Actions speak louder than words. But, sometimes our ears are only tuned in to the words. So what happens when we’ve gotten ourselves involved in a relationship with a person or a partnership with a group of people, that sounded one way but turned out to be something else? Do we head for the hills or stick it out?
Don’t ignore what’s been revealed.
Sometimes the person or group of people that once had your ear but now repel your heart, are genuinely what you thought. But their actions may be flawed by the way they see life, past experiences, or inadequate processes or systems. In situations like this, make your boundaries known. And, if the other party is open to change in order to correct the flaws within the relationship or partnership, do your part to help. Don’t try to be a savior to a broken person or a group of people with broken processes, just do what you can while maintaining your boundaries. But how do know what your boundaries are?
What are your core values?
“Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help companies to determine if they are on the right path and fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide.”1
Your core values are your boundaries. They dictate our beliefs, which fuel our expectations, that lead to specific attitudes toward a situation that will cause us to act in a certain way given the situation.2 You can tell if those boundaries are being tested by the attitude you have toward the other party or the actions that you are exhibiting. Are your expectations being met? Sometimes our expectations may be unrealistic, which may hint to beliefs or core values potentially flawed within us. If you find this is the case, own it and move forward. Reevaluate the relationship or partnership and determine how deep it should be or whether it should exist at all. However, how do you move forward in the midst of flawed core values, beliefs, and expectations within relationships or partnerships?
Maneuvering rough waters.
White water rafting is a popular recreational sport with varying degrees of difficulty. Essentially, when a riverbed has a steep slope, is obstructed or constricted, the movement of the water across that area causes turbulence, which makes the water appear white. In your relationships or partnerships, if you see white water, make sure you have the proper knowledge and skill level to navigate it. Some areas of white water are so dangerous, even the most skilled person is not advised to navigate it.
When navigating through rough areas in relationships and partnerships, the first thing to remember is that all people have value and deserve respect. You don’t have to agree with everybody on everything, but you do have to respect that every person is a human being first. A certain level of courage is necessary to work with others when you don’t agree. You will have to identify the consistencies between your core values, and in most cases, there will be inconsistencies, but there should be some shared core values. Within those core values that are consistent, find a way to be productive. Productivity is the key to growth. Things that don’t grow, die.
So before you head for the hills, remember these main points:
- Check your core values and beliefs.
- Determine how rough the relationship or partnership is by measuring the differences in core values, expectations and attitudes.
- Decide on whether your ability to navigate the roughness is adequate or do you need assistance.
- Productivity is key to growth. If growth isn’t happening, the opposite is happening.
- Remember that we are all humans and each of us deserves respect even when we don’t agree.
1Definition of core values was retrieved from YourDictionionary.com (http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-core-values.html)
2Tracy, B. (2010). Goals. Oakland: Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.