“A relationship rests not only on conscious compatibility . . . but also on complementarity of repressed parts of each personality where the unconscious communication determines the quality of the partners’ closeness over time.”
David E. Scharff MD and Jill Savage Scharff MD
Dynamic Partnership Coaching (DPC) helps partners of all kinds discover how to gain the most from their partnerships. It takes place over Skype, Facetime or the telephone and is highly pragmatic.
In collaboration with the DPC coach, the business or domestic partners use their time to:
- Resolve a current issue;
- Learn about their interpersonal dynamics as the issue is resolved;
- Develop awarenesses and skills to manage the dynamics more successfully in the future.
The Partnership Development Process
Every sustaining partnership goes through four stages that Stephen M. Dent has identified in “Partnering Intelligence” as:
- Forming, when the parties involved in partnership recognize potential and draw together;
- Storming, when, with increased knowledge of each other, the parties fight for understanding, territory, dominance, etc;
- Norming, when, if they have survived the storming stage, they develop ways of working together; and
- Performing, when the now-coherent partnership starts to realize the benefits of association. These might be the joys of marriage or business profits.
Ideally, this process results in a synergy whose value to the individuals involved exceeds anything they could have achieved alone.
Too often, however, the passion and drive, the trust and the optimism, go out of the partnership at the storming stage. This results in a passive norming stage and an inevitably lackluster performing stage. Such partnerships are not sustaining so much as merely enduring.
How does Dynamic Partnership Coaching Help?
Why does it happen? What makes the difference between a partnership that thrives and one that, at best, merely survives?
The answer is contained in the rather technical passage quoted at the head of this page. It is the unconscious components of a partnership, whether at work or at home, that make partnership difficult. They can even make it seem as if partnership is governed by mysterious laws of its own.
Once you have learned those laws and learned to recognize their action in yourself, you are well on your way to achieving the return from your partnerships that the energy you expend on them deserves.
Dynamic Partnership Coaching is one way to learn those laws. This learning is powerful and long-lasting because it takes place ‘live’ in an experiential process. In this, the partners being coached deal with real issues in collaboration with the coach.
The coach’s task is partly to assist in problem-solving but even more to highlight the dynamics in operation that are preventing the partners from cooperating more effectively. When these dynamics are understood the partners are usually able to bring their own adequate creativity to solve the issue under discussion.
Dynamic Partnership Coaching works both with strained marriages and arguing business partners. It works because it has the potential to address every component affecting a partnership, from material needs to unconscious drives to fundamental soul needs.
This comprehensive understanding means that no aspect of partnership is overlooked through ignorance. However, not every aspect of partnership needs to be explored in every coaching engagement. Each is dealt with on its own merits.
Issues brought up by Dynamic Partnership Coaching clients have ranged from allocating management functions in a consulting partnership to marital issues such as sexual concerns and apportioning the family budget.
In the process of exploring these issues truths, fears, concealed needs and disappointments have emerged in safety. They have thus been disempowered as inhibiting factors, reducing the inertia that besets so many partnerships.
Dynamic Partnership Coaching helps develop:
- Trust, as ways of expressing truth are found that enhance rather than threaten the partnership;
- Candor, as the value of truth and the danger in secrecy are recognized;
- Creativity, as the risks of making suggestions are reduced;
- Discernment, whereby it becomes possible to separate one partner’s ‘stuff’ from the other’s without eliciting condemnation;
- Responsibility, as the recognition of mutual contribution lifts the burden of blame;
- Profit, whether measured in love as in a marriage or money as in a business, as the inhibiting factors to collaboration and mutual empowerment are lifted;
- Joy, as the real pleasure of working in concert with another is maximized.
Clients typically seek partnership coaching because they have encountered a particular problem. However, once that issue has been resolved they will often maintain the coaching as a way of learning more about their own dynamics and the laws that govern them.
That is because they have come to recognize the truth of a fundamental law of relationship:
The unconscious components of any relationship have a positive or negative impact that increases in accordance with the importance and intensity of the relationship.
In other words, our unconscious needs and drives have a huge impact on our love relationships, other family relationships, and close work relationships such as business partnerships. However, they have comparatively little effect on the way we deal with the acquaintance we see only once every ten years at the school reunion.
As we learn to identify, accept and manage these unconscious drives, both for ourselves and our partners, we create the freedom to benefit to the partnership’s full potential.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you would like to explore the possibility that Dynamic Partnership Coaching may be of benefit to your love or work partnership, please use the form below to schedule a free 50-minute Skype, Facetime or ‘phone discussion.