The ability to act reciprocally is fundamental to the on-going development of shared understandings and shared agreements, the foundations of sustained relationship success.
A Touch of Reciprocity Magic
When you think and act reciprocally, almost immediately three magical things begin to happen.
- 1 -
You feel good about yourself and those you work with.
- 2 -
They feel good about themselves and those they work with.
- 3 -
Just when you least expect it (because if you expect it, it won’t happen), those that you work with start thinking and acting in ways that help you to be successful.
Relationships need more ‘Reciprocity Magic’!
Reciprocity as ‘a focus on the other’ represents our ability to move away from an exclusive focus on our own perspectives and seek to understand the perspectives of those we are in relationship with.
FEEL GOOD FUNDAMENTALS
A FOCUS ON THE OTHER
When it comes to relationship success, it works like this…
We have our own ideas about any number of particular aspects of relationships and that’s great. However, we recognise that for the relationship to be successful it is critical that we understand the thinking of those we seek to be or are in relationship with.
“Other-Discovery” is the practice of reciprocity. At the simple level, the practice involves asking two very straightforward reciprocity questions…
“Please, tell me what YOU think?” and “Why is it that YOU think this way?”
The complexity of the practice becomes apparent as we seek to maintain this ‘other’ focus. In other words, it's simple enough to ask the questions. It's a much more complex practice to actually care about and use the answers we get to shape our future thinking.
Learning everything we can about ‘the other’ in our relationship is important. There are however, some crucial ‘other-discoveries’ to make as we work to develop and maintain shared understandings, shared agreements and relationship success.
Here is a list of our top five relationship ‘other-discoveries’
1. RELATIONSHIP PURPOSE
Why are we in this relationship? What is it we want to achieve together?
2. RELATIONSHIP EXPECTATIONS
What is it we individually and collectively expect from this relationship? How do we each expect this relationship to work? What will the outcomes be if the relationship is successful?
3. CURRENT STATUS
What do we each see happening now from where we sit in the relationship?
4. CURRENT STATUS ANALYSIS
What aspects of the relationship do we think is working now? What aspects do we think are not working now? Why do we think that might be so?
5. OPTIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD
What option do we have to move forward to achieve our relationship purpose more completely or consistently? What do we need to do next?
Important Note: Never assume you know! Remember our perspectives are in a state of constant change. Other-discovery and the development of shared understandings and shared agreements are continuous processes of exploration and confirmation.
Developing meaning and understanding about anything can only be regarded as probabilities and possibilities, or indicators of a limited view, at one point in time. These concepts defy being known, predicted, accurately measured or controlled. They are not rational, logical, and ordered, but irrational, illogical, and muddled concepts.
When we engage in the process of other-discovery our intent is to:
Look at, understand, learn from, and respond to what is happening NOW!
Be aware, be flexible, be immediate, be better, faster learners from what just happened”.
We are literally “winging it and making it up as we go"!
Our other-discovery mindset is focused on exploring and expanding both the scope and nature of our understandings. Instead of trying to find the one ‘best’ answer, we seek to increase our view of as many possibilities and probabilities as possible. Within the logistical limitations of time and availability, the more people with their different perspectives, involved more often, the more possibilities and probabilities we have to inform us.
AT THE HEART OF RELATIONSHIP DIFFICULTIES