In order to have a successful partnership, communication is essential. This applies to personal relationships as well as professional.  After 30 years of marriage, you’d think that  a husband and wife could communicate well. Wrong! Isn’t it ironic that the communication we once had  seems to have filtered down to a few grunts, assumptions, and preconceived notions?

We aren’t the same people we were 30 years ago. A lot has happened in that time. Births, deaths, conflicts, romance, celebrations, and life.  Everyday life can wear you down until you have little energy remaining for the people that are most important to you. How did that happen?

Very simply, you lose sight of the bigger picture when you are in the trenches. Head down, dealing with the current situation, one after another, time after time, and life continues to go on until you finally look up and don’t recognize your surroundings. Don’t panic,  adjust your internal GPS and  your course accordingly.

It is the same with business relationships.  Communication is essential. There are a few basic rules that you need to understand to interpolate the  communication.

  1. What is the business relationship? Boss/employee; business partners; coworkers; manager/employee;  contractor/subcontractor.
  2. Which role are you in the relationship? 
  3. Do you  communicate accordingly with  the other person/people involved? 

You are responsible for your words and actions, not the other person.  You are responsible however, for your responses and reactions to the other person.


By now you are scratching your head wondering what it is that set me off this time because if this isn’t your first rodeo on my blog,  you know that something lit the fire burning inside my gut. Crude I know,  but I’m feeling rather gutted at the moment.

Well, you’re right. I’m having trouble coming to terms with a couple individuals with whom I have relationships.

The marriage is an ongoing daily thing and thanks to  a third party counselor, we’re doing better. But this really isn’t about  that.

It has everything to do with Business dealings.  One of which is with the spouse.  I view this as a partnership, each responsible for different parts of  our business.

I am the creative force behind  our business. He is the analytical one that keeps me tethered and  aware of our meager budget.  We are working together  in this area but it’s still not running as smoothly as we’d like.

I am marketing and public relations while he handles research and development.

I am the planner. He is the analyst that provides charts and graphs for feasibility.

I provide general labor while  he provides all things computer related and  physical labor for larger things.

All of these roles are necessary, and for the most part are divided fairly equally. If you keep in mind that he gets all of the heavy lifting. Hmm, well maybe I should balance that a little by providing treats at the next board meeting.

This is a fairly new venture, so it’s understandable that we need to work out the kinks.


There is a second relationship that  really has me on edge. This relationship is trying my last nerve.

How do you relate to someone who doesn’t have the same view of roles within the relationship? How do you communicate with someone who  acts like they are a dictator  and repeatedly  refuses to listen to anyone else’s input?

Communication is a two-way street, or at least it is supposed to be.

I’m having a real issue with this arrangement because my ideas and their ideas are not meshing.

  1. This is not a dictator/subject relationship.  This is not a manager/employee relationship. This is supposed to be a  mutual contracted agreement.
  2. Do NOT talk down to me in a condescending tone as if I am a moron. I am not. Do NOT talk to me like I am some clueless idiot  that is your subordinate. Just because this particular job does not require certain technical skills does not mean that  it is not possessed.
  3. Do NOT lecture me on  not fulfilling my parts of the job when  the parts that you are NOT stating are not defined. If additional tasks are needed they need to be spelled out and defined, otherwise I will proceed according to what I know and what was designated in the arrangement.
  4. Bossing people around does not make you in charge. Bossing people around that are supposed to be team members just makes you a Bitch. And not in a good way either.
  5. Do not belittle your fellow team members. You don’t have to go to happy hour with them to do your job.

How many can relate? I’ve been the employee many times when the supervisor or manager treated others poorly. I’ve also had supervisors that I greatly respected. You know the biggest difference? They treated others as valuable individuals validating their efforts.

The above situation  has me at my wit’s end. But it also pushes me to strive harder in our own business.

Nobody likes to be talked down to,  or treated like they don’t matter, or made to feel belittled. NOBODY!

While I continue to work out my struggles in this, I can’t help but wonder . . .  someone who treats others like this has to feel horrible inside.  I try to live my life by that age old rule –  treat others as you would like to be treated.  There is no crime against being nice. However, some seem to view it as a weakness.

It’s not a weakness at all.  It requires great strength and integrity to face a person like this without engaging in the same poison that they are spewing. Karma, the law of reciprocity,  or whatever you decide to call it is  a bigger Bitch than  you can dish out so be careful what you’re dishing.

 Remember the Four Agreements: 

  1. Be impeccable with your words. Speak with integrity.
  2. Don’t take anything personal. Nothing others do is because of you.
  3. Don’t make assumptions. Ask the questions, communicate, avoid misunderstandings.
  4. Always do your best. Always – even if you don’t like the “Boss” or coworker.  Do. Your. Best. Because at the end of the day, you have to live with your conscious.




First, your return to shore was not part of our negotiations nor our agreement so I must do nothing. And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate’s code to apply and you’re not. And thirdly, the code is more what you’d call “guidelines” than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner.

Captain Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean

Remember back in grade school when your teachers told you to color inside the lines?  We had seasonal cute pictures, often coinciding with  the upcoming holiday.  (I’ve always been looking forward to the next holiday!) One specific example comes to mind.  My followers that aren’t in the US will have to put on your imagination caps here, but I think you’ll get the gist.  The teacher passed out pages of turkey feathers to color just before Thanksgiving.  The pieces were numbered, and each little space was numbered, corresponding to a color.

