This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

The metaphor of dancing partners is perfect for real relationships—the kind that are based on authenticity, openness, and trust. It conjures up images of give and take, synchronization, graceful movement, and being in step and in tune with one another.

To partner well is to:

  • Be willing and able to lead as well as follow;
  • Balance assertiveness and cooperation;
  • Deal with disagreements and missteps productively and gracefully;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to sharing responsibility for achieving a goal.

If you’re not experiencing the kind of partnership you want in a particular relationship, ask yourself what kind of partner you are being.

You may be getting what you’re giving.

Bonus: Making it Real

This week, note which you tend to do more in your relationships with others—lead or follow.

Then, make a point to do the opposite for one day—in the spirit of George Costanza from the US sitcom Seinfeld, who resolves to start doing the complete opposite of what he would do normally in the 86th episode. Create your own experiment, and reflect on it: What was easy? What was hard? What surprised you about the experience?

Learn More


The following two tabs change content below.

Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).