What do you think of when you hear the word teamwork? Do you flash on a baseball, football, or soccer game? Do your thoughts head to the office and your most recent group project? We are surrounded by examples of the connection between team membership and improved results at work and at home. Putting the same techniques to work for you by forming smart partnerships can significantly increase your personal and professional success.
Results oriented partnerships work
Two person partnerships are popular because they lead to results. Consider these examples:
- Fitness training – Experts point to numerous benefits of having a workout partner ranging from more regular workouts to faster and better improvements in strength and physique.
- Weight-loss – dieting works better with a buddy. In one year long study, dieters who had a partner dropped twice as many pounds as those who tried to go it alone.
- Housecleaning – Have you heard of the Slob Sisters? They are a pair of real-life sisters who found that teaming up helped them improve their home cleanliness and organization. They shared their team approach and method and its message of success in books, articles, radio and television appearances.
- Career partnerships – professional peers buddying up can perform better and accelerate their progress towards promotion, productivity and earnings goals.
A Partnership Offers Accountability
Why do you get better results when working with a partner? One way that partnerships contribute to success is by providing accountability. It’s a common human trait to take more care when someone is watching. We push just a little bit harder. We force ourselves to show up when we’re tempted to skip. We make sure to do what we’ve said we will do when we’ve told someone else we’re going to do it. A partnership provides regular accountability, keeping you on track and moving towards your goals.
Partnerships Also Increase Execution
Partnerships are also energizing. When your motivation is flagging commitment to a partner helps you stay the course. This is partly because we feel differently about letting someone else down than we do about missing our own goals.
The fun factor is another important partnership element. From physical fitness to being disciplined on a new diet regime almost everything is more enjoyable when done with a partner. Companionship, empathy, a good joke and much more flow freely in a partnership. Striving towards a goal as part of a team can make work feel like fun.
Enhancing Your Results With a Partnership
What can you do to get a partner and get started reaping the benefits that go with it?
First, find the right person to partner with.
Think through your friends and acquaintances and identify someone who you know is working on an objective similar to your own. Perhaps they are also struggling with their weight or have recently joined a gym. Be alert to whether you are compatible. Someone looking for an aerobics partner probably doesn’t want to approach a long distance runner about joint workouts. If you are compulsively prompt a match with a friend famous for spur of the moment schedule changes could be a disaster. Once you’ve identified a potential partner talk to them to see whether they would be interested in teaming up.
Next, discuss your partnership concept.
Ask the person you identify to set aside a few minutes to discuss whether joining up for a team effort might work. Explain how you would work together and the benefits that you see for both of you. Test out whether joining forces is a realistic possibility or problematic because of existing commitments or a difference in philosophy. As part of this process be sure that your future teammate takes the team concept seriously. Listen closely for a strong yes not just a murmur of interest as your discussion proceeds. Doing so will help avoid conflicting expectations in which one person feels like they are in a partnership and one thought it was just being discussed as a possibility.
When you do have agreement, make a plan for working together. Add some detail to your goal that respects your mutual availability and your timeline for reaching your objectives.
- Will you carry out activities together or just report to each other?
- Will you check in daily by phone or e-mail or is a weekly check-in reasonable?
- What do you want to cover when you do check-in to allow for mutual support and accountability?
Agree to have a trial period.
When your plan is in place and you are ready to get started it is usually a good idea to plan a trial period for your team effort. Agree to check in with each other about how your partnership is working in 3, 4 or 6 weeks and state in advance that either person can choose to drop out at that time no questions asked. Building a formal evaluation into the process in advance gives both partners the security that they can pull out of the arrangement if they find it isn’t for them. It also creates an opportunity to discuss any awkwardness that may have developed during your trial which hasn’t yet been discussed between the partners.
Striving to reach a goal is not easy. Although it takes a bit of effort and planning to put together creating a smart partnership can be a huge help on that journey. Give it a try and see whether a partner is your ticket to the success you’re working for.