The Reverse Is Also True

October 10, 2012 by Bill Bradley

HOT READS FOR THE PRACTITIONER

Title: This One is Personal

Competencies: self-development, managing self

Who benefits: anyone open to reflection

Consultant Usage: executive coaches, supervisors/managers in coaching mode

What’s it about? I would like you to read a short post from Peter Bregman.  You will be excited, maybe even happy, to read it judging by the title: What to Do When You Have to Work with Someone You Don’t Like.

In the end you will be disappointed.  It isn’t about them.  It is about you.

Bregman’s post is personal, but with a twist.  His post begins with a story about being an independent consultant forced by a client to work with another consultant.  There are things about this other consultant he doesn’t like.  His immediate dilemma is to decide whether to work with someone he doesn’t like or lose a client.

He spends time in self-reflection and comes to an interesting conclusion.  I’ll not spoil the ending.  You need to read the post through his eyes.

But it reminds me of my own story.  I had a similar experience in 1986.  A client told me that if I wanted a contract I had to work with another consultant.  I couldn’t dislike him yet because I hadn’t met him.  But I was prepared to not like him.  He would be taking 50% of the cookies.

We met.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt.  As he did with me.  Against the odds we discovered we liked each other.  We took time to find out what we had in common.  We found many shared interests.

We also did a careful analysis of our strengths and our areas of … shall we say lesser used strengths.  Our professional strengths and interests were in different areas.  Our mutual client had seen the potential of the two of us working together.

He was the researcher and stats guy.  I was the group dynamics and story teller guy.  By investing in each other we found a symmetry.  From that first assignment a bond grew between us.

How did it work out after the assignment was completed?  It could have been a disaster. After all, we were as different as Monday is to Friday.

But instead we became best friends and long term work colleagues.  He is still the stats guy.  I am still the story teller.  If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.  He writes the Monday posts on this Blog.  I write the Wednesday and Friday posts.

Catch you later.

Bill Bradley (mostly) retired after 35 years in organizational consulting, training and management development. During those years he worked internally with seven organizations and trained and consulted externally with more than 90 large and small businesses, government agencies, hospitals and schools.

Posted in Leadership Development, Wellness

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  • Very good post Bill. You had me from “This one is personal.” Love the example of you and Ken. thanks.

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