Why Are Relationships Critical to Partnerships?

Relationships are critical to partnerships for several reasons. First, they help the partners hang together when times get tough. Collaboration rarely works in a neat and tidy way. When there are setbacks, the group members need a strong sense of mutual trust to pull through. Nancy Carstedt, executive director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, notes that “as we venture into unknown territory, it’s critical to have that support [of a good relationship]” (Austin, 2000, p. 48).
In addition, collaboration inevitably requires negotiation, give and take, and compromise. Each is easier in the context of a trusting relationship. We’re far more likely to consider another’s point of view when there’s ...

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