I’ve just completed tutoring/facilitating an accreditation programme in the UK for the Organisation Workshop. The dialogue with participants and with my co-facilitator, Marcia Hyatt, and the experience of a living inquiry over 5 days opened up more clearly a dimension of what is means to live and work in partnership.
My experience is that most of us, much of the time, certainly myself, experience the ‘stuff’ of life as about us. There is a self-referencing aspect to the way we see and interpret the world. We easily get caught up in certain kinds of story where we are the ‘star of the show’: the hero, victim or martyr. Partnership, at its most basic is being connected with others in relationships where we are jointly committed to some shared endeavour: work projects, organisations whose purpose we care about, families, communities... This implies, but is not always realised, that we actively put our attention onto the other as well as ourselves and to the relationship between us. We need to cultivate the capacity for shifting our attention onto the other and for seeing and hearing their stories, issues, concerns, needs, values, as well as our own.
In fact, as Barry Oshry, indicates we need two sets of ‘muscle’ (or capacity) to create robust human partnerships that endure:
Being a person who see others - who gets who they are and what is important to them, who gets behind them and moves them ahead in their world.
Being a person who let others know who you are, what is important to you, who allows them to get behind you and move you ahead in your world.
I noticed from the week that I need and want to strengthen the former.
How about you?
Which ‘muscle’ of partnership do you need to strengthen?