Being a Team


What do a boat and a shotgun have to do with conflict in your relationships?

Do you work hard at making sure that your most valuable relationships succeed?

Picture yourself in a rowboat, gliding down the river with your friend or coworker or spouse. Suddenly an argument erupts. You see a shotgun resting in the bottom of the boat, and to make your point, you seize the gun and start blowing holes in the bottom of your little vessel.

You might get your point across—but what happens to the boat? It sinks. And who’s in the boat? Your partner … and you. What a fine time you’ll have, celebrating your “victory” all the way to the bottom of the river!

Remember this: in any kind of significant relationship, you can’t win unless the other person also wins. So in your own best interest, you have to make sure that he or she wins. For exactly the same reason, the other person has to make sure that you win. The only alternative is that you both lose.

When you choose to enter into a significant relationship with another person, you’re also choosing to become a member of a team. All relationships involve choice. You can choose whether that team is going to succeed or fail. You decide whether it brings you pain or delight. It’s your choice.

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