about it, went over and over it with different friends, called my family, wondered whether to bow out altogether, and not until chai buddy Tom Portante said: “What do you have to do? How long with that take? Let’s go do it – now.” did it actually happen. In one hour, with him sitting next to me at my computer, helping me refine my thoughts on what I was trying to communicate, helping me just stay focussed (“No, we’re not doing that right now.”) and 5 major things that needed to get done for over 2 months were effortlessly completed. What the heck was that?
Latest Lesson Learned: In this most recent episode (#3 above) I learned, that while I was looking for a Thought Partner, what I really needed was an Action Partner. Duh! Thought Partners open up new ways of thinking (one of my favorite pastimes!); Action Partners open up new ways of doing. And unfortunately, not everyone in my life yet has the capacity to be both all the time, or even to be exactly what I may need at the moment … however much I might wish they did.
Delayed Flash of Brilliance: No matter how much I love them, some people are just not the right partner for me regarding this thing right now.
So now part of creating my environment for self-empowerment is knowing which kind of partner I need right now. That’s cool.
Potential Future Inquiry: types of partners and how to tell them apart; picking partners: when and where and why