Turning competition into collaboration.

A friend of a friend was visiting from Berlin, Germany.  Although I regularly teach a private group lessons at my friend’s home, she wanted to postpone (cancel) our January group classes — so that her group can take lessons from their visiting friend.  Although I could have seen this as a negative, I didn’t.  It would not make much sense to do so.

  • My friends have been taking from me forever; and they will continue when their friend returns home.
  • Their friend will only be here through January.  I’ll be here long after their friend leaves.
  • My friends enjoy all different types of dances; and it’s fun for them to learn from different instructors.
  • Although I have connections into the Argentine Tango community, I don’t  teach Tango (which is my friend’s friend’s expertise).
  • When their friend leaves, I can still help them stay in practice with Tango during our regular dance lessons.

So I immediately went into collaborative mode.  When my friend mentioned why she was canceling our January classes,  I forwarded my friend all the Argentine Tango community information that I could find.  I also introduced some local Argentine Tango instructors to my friend’s friend.   Local instructors could then offer guest workshops and private lessons with an international Argentine Tango instructor without much overhead or hassle.  I also connected her with a local Argentine Tango instructor that has her finger on the pulse of everything Tango.  This allowed all sides to benefit from the connection.

Even though making these connections between the guest instructor and others may not directly or immediately benefit me — both sides realize that I was thinking of their best interest.  And like any good dance partner, we look out for each other (both on and off the dance floor).

On the dance floor, we don’t want to show-off, out-do, or struggle with our partners.  We don’t want to make our partner feel uncomfortable or ungraceful.  If the moves aren’t coming out exactly as we had initially envisioned, just relax and co-create a new movement from the blending of your styles.  If your follower isn’t exactly paying attention to you OR if your leader isn’t giving you any play time — just ease into the space and make the best out of this current situation.  You may be surprised  what will develop.  This specific song/dance will only last a very limited time.  But the steps and care that you in invest in this time will give you lasting results. .

If you are interested in knowing how to take these  concepts into the professional environment, please sign up for my professional and career management (free) newsletter at
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Laura Lee Rose

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