I am asked to give advice regularly about decisions that need to be made concerning partnerships. This covers a broad range of relationships from marriage partners to business partners. It is a tricky subject because often time the person who comes to me has already made up their mind emotionally. So how does a person make the correct decision?
Over my years of working with people, I have found great truth and wisdom by seeking and exploring three areas of life that expose a person's character and integrity. These are not fool proof nor are they an exhaustive list. I have found by watching people that most of the time these tools can prove to be rather telling and help make that critical decision.
Here are three ways you can evaluate the character and integrity of a potential partner.
Their past decisions
Decisions tell a lot about an individual. How they make them and why they make them often is repetitive. There are many factors to look at when evaluating someone's past decisions. One of the first places I look is motive. Why did that individual walk away from a past relationship? Are they most concerned about self preservation and agenda or do they look out for the good of others.
More than one time, I have observed someone leave a situation because things got tough for them. So how does a person discern another person's motives? It is quite simple..... listen. They will tell you what motivates them. Often, we do not listen to what we do not want to hear. When a person uses the word "I", "financially" or "fit" these can be subtle cues. It isn't a wrong thing to simply ask, "what are your motives?"
Another thing to consider when looking at past decisions is do they have a track record of effective decisions that were productive and fruitful. The best partners make good decisions consistently. This does not mean that people do not make mistakes. Usually, those who make poor decisions and are good partners rebound by making the next good decision.
Look at how a person operates. What do they do on a regular basis. What does the day to day look like. Are they a plodder or do they live in crisis mode? I have found that the best partners have a method and pattern to their work and relationships. Some people live in theory. They have great ideas and plans but somehow it never comes into reality. I would say it this way, "they look good on paper." What you are looking for is someone who follows through and finishes what they start. Again, this is not to say that circumstances and situations that life delivers can derail us all at some point but the key is consistency.
Look at what they do in their spare time. Do they live a balanced life or is their focus all in one direction? If you have a potential partner who is always running ahead to the next big thing, you can bet this will be how they operate with you. If they drag their feet and are always lagging behind, you will feel those effects as well.
Their closes allies - inputs
Who does that person align with? It is important to know the people in your potential partners life. You are who you hang with. Some people like to hang with people who they want to be like. This gives others the allusion that they have arrived. Others hang out with people they believe they are better than. This gives them the edge they are looking for. The people that you want to align with are those who humbly relate to everyone well. They believe in their core that "we" are always better than "me". A person who is seen in many circles usually is a better choice to partner with.
These three important keys can help thwart a disaster. Let me advise you to take some time to evaluate. Any partnership worth joining deserves a thorough evaluation. Asking questions to others about a person can prove to be very helpful.
Can you think of a partnership that should have never happened? More than likely, if they would have looked into these simple aspects, it would have saved them a mountain of grief.
Choose your partnerships well!!!