Life is about partnering with other people - family, friends, work associates, and partners in ministry. An effective partnership doesn’t just happen. Like any relationship, it takes time and effort by both people in the partnership.
Here are four things that are essential for an effective work partnership:
1. Develop a good relationship. Your working relationship is very important. The better the relationship, the better you will work together. Make the time and effort to get to know each other and to understand how each person thinks and feels. Take an interest in them as a person.
2. Communicate well. Every relationship is developed, maintained, and enhanced through communication. Communication involves both speaking and listening. Other people can’t read your mind. Share what you think and feel, as well as what you want done and how you want it done. Assume nothing. Be clear. Clarify expectations. Make time to talk together, especially when develop a new relationship.
3. Encourage each other. Be grateful (say ‘thank you’ often!), show appreciation, and acknowledge effort. Affirm what the other person is doing right.
4. Give constructive feedback. Everyone wants to do well at their work. If something is not as you want it, say so. Learn to ‘speak the truth in love’. Be open to feedback from other people. They see things you don’t. Their perspective is vital. Listen to them. In addition, raise and deal with issues quickly. Don’t let them fester.
5. Realise the importance of confidentiality. Know what should be said in what context. Use discretion. Be trustworthy with private information. Give people enough information so they can do their job well, without feeling like they are in the ‘dark’.
The power of partnership is worth the effort!