- Relationships

Authentic Partnerships Empower

What is an authentic partnership? While we form many partnerships throughout life, some are just temporary, some fall apart over time, but the most valuable ones, the essential partnerships are constructed for the long-term, based on mutual respect and personal regard. How important are authentic partnerships in your life?

I recently attended a presentation, “Bravo Zulu”. Dr. Jennifer Carson shared vast information about the relationships we form and how we value each. While she originally focused on the military, examining the various branches and what partnerships might mean to each, I found that every bit of her information was vital for any and all relationships. The more we share and care, the stronger the bonds created.

Certain elements make for a empowerment, equality, and collective capacity. These include having a genuine regard for oneself as well as other members of the partnership, focusing on shared goals and processes, and constructing interconnectedness that builds energy and trust. A shared vision, a belief in one another, decision-making that reflects the wants and needs of all, and using perspectives of self and others to determine the best steps forward.

Some of the requirements to expand relationships include regular reflection and dialogue. Think about a movie you have watched where the characters are mired in confusion and mistrust. As viewers, we have often seen the multiple sides of the situation, however, the actors appear oblivious to external events. Imagine if they just talked? They might then connect and commit to a direction that could solve problems. With conversation comes the idea of a safe place: “I shared and it was accepted; now I can speak once again.” Or the opposite: “That was horrendous – time to cut and run!”

When we value perspectives, ideas, and ideals, relationships grow. Diversity is respected just as commonality is enjoyed and revered. Once the communication gates are open, partners can work to keep them open, or to close them slightly or temporarily when going forward is too painfully, too close to the heart. What a difference one-on-one time makes in designing strength and extending connections.

As mentioned, relationships come in many forms: parent or guardian 1 to parent or guardian 2; parents to children; sibling to sibling; extended family to other family members. Those within this realm are often the toughest, referencing the old adage, “You can choose your friends, but your family has already been chosen.” Like it or not, family is yours forever. Even moving, cutting people off, slicing the ties while adding distance, do not make individuals less related. So why not just talk? Why not try to communicate? Why not consider a relationship? Why not some authenticity?

About Grace Duffy

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