Relationship Rule #1 states that, in any relationship you will encounter differences. Men and women’s communication styles are very different. South Americans have a different sense of timeliness than North Americans. Operations people tend to value processes differently than sales people. Millennials appreciate technology differently than Boomers do. An introvert views a company party very differently than an extrovert does.
And differences tend to create a sense of tension. The beauty of tension is that it has something powerful residing within it – energy. You don’t get to decide whether energy will get released from the tension – you do get to decide whether it will be intelligent energy or destructive energy.
At work, we deal with business tensions every day:
- Meet the global needs of the organization and meet the individual needs of the employee.
- Achieve economic and ecological success.
- Do what’s good for the present and for the future.
- Provide a differentiated, tailor-made customer experience and reduce costs.
- Use technology to drive efficiency and help employees feel that face-to-face connection.
- Develop peoples’ careers and maximize productivity.
Great leaders stand right in the middle of the tension, use the power of the and, harmonize the conflicting needs and in so doing, release a powerful energy that drives sustainable results.
I’m beginning to think that in relationships, love lives right in the middle of the tension. My partner Theresa and I have been together for twenty-nine years. I started off the relationship swallowing my needs, overlooking issues and stuffing my frustrations in an attempt to meet Theresa’s needs. That didn’t work. It created bitterness and resentment. I wasn’t loving myself. Then I tried to make sure I got my own needs met. That didn’t work either. It created a pendulum of fiery explosions and icy wildernesses. I wasn’t loving Theresa.
Love lives in the tension. It’s the drive to get your own needs met and the drive to ensure your partner’s needs get met. Love both covers our partner’s inadequacies and calls out their bad behavior. Love accommodates and demands growth.
When two people stand right in the middle of their relational tensions and extend themselves to invest in their own highest good and highest good of the other, astonishing energy is released.
Co-Founder of Juice Inc, Thought Leader & Author
Co-Founder of Juice Inc.
General Manager and Director of Sales
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