FOR THE LOVE OF RELATIONSHIPS – Essential collaboration in the workplace and in romance

Businesses thrive when collegial relationships are highly functional. Most CEOs value a healthy corporate culture where teammates get along and care about each other. Companies rely on collaboration and working together toward common goals. For companies to succeed, teams must be purposeful, intentional, stay on task to meet the achievable goals in the time frame allotted by the company’s leadership. This is also true for romantic attachments. Workplace or romantic partner goals are not met when there are uneven workloads, someone drops the ball, participation is one-sided, power-trips, and attention-seeking behaviors are present. 

Many companies approve large budget expenditures to develop, improve or maintain relationships in the workplace because they know that this directly impacts turnover rates, productivity, and the overall success of the business. Some companies spend thousands of dollars on outside consultants to optimize relationships of coworkers.  

Romantic relationships can benefit from the same kind of expertise. Although romantic and corporate relationships are very different, they share many common elements. Both include mutual respect, communication and problem-solving skills, spending time together, depending on one another, and, many times, both types of relationships are long-term and collaborative in nature. 

Think about your romantic relationship as a collaboration. Collaborations are built on working together to complete household chores, managing a budget, paying bills, planning vacations, raising children, setting goals and planning for the future. Couples might even collaborate sexually. 

Healthy relationships require interdependence rather than independence, considering one another’s feelings, plans, personality characteristics, love languages, opinions, goals. motivations, passions, gifts, talents, and hope and dreams. Doing this takes careful collaboration and connectedness. Building this kind of collaborative becomes tricky and fraught with danger, high emotion, or negativity as it requires to trust and reliance on one another. 

Romantic partners know that making a large purchase together like a home or a car requires high levels of trust.  Constructing furniture or building something together takes collaboration. To reach shared goals couples must be coordinated and fully and equally engaged. One person in the coupling cannot let the other down by not doing their part. Both people must be intentional and focused. Not surprisingly those who have a partner who is not reliable get angry and frustrated. 

Collaborations can easily fall apart at home or at work when there is an uneven workload, and more responsibility is placed on one person. Collaborations are in danger when contributions are inconsistent or when there is a power imbalance. Collaborations will not work if there is not equal participation or engagement, or one person consistently drops the ball making more work for the other.  The team at work or at home will certainly get frustrated and annoyed. There are many examples of undermining a collaborative at work or at home such as passive aggressive behaviors, not engaging in hard conversations, not setting realistic expectations or boundaries, codependency or enabling unreliability. 

Whether at home or at work, it is essential to learn how collaborations can thrive or fail so all can enjoy a more harmonious and productive workplace or romantic relationship. For information about how to develop a healthy workplace or romantic relationships, contact joneen@myrelationshipcenter.org