The Messy Middle

What does a superficial relationship look like?

One example of a superficial relationship is one that has not encountered conflict yet. This is a superficial relationship because we don't yet know how someone is going to respond when we encounter something we don't agree on. When we meet a new client we understand that this is the space where we are getting to know more about one another.  And we are both protecting ourselves from giving too much away before we know how one another will respond to our vulnerabilities.

Another example of a superficial relationship is one that has encountered conflict and one side wins and one side loses. One side feels like the other was engaged in the model of getting ahead trumping the model of getting ahead by getting along. This type of superficial relationship can be present between general contractors and sub-contractor relationships, construction management teams and general contractors, business owners and general contractors and can be subtle. If you find you are constantly engaging in "us against them" dialogue in your mind you may be engaged in this type of superficial relationship. (And...we all are at different times in our lives. Whether in our personal or professional lives!)

One last example of a superficial relationship is one where freedom lives outside of expectations. There is a subtle difference between having freedom to work in ways that align with our own personal style and not being able to hold people accountable for specific results. Freedom is the illusion of enlightenment and enlightenment understands nuance and boundaries.

Are you familiar with the saying: "The magic is in the mess"?

Where conflict is the magic happens.

At 8020 Builders we build skills to bridge the gap between superficial relationships and deep meaningful relationships by having rules of engagement that we practice within our organization. Our team has access to resources to help them work through all of the details involved projects so we can: 

  1. Understand what our personal parameters are around our growth as individuals and as a company
  2. Develop communication skills that help us understand someone else's experience, values, goals, and perspectives 
  3. Engage in ways that keep everyone's dignity intact 
  4. Arrive at meaningful, creative solutions where we all walk away with better insight into what is important for one another in regards to the problem we encountered and better solutions to the problems we have.

In our experience, there are always Oh Snap! moments. Read more about those here.

Our mindset is focused on understanding our client's, our subcontractor's, and our team's values, definitions of success, and the meaning that is behind a "successful" project. 

Once we achieve a relationship that is built on trust, the sky is the limit in terms of growth and success together. 

Questions for reflection:

  • Can you think of a partner you have worked through a conflict with?
  • How did the conflict resolution change how you do business?
Lexi Steele