On October 19, 1990, I stood in front of family and dear friends and married a most wonderful man. Among the things we promised each other in the vows we’d written was this:
I promise to consider you in all my decisions.
A relationship as long-lasting as ours is certainly complex, but to this day, beside our abiding love, it’s the thing we rest our relationship on. No matter what happens, it allows me to know that he actively considered me before he made whatever decision was made. And even if it weren’t the decision I would have made, or the one I wish he had made, knowing that he did the best he knew how to do—with me/us in mind—allows me to skip whatever upset I might feel.
I was already married and living with that promise when I became the VA to Cheryl Richardson, Cheryl modeled that in business for me by saying to me that as long as she knew I had her back, if I took an action that was contrary to what she would have wanted, she would never be upset with me.
I have to tell you, the freedom for me in knowing that was huge. I could do my best work without worrying about whether I was right or wrong. I didn’t have to wonder what she was thinking. I didn’t have to consult her about how I wanted to do things. I didn’t make things her problem that didn’t need to be her problem.
When I started working with my own VAs, I made sure they knew they had that latitude, too, and that I hoped they would offer it to me in return. It’s worked well for me; my current VA and I have worked together for 10 years, and my VA before her worked with me for 11 years before retiring. As with my marriage, and my relationship with Cheryl, I know mutual regard and consideration has played a big part in my happy and healthy relationships with VAs
In my work, though, I hear such stories, both from VAs and their clients. The ones that make me ache the most are the ones where no consideration is made, and no benefit of the doubt is extended from one to the other, resulting in pain, resentment, and often, complete disintegration of the relationship.
I always think to myself, “It could have been so different if they’d considered the other in their decisions.” When you consider the other, it changes your heart; it changes your thinking, and it changes your behavior. It also helps you be more trusting, especially of another’s reasons, motives, and drivers.
So I just want to urge you to add this to your relationship(s) with your VA(s). There’s such power in these relationships, and this one thing can help make sure you find the power and keep your mojo, together.