In today’s business world, we see too many alpha personalities, too many people who think they can win in the marketplace, crush the competition and forcefully advocate their way to victory – to many idealized warrior types. And people who operate this way in modern alliances often find that doing business that way doesn’t work in the globalized, interconnected, values-based business of the 21st century.
Yet, as I discussed in my last post, forming productive business relationships requires both love and power. Without the warrior – if we try to operate only from the lover side – we’re headed into a boondoggle of tree hugging, deep conversing, touchy-feeling sharing, and relating that goes absolutely nowhere. Where the lover provides understanding, the warrior provides direction, intention, and advocacy to move the conversation and the relating forward.
Most of us are quite familiar with the warrior’s way of entering the conversation – their unique way (when productive and healthy) of changing the game, leading through power, and advocating for what’s needed. While the lover understands soft power, they understand hard power.
The warrior is the part of you that draws clear distinctions in the sand; the part of you that can say “no” to things that are not okay for your end of the business; the part that can redirect the conversation in powerful ways, drive things through to completion, engage in direct strong conversation. She has the ability to set limits and has experience in confrontation and exact communication. She’s decisive and has the courage needed to take the difficult steps that require cutting through the bullshit. The warrior advocates for a partnership that works, with rules of engagement that make sense, and structure and processes that work for the business and the relationship.
However, like the lover, the warrior within you can become unhealthy when she acts as if she knows it all, as if her point of view is the only right one. She’s the hammer that looks around and sees everyone and everything as a nail, wanting to push it down all the time. He wants to be the most powerful, the most successful, and the most competitive person in the room. She takes unnecessary risks just so she can prove to herself that she’s strong enough to survive them.
This side of the warrior represents the emotional fix you find on the opposite end of the spectrum from the overly loving. Where the latter relishes deep connection and understanding, the former finds perfectionism in power and selfness. Fully drifting to either side of the spectrum is equally dangerous.
So how do you stay centered? How do you integrate the most effective elements of the warrior with the most effective elements of the lover? In short, it’s a matter of conscious engagement. It’s a matter of always remaining consciously engaged with what the partner could be thinking/feeling as well what’s occurring in you while you’re in the relating. Conscious engagement requires that you contain, deepen, and engage with the lover and warrior in you, all with the intention to bring forth the kind of relationship that will support the goals of the alliance.
It also requires that you get a feel for your own development. Sometimes the ones too out of balance on lover need to work with power and as a result need to engage in practices that bring about connection to their power. While at other times when we’re too out of balance on warrior, we need to let go some, and find practices to support our development in that aspect.