Find Supportive Partners

It might sound like common sense but our own actions and successes are influenced by the teams we work with. In high school, I had the opportunity to work with supportive teammates as well as toxic ones.

 In Grade 11, a partner and I started Model United Nations Club. At the time, I was unfamiliar with current affairs and had minimal experience hosting clubs. Fortunately, my partner was supportive and together, we worked through the logistics of creating a new club, preparing interesting information for club meetings, and registering for conferences. We also asked supportive friends to help us prepare for club meetings so that we could continue the club during busy school weeks. Even when we disagreed, we still felt mutual cooperation and were willing to compromise with each other to sustain the longevity of the club. In short, a supportive partner is a great partner because their uplifting attitude gets stuff done. To this day, we still keep in touch.

 Unfortunately, not all partners were supportive; some chased hidden agendas. Again in Grade 11, a partner and I agreed to co-organize Math Club together. The irony is the word “together” because the exact opposite happened. This partner went behind my back to tell the Math Club teacher supervisor that he was the only organizer, effectively removing me from co-organizing. When he later learned that a more qualified Grade 12 student would be organizing the club instead of him, he actively tried to discourage the Grade 12 student so that he could take over. When finally confronted about his selfish actions, he said that “I’m doing it for my resume”. I was shocked: this guy was so selfish that he intentionally sabotaged two students from sharing their enjoyment of math with other students just to add a couple more lines to his resume! In Grade 12, we unfortunately co-organized Math Club together and unsurprisingly, he tried lowballing me again: he borrowed $5 from me and refused to return it, tried organizing a yearbook picture without telling me, and secretly submitted a yearbook description about the club (luckily, I found out about the last two and rectified the situation). Co-organizing the club with this partner felt like a solo effort and I was constantly on guard against sly tricks he might play. It was upsetting interacting with a partner who had no hesitation harming others – including the very people he’s working with – just to achieve his own agenda.

 After reflecting upon these two scenarios, I came to understand that our partners’ attitudes and motivations greatly influence our own behaviours. Partners do not refer only to work partners; partners refer to anyone whom we have relationships with, such as spouses, roommates, friends, and investors. Good partners support each other and help us grow; toxic partners destroy each other and belittle their teammates.

 Lesson: Aim to find supportive partners. Aim to resist working with toxic partners. Oftentimes, working solo is better than working with toxic partners.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.