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Re-Purpose the Relationship

 Problem Definition: 


Reorienting oneself to a partnership, you face disappointment. Your vision of what you would accomplish together, required your partner to lift the load of the projects with competencies you realize she does not have. 


For instance, for your joint venture you need to network a great deal and travel too, yet your partner refuses to do both. She is not proactive in seeking new opportunities for the work you’ll do together.


You need to analyze and gain perspective on how to proceed with the relationship.  Do you continue to sustain the relationship?  Are there ways you could understand the relationship and commit to sustaining it, for all the right reasons?  Or do you let it go?  Are there constructive ways to deal with this disappointment?


Are there other projects and critical functions the partnership is continuing to service in ways that continue to exceed expectations? How do you re-orient yourself in the partnership before the irritation spills over and results in a fight or break-up?  Your gut instinct cautions you from being destructive.  You call up your EI coach/consultant for an appointment.
































 The Takeaway: 


The agitation and animosity experienced when the load gets too heavy in a partnership is not enough to end a relationship. The partnership, if properly managed, could nourish your working life and the life of the organization in essential ways.  The trick here is to overcome the range of negative emotions that are bound to surface when an “essential” aspect of a collaboration remains unfulfilled.  Rechanneling those feeling and generating the right range of contemplations for new emotions and cognitive scripts to evolve is critical in order to avoid squandering the years of trust you’ve built into the relationship.

 The Diagnosis: 


Review with your EI coach how the partnership is failing.


The EI Coach questions whether external resources of personnel and technologies maybe considered, to address the “needs” not being addressed in the context of the primary partnership.


EI nudges you to constructively generate new narratives and new alternatives, to expand the definition of your partnership for the business.


Can you generate the space to have the “crucial conversation” with your partner?  How do you speak through the challenge of how the partnership is failing the business?


What new ways will you initiate to cherish your

partnership, that reassure both of you,

yet that don’t fail the business?  

 Historical/Cinematic  Reflection: 


Apollo 13 The historical event (April 11th, 1970) and the film (Dir. Ron Howard; 1995) 


The space-craft

lost a fuel tank

during its

journey to the

moon.  The crew

realize they cannot

land on the moon. 

Worse still, the

space craft is now

so damaged that

it might not have

the power needed to get back to the earth.  The mission needs to be repurposed.


The brilliant staff on the ground and the resilient 3 member crew, have to work within severe limitations of technology, fuel, toxicity, and human ability to redefine their mission, and renew their partnership; to get back to earth.

Copyright: Universal Pictures

 Historical/Cinematic  Reflection: 


Dolphins Tale 2


Martin Smith;



Winter, a dolphin hurt by the fishing-trap,

is washed up to the shore of a beach in Florida, and saved by a little boy Sawyer.  The Marine Hospital team is forced to amputate her tale.  Sawyer initiates the invention of a prosthesis to help her swim so that she can stay healthy and alive. In the process Winter the dolphin becomes a symbolic source of inspiration for the scores of individuals who’ve lost a limb, to find their capacity for joy and will to survive.


Winter, can no longer survive in the wild though, and has another crucial “need," unique to dolphins; she needs the companionship of other aquatic creatures. When she loses her aquatic-companions in the hospital, it is not clear if she desires to carry on anymore. The staff at the Marine Hospital recognize that motivating Winter to swim and inspire the millions of visitors who make the trek to see her might not be possible.  But they cannot imprison another marine creature in the hospital just for Winter either.


What maybe done for her without compromising on the mission of the Marine Hospital, the humans who run the place, and the need Winter has for a friend? 

Copyright: Warner Bros Entertainment

 EI Authors A Transformation: 


Despite the negativity that has built up in the partnership, your patience and foresight to work through this issue with an EI coach keeps you from misreading the value of a vital relationship.  You discover new levels of motivation to sustain both the individual and the partnership. You now reorganize your time and resources differently within this vital partnership and strengthen it appropriately to enrich the organization. For instance, you clarify and define the strengths in your partner that you instinctively gravitate towards, that you had not made explicit. At the same time you find creative ways to find new resources and new personnel, to develop your business.  You initiate substantial changes in the way your partnership is defined.


 The Impact: 


In a few years, you marvel at the many legacies you’ve managed to constructively build together, because you persevered and did not give up midstream. 

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