whew. we’re in pretty serious discussions with another ministry about considerably ramping up what it means to be in partnership with them. it’s been going on for close to a year, in various permutations — but the intensity is now at boil (in a good way).
and it’s an interesting path to walk. so much of what we (humans, in the media-saturated 21st century) intuitively know about business negotiations is tainted with less-than-integrous methods. we (ys) try to avoid those — but at the same time, we want to be shrewd (as snakes) and innocent (as doves), or as The Eugene puts it:
Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.
i watched The Cat in the Hat with my son this weekend. max has been home sick all week (went back to school this morning), and renting that DVD was his friday fun. he watched it 6 times over the weekend, the second-to-last of which was with me. anyhow — even if you’ve never seen the movie (with mike myers), you likely remember the seussian drawing of the cat balancing about forty-three items (including the talking fish in his fishbowl, atop a closed umbrella), while balancing on one foot on a ball. that’s a little how this process feels.
no matter how the process goes, or what the result is, i want to remain friends with the other organization. no matter how the process goes, or what the result is, i want ys to exercise integrity and honesty. but that doesn’t eliminate the need for strategy, or even “spin”. i’m not sure how to avoid that — it sounds dishonest, and i’m not talking about dishonesty. i’m saying, when you look at things from the perspective of the other organization, things look different than when you look at it from our perspective. and so there seems to be this necessary-but-awkward (only awkward because we’re friends and we’re committed to honesty — without those factors it wouldn’t be awkward) effort to help each other see things from our perspective, in hopes of finding that sometimes elusive win-win. but i don’t “spin” my friends, at least not intentionally so (at least not very often; well, at least…).
this thing could really help us help more youth workers, so i’m hoping and praying we can continue to juggle/balance/hold-up-the-fish/find-the-win-win/honestly walk through this and land somewhere very cool.
could someone hold this fishbowl for me — just for a few weeks?