Finding Common Ground in Partnership

Posted on: June 7, 2022

Navigating differences of views, needs, and opinions in our partnerships is an art form; because as most of us know, finding common ground is not always easy. However, by applying mindfulness principles to our relationships — to all its difficulties included — we start to find that the separate grounds on which we stand can be held simultaneously. Mindfulness creates space for that.

Finding common ground in partnership is about softening our tendency to be right. This does not require us to surrender our views, feelings, and needs, but it does invite us to let go of the assumptions we might make and the limitations we might hold. It invites us to ask questions like:

How has my own experience shaped my views and opinions?

How has my partners experience shaped their views and opinions?

What assumptions have I made about this situation?

Where might I become more curious or more open?

Is there room for both ‘sides’ to be held simultaneously?

Can I be present with uncertainty, confusion, and ambiguity?

By mindfully witnessing our own biases and limitations, we naturally start to open up to new insights and possible ways forward. We begin to uncover the common ground that holds both of us. At the same time, we effortlessly invite the same sort of softening in our partner, furthering bridging the gap that appears to divide us.

Bridging our gaps in this way does not come with a strict manual. Through various practices and a willingness to open, to soften, and to come together, we start to intuitively navigate the often messy, often complex realm of relationships. Beneath this complexity rests the solid earth — the shared earth — that any two sides are equally a part of.

So let’s begin with this foundation and curate a world of shared experiences we can treasure and look back with fondness as we flow along the axis of time.