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Healing Relationships

A dear colleague of mine called me the other day. I hadn’t heard from her for almost a year because she had stopped speaking to me. I wasn’t sure what I had done. Well, I did have an inkling. I suspected that she may have felt I wasn’t supporting her at the level she desired.

For years we were each other’s cheerleaders. But that suddenly changed. We went from talking to each other on an almost-weekly basis to not speaking to each other at all. I was saddened by it, but I didn’t know how to smooth things over at the time. I assumed she was disappointed in my lack of support, but at the time, I was giving her what I had available.

When she called the other day, I immediately called her back and we had an amazing conversation about the job pressures we were feeling and the disappointments we had both faced over the years. We realized the problems we were discussing had NOTHING to do with our relationship of 17 years, and yet, we somehow let our career struggles get in the way of something that mattered so much to both of us.

This got me to thinking about how many work relationships we let fall to the wayside because of misunderstandings, assumptions, and a lack of communication. Looking back, I have let many work relationships end because of these reasons.

How many professional relationships have you let go? What has been the resulting impact on how you have done your work?

Collaboration is based entirely on relationships. So, what happens when professional relationships are damaged? How does the collaboration change? How do the interactions change? How does this impact the project? And, most importantly, how does all of this change affect our students?

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