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Interpersonal Relationships

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How Work Teams and Friendships are Alike

Relationships share similar dynamics whether small or large. We are most familiar with the exchanges that are traded in interpersonal settings since the majority of our connections are one-to-one partnerships. When you expand these interactions to a team, the complexity multiplies. What if the model for successful partnerships was the same regardless of the size or scale of the team?

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The Purpose of Struggle

The Team Clock Institute’s upcoming release, Useful Pain: Why Your Relationships Need Struggle, was written as an enticement for growth. Based on a simple concept, interactions between partners are viewed in necessary cycles of meaningful challenge.

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The Boardroom and the Bedroom

When Team Clock was published in 2009, we offered up a simple model for creating and sustaining effective teams. As I shared the Team Clock concept with business leaders, time and again people asked me how these principles applied to interpersonal relationships. Could the conflict resolution and team building strategies applied in the boardroom also work in the bedroom? Does the cycle of investment, trust, innovation, and distancing play out between friends and management teams alike?

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The Intimacy of Teams

The eyes of the 21-year-old college student lit up as she raised her hand. She had experienced an epiphany. Suddenly, the theory of effective teaming crystallized when she applied it to a current romantic relationship. “I have a personal responsibility for my contribution to the relationship I’ve joined,” she observed. “The entity itself needs to be nurtured and cultivated.” Not surprisingly, the same “ah-ha” moment had occurred in a recent executive coaching conversation in a global telecommunications company with a senior leader twice her age.

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Defining Moments

At its most basic core, what is your contribution to your team? I’m not talking about the easily visible actions. I’m asking about the themes and patterns that define your life and, as a result, get played out in your professional role.

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