Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A business partner and more

We were having lunch today, when a colleague said, "it's great to have someone who is a business partner and more." It is great. I have a business partner who is also a training partner and a good friend and frequently my coach as well. Sometimes I learn from him and sometimes I learn from working with him. We back each other up and we open each other up to new perspectives.

Everyone who trains in integrated thinking wants to be professional 'and more.' They all want to enhance their lives by changing their business behaviors, to add a palette of personal qualities to an essential competence. They all want to work with people who are professional 'and more.' This does not mean confusing business and personal lives. It does mean accepting themselves and others as people who have many different roles to play and a common identity to bring to all those roles. It also means accepting that the "and more" part often contributes strengths or perspectives that would be missing if a business colleague were not more than a business colleague.

Are there people you have chosen to have in your business life that you would not welcome into your personal life? Consider why you have made this choice. How do you know where the limits of your business will be in 3 months or 3 years or 3 decades? If you can imagine needing more, consider whether this is the time to go looking for it.

Within the boundaries of different parts of our lives, we are free to experience connection with others as deep and meaningfull and productive. If there were no boundaries we would not have this freedom: that's why we need to know the difference between a business partner and a neighbor. And sometimes, we need to change the boundaries, to push out the limits and create space for something more.

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