Forge effective partnerships

Forging effective partnerships

The world around us has changed. How should we respond – as individuals, teams and organizations? Individuals must demonstrate agility. Teams should forge effective partnerships with customers and collaborators. Organizations must apply people and assets to strike the right balance between creation, maintenance and destruction.

This is a small game we play to illustrate effective partnering. Have people in a group partner in pairs. Partners stand as shown in relation to each other and wrestle arms. A point is scored by pushing the partner’s elbow past the hip. The aim is to maximize the number of points.

Play two rounds of two minutes each. Ask who has the highest score. The median score tends to be 4 to 6 depending on the group.

Ask how the score can be over a hundred. Play another round. See if any pair cuts a different path.

The different path is one of partnership. Nobody spoke of scoring points at the expense of the other. When both players partner to drive the score up high, they stop resisting each other and start cooperating. They move their hands back and forth as fast as possible.

Any time you encounter resistance in a relationship with another, could it be that you are thinking of gaining points at the expense of the other? Can you think of setting it up differently, so it is a win for both involved?

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