We establish a relationship with everyone, be it the postman, colleagues, your family and clients.
We don’t often think before the relationship begins how we want to “BE” before it starts. The more transitory the less of a need to analyse. My relationship with my postman is bright and breezy and works perfectly.
Last week I had an interaction with a decorator which as a relationship was never going well even from the start. If we had both labeled what we wanted out of the relationship maybe the outcome would have been different.
I wanted a professional service with minimal disruption to our family life.
We can guess the decorator wanted to be paid fairly and with minimal input from the client and a nice atmosphere to work in.
Deadlines have not been met, and over familiarity at the beginning makes it hard to establish what is fair. We never established what we both wanted from our relationship.
Labelling a relationship as a separate entity and saying how do you want to BE with in it, is a great way of contracting with each other and working together. Even if you cannot say it out loud to the other person, think about anyone you come into contact with – how do you want to BE with them…?
By viewing the relationship as a thing on its own you can look from 3 positions as to what you want to resolve or achieve going forward.
- Your position – you know what you need
- Their position – think about what they need
- Relationship – what does it need
Needs give you clarity and a path to move forward.
If I think back to my situation I wanted to be welcoming as a client however I should have given clear boundaries and clearer deadlines. We often forget to be as professional outside of work as in.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a workshop on working with others.
We deliver 90 minutes of learning and coaching for professional services.