The exercise was about following instructions.  The turkey feathers were supposed to be brown, yellow, orange, and red in a graduated scale.  I wasn’t a good rule follower even back then.  No, in 2nd grade my turkey was black.  Everything was black.  I even stole my friend’s black crayon because I ran out of my black.  What can I say?  It was an angry time of my life. They didn’t send us to the counselor to see why we didn’t follow the rules. They didn’t ask what was going on at home, or why I was rebellious.  We were expected to be good little boys and girls regardless of how dysfunctional our family was, and abuse was something that was swept under the rug not talked about with your teachers.  I lost my recess and had to stay in to redo my peacock.  Oh yeah, it was supposed to be a turkey.  Therefore, I had to miss more recesses.

The teacher never cared to find out why I didn’t want my turkey to look like everyone elses.  My 2nd edition was more or less a peacock with brilliant blues, greens, and pinks.  I even cut its wattle off to make it look more ‘peacocky’.  By the third time I had decided the teacher was just mean, and I was tired of missing recess.  I scribbled as fast as I could and colored each segment its appropriate color, cut them out and glued them together in record speed.  I still got an F.  I believe the note to my parents was something to the effect that I refuse to follow directions.  Whatever!

Fast forward a couple of years, we had our turkey pictures with more details.  This time we were expected to follow the general guidelines, and color our turkey in a realistic fashion. Apparently grade school teachers are not fans of surrealism, or even abstract art.  Such narrow views in life encourage rebellion in the hearts of troubled kids.  Trust me, I know!

I personally thought my turkey rocked, but the teacher was of a different opinion.  “Why can’t you simply follow the rules like everyone else?”  The exaggerated sighs of her frustration did little to soothe my rebellious nature.  Of course my smart mouth got me in even more trouble, when I stated that my turkey was unique.

It wasn’t like I was really a trouble kid.  I got straight A’s.  I just didn’t conform to the general consensus.  One of the times I had to miss recess, my 4th grade teacher actually asked me why I was angry. I didn’t answer, and when she came over to my desk and saw that I was crying she backed down her tone.  Mrs. Williamson was the first teacher to ever look past bad behavior to see a hurting child inside.  There are often reasons behind the behavior.

Fast fast forward to the present and there are still guidelines.  As adults we aren’t graded on what color our turkey is, or if our turkey is cut exactly on the lines or not.  As a cartographer I had to have precise lines, and follow SOPs (standard operating procedures) that were in a document nearly the size of the federal budget.  When you’re charting the geo-coordinates for missiles, you must have pinpoint accuracy.  As you can imagine, it was restrictive to my creative nature.

As a writer I can flex my creativity and dash the rules as I see fit. Grammar rules always seem to have exceptions.  I will admit, that as I’ve gotten older my rebellious nature has been channelled into specific areas.  In real life I’m a rather conservative law-abiding citizen.  I believe in playing by the rules of life, with the exception of speed limits.

In my fiction however, there is only one rule that is hard and fast, and that is with suspension of disbelief!  I can believe there are ancient mages that can weave powerful magic.  I can believe that there are shape-shifting dragons.  I can even believe that a magical mirror exists that can transport someone back in time.  What I can’t believe is an independent strong female character that puts up with a cheater repeatedly, allows herself to remain in an abusive situation, or one that surrenders herself to a complete jerk.

I just read a paranormal romance, set in modern times and the female lead was supposedly a strong-willed independent woman.  By the tenth chapter, she caught her man with two other women in the act.  Really?  I know people in real life are cads, but in a romance we read to escape.  Lose his sorry butt and move on lady, there are better men out there.  This was one of the few books I did not finish.

I’ve already stretched my reader’s imagination by creating a world of dragons and magic.  But even non human characters tend to display human characteristics.  Believable characters have good points as well as bad points.  For instance most strong-willed people are natural leaders, but they aren’t good listeners.  They see their own goals but often don’t weigh the consequences of their decisions. A strong-willed independent woman is not going to put up with a cheating liar!

She also wouldn’t be content to just let him walk away without extracting the pound of flesh due to her.  The manner in which she would extract her revenge can be quite interesting.  He’ll pay, you can be certain of that.

In real life we have to choose our battles.  I choose to follow the laws and stay out of jail.  I choose to cut myself some slack for not being supermodel thin.  I choose who I give my affections to.  In a fictional world, we can break the rules and never get caught.  We can extract our pound of flesh from the liars and cheaters, and the ones who have crossed our characters.

In real life we have to deal with nosy neighbors, judgmental peers, and backstabbing coworkers and wait on karma to pay them back.

There are certain aspects of life that have to be flexible, more like guidelines.  I plan my grocery shopping from a list which is made from a planned menu.  Just because it says we are having fajitas on Thursday doesn’t mean we are actually having fajitas on Thursday.  One day between Sunday and Saturday, fajitas will be served because I bought stuff to make fajitas.  It’s a guideline.  This logic is fuzzy for my logical thinking husband.  It creates chaos in his supposed well-ordered life.

HA!  Which proves my theory: boxes are bad.  Even rule followers yearn to get outside the lines and experience freedom.

Are you a rebel or a rule follower?  Are you selective in which rules are guidelines?  Let me know what you think.

Write on my friends, write on!