Strategic partnerships are essential for most organizations. We’ve learned that we don’t have to know how to do everything, but we do need to know how to develop partnerships with people and organizations that can accomplish things that we can’t. This then helps us focus on our strengths and stay in alignment to our gifts, vision and abilities.
Sometimes I think we underestimate the work that is required to maintain and develop effective partnerships. These don’t just happen. They take work.
Courtesy can be defined as: “The showing of politeness in one’s attitude and behavior toward others”.
Here are 10 courtesies we need to demonstrate regularly with our partners. This comes from the Leader Mundial Summit Curriculum, “The Role of a Leader” (Leader Mundial ©2014)
#1) Get to Know Your Partner
I need to take the time to really know my partner. Am I willing to take the time to know his family, to listen to his dreams, to understand his goals? Am I willing to let him into my personal world so that he can know me?
#2) Be a Friend
I need to spend time with my partner and not just use him to get what I want or need. I need to be available to help him even as I ask him to help me. We need to be friends and I need to be proud of that friendship.
#3) Respect Your Partner
I need to accept and appreciate what I know about my partner and to treat him and speak about him with respect. Respect plays a vital role in the development and nurturing of a partnership.
#4) Be Willing to Work Hard
I have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make this partnership work. I need to work, within my organization, to make sure that all involved have a well-defined goal of what we want to happen.
#5) Show Gratitude
How willing am I to work at saying “thank you” to my partner? Am I willing to find different ways to show how grateful I am for our partnership? I need to say “thank you” often and publicly, in word and in print.
#6) Stay on the Same Page
If I am committed to growing our partnership, I need to discipline myself to never assume anything without checking with my partner. I need to ask him before I make decisions; I also need to go to him before accepting any rumors I may hear.
#7) Share Success
To be a good partner, I need to put aside my personal pride and desire for glory. Am I willing to share the success equally, even if I did most of the work? The success needs to be shared graciously, openly and publicly.
#8) Keep the Partnership Alive
Even if nothing is happening and there is not obvious success, even when things are slow, am I willing to keep working actively on the partnership? I need to continue communicating with my partner.
#9) Develop Trust
How much does this partnership mean to me personally? Does it mean enough to develop trust with my partner so that whatever happens, I will work for the best of my partner? When in doubt, will I still trust him? Can I believe in him without making him prove anything to me?
#10) Look to the Future
Good partners are hard to find. After a project is completed, I need to consider ways to continue our partnership and communicate them to my partner.
Don’t take your strategic partners for granted. Show them courtesy!
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