the gift of a good collaborator

during a recent catch up session with my good friend, kate, we somehow got on the topic of work partners. as she was explaining how she realized the value of having a great work partner (particularly as they expanded their team over the summer), i realized i think i’ve been gifted the same type of partnership.

as we went back and forth, we discussed some of the attributes we’ve noticed in our work partners that make the partnerships great:

different, but complementary perspectives

experiences shape who we are. working with someone who has the exact same experiences is boring. however, working with someone who has no similar experiences is unbearably tough because you have to explain everything all the time. working with someone who has enough experiences to have a different worldview and yet understand your perspective is a huge benefit to a partnership.

don’t sweep hard conversations under the rug

working with someone with whom you can passionately disagree, talk it out, and then keep moving forward is incredible. it allows you both the freedom to be honest. being honest keeps people feeling good (because being dishonest has negative impacts on the self over time []) while also preventing resentment.

it’s easy (joyful even) to work together

the above points contribute to making it easy to work together but there’s more than that. there’s something magically about finding someone who’s skills complement your own. it’s also great when the communication pathways in the partnership flow freely, as well as the ability to pass work back and forth. kate and i have expressed and heard our work partners express the sentiment that working without our partner is just less fun.

honestly, finding a good work partner seems just as rare as finding a good life partner. definitely feels like something to hold onto.