PART SIX: Building A Working Relationship
Feelings play a big role in any partnership – love or otherwise.
Anytime you need to negotiate with someone else to get what you want, feelings drive most of your failures and successes.
So this advice can be helpful even when you’re looking for a job or trying to pitch a new project to someone, or looking for a friend. How you feel about someone is important.
Many people think that platonic relationships don’t involve as much emotional diligence as romantic ones. To some extent that’s true, mainly because people usually spend less time with their platonic partners than with their romantic ones.
But oftentimes with work relationships, this ‘norm’ can be reversed.
Anyone that you spend a lot of time with is a partner.
Let’s go back to the house analogy for a little while. Most people think of business partners as people who have made it into the yard, but might not have earned a room inside the house yet.
And that is fine; we’re not saying you need to treat your business partners as your best friends and family. In fact, it’s usually best if you don’t. Instead, you might try thinking of each platonic relationship as a garden plot within your yard… it still needs tending.
How do you best tend a garden?
Well, there will always be some things you cannot control, much in the same way you can’t completely control sunlight and the weather. Those are external conditions. What you can do is pay attention to how you can help the garden flourish.
When it seems wilted from lack of attention, offer it ‘water’ (but not too much at once). When it seems to be choking with weeds from being too crowded, clear it out a little and step back. And when it seems to have completely died back, then let go and clear the plot for a fresh garden next season.
Not everyone is a perennial, and sometimes even the shortest relationships can nourish you as profoundly as long-term ones.
Not all of your platonic partners may want to be part of your garden plot, so try your best to sense this and respect everyone’s boundaries. You can still care for them, even if they are wild primroses growing in the grass outside your fence.
Anything more we might say about partners at this point would need to get very specific, and that’s beyond the scope of this book. If at some point you’d like to request a book on relationships, We’ll be happy to accommodate you. What we’ve given you here are some nice guidelines, and everything else in this volume is also relevant to relationships.
We’d like to finish this chapter by saying that if you regard all your partnerships as Emanations, they will always bring you the lessons you need in order to make progress, and that makes a truly meaningful relationship.