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10 Steps To Working In Harmony

May 24, 2008
It is said that life moves in mysterious ways. None of us can imagine what might be possible when we decide to step out, take a risk and work in harmonious partnership with someone to fulfil a shared passion. We offer our 10 steps to working together in harmony that we learned along our way.

We are two very ordinary women, born on different continents, with different backgrounds and different cultures. Neither of us had a huge master plan, and certainly no great ideas about fame and fortune.

Although we haven't yet achieved fame and fortune, we have co-authored a book while faced with many obstacles; first we had no clue how to write a book or move forward at each phase, second we are divided by the Atlantic Ocean. The completion of our book is a huge accomplishment for us and representative of the limitless possibilities through co-creation.

These steps are applicable to everyone whether it's sharing kitchen space to fix a family meal (the "two women in the kitchen syndrome") or creating and following through on a community project.


1. Spend time getting to know--truly know--the person you are working with. Don't be afraid of general chit-chat and sharing. If it's honest and sincere it will serve to build up your partnership, for this is what you are creating. Remove yourself from a work environment: take coffee breaks, lunch breaks, even evenings out together--do it!

2. On these occasions, spend time getting clear about your shared passion and vision. Check out how well you understand each other before you even start the project. Do not assume your passions and visions are identical--ask questions of each other getting as specific as possible. It's essential to know that you are indeed on the same path, not ones that run parallel and never meet or even diverge after a short while.

3. Love who you are working with for who they are--not their status, their experience, their standing or age. Just simply for the fact they are another human being who will be sharing a particular path with you for some time in your life. Without love you will not be able to pull each other up when the going gets tough.

4. Keep an open mind. You may wittingly or unwittingly expect the "project" to go in a particular way or you may have your special and individual way of working, so will the other person. There's always a lot to learn from each other. Appreciate her/his different way of seeing the world. Be prepared to try her/his way or find a completely different way that will suit both of you.

5. Be totally honest with each other. The need for crucial conversations (speaking what you sense to be difficult) will arise. Trying to sweep misunderstandings, hurt feelings, etc. under the carpet will not work in service of true harmony.

6. Let go of your own vested interest for the sake of the greater good. Vested interest can cover a multitude of different dimensions from the investment of time (for which there is usually little or no recompense) to the investment of your intellectual property. It also covers your habits, beliefs and values - those very things that make you who you are. When working with others, attachment to what is your own can truly get in the way of progress.

7. Stay in the present and take one step at a time. You may have to rein each other back as our natural tendency and training is to achieve a positive outcome via the quickest route possible. Sometimes this simply is not in integrity with who you are or the project vision.

8. Play to strengths and seek balance between challenging yourself and pacing yourself. Again honesty is important because you need to know what is driving you to take on a particular aspect of a project. Is it truly your strength? Do you want a challenge? These are positive reasons. Discard thoughts that lead you to consider yourself as less than capable, or less than your partner or anything negative.

9. When obstacles or "failures" arise, do not let them stop you. And certainly do not let them lead to blame. When something goes wrong, learn from it and find your way through it--there's always a way. You will need to find it together and take it.

10. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate--no matter how small the step may seem. Let acknowledgement of each other become a positive habit; let celebration become the way you operate--either jointly or singly, it really does not matter.

If you follow these steps you will be amazed how easy and enjoyable your joint projects will become.

Copyright 2008 Lynn Hull and Julie Molner
About the Author
Lynn Hull and Julie Molner, professional life coaches, co-authored "Your Life Your Way: The Essential Guide for Women" despite living across the Atlantic Ocean from one another. They are passionate about the unlimited possibilities that exist for all! http://www.essentialguideforwomenblog.com
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