Posted by & filed under #COVID19, Relationships.

The COVID-19 crisis led to a situation, in which many of us found ourselves held up with a partner, who we normally hardly get to see. Then we shared living quarters, work-space kitchen 24/7, this is still the case for some. Crisis like this can be stressful for a relationship and it can also create time and space for long overdue relationship maintenance. Productive partnerships are not only limited to romantic relationships, but also professional business colleges, joint causes; any time you join with another person or people a partnership is formed. The thing I love about this topic is how it relates to groups and team coaching which is all about the united purpose, creating value for all stakeholders, outside-in and future-back.

Here is a few tips and strategies of how to co-create, embrace, and expand partnerships to be more productive! And if you have any ideas or suggestions about productive partnerships, please share them by clicking here, or simply go to my blog and comment on one of my blogs around this topic.

Tip 1: Balance is a core ingredient of every relationship.

Do you feel you are contributing more than your partner and expect more from him or her? Do you think you are falling short? The only way to find out if both partners truly are experiencing a balanced relationship is through communication. If you have the feeling of imbalance, you should address it in a frank but loving way. If you feel the topic could be sensitive, create a setting of comfort and trust, and don’t choose a time when one of you is experiencing excessive stress. Sometimes opening to a topic that has been undisturbed but also unsatisfying for too long can lead to a surprising result. You may experience that your partner shares your feelings about the balance in the relationship. You may, however experience, that the perceptions about this topic are very different. In that case, you need to have an open discussion and formulate reasonable and creative solutions. Sometimes the imbalances are based on faulty assumptions about, what the other partner wants, and imbalances can be equalized easily. In other cases, some shortcomings require both sides to make concessions and compromises. However, shouldn’t a functioning relationship be worth trade-offs?

Tip 2: Allow each other to be who you are if you choose to stay together.

Many times, the honeymoon phase of a relationship doesn’t sharpen our senses for imperfections. However, when the newness wears off, we might discover characteristics that aren’t quite as attractive as the traits that let us choose this specific partner in the first place. When this leads to severe irritations, it is time to find out which characteristics on both sides are simply habits that can be changed easily in the interest of the relationship; and which parts are actual components of a personality that demanding change would be expecting from the partner to give up authenticity. Examples of differences would be laziness in the household, which one partner may be willing to modify in the interest of harmony. If, however, a partner who is passionate about traveling or motorbiking is asked to give up those passions to join the other partner in gardening in order to share more hobbies, this might demand something that is incompatible with the unique personality and would create unhealthy results for the relationship. Again, this requires open, loving communication in good faith on both sides. In a functioning relationship, it should be possible to get clarity about habits and actual character traits.

Tip 3: Find the good, increase the positive.

While I am far from denying the value of applying and accepting healthy criticism, any crisis is a time in which I recommend finding the good in what your partner does. Being locked up together is not a good time for “who left the cap off the toothpaste?” discussions. Research shows that couples in stressful situations are getting through the situation better when they have trust that their partner is there for them. This doesn’t mean that you have to solve each other’s problems or even try to do that. The trick is to listen to each other carefully, reflect that you understand, and have mutual empathy. Listening can create enough feelings of trust and faith in each other to turn the pandemic into a time in which your relationship flourishes.

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