16 Feb 2020
I was chatting with a wise friend today, and our conversation drifted into the area of siblings.
Specifically – could you work with a sibling?
Our wide ranging conversation touched over our own siblings, our parents siblings, people we barely knows siblings, and so forth. It was an in-depth discussion, but, of course, very wise and discerning.
You may love your sibling a lot, to the point where you holiday together, even share a home and hobbies even….but could you work with them?
Our discussion touched on siblings who were not at all alike – different personalities, different sense of humour, possibly even different work ethic maybe, and that’s where it got interesting.
You know your sibling well, generally speaking. There’s a very good chance you have been pointing out their faults and weaknesses to them, ad nauseum, since you both learned to speak.
In a co-worker, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses is an excellent thing. Knowing what you can leave a co-worker to deal with something, knowing they have the capacity to deal with anything that gets thrown at them, is a remarkable bonus in the workplace. The ability to acknowledge our own strengths and weaknesses is part and parcel of the situation too – knowing instinctively that something is going to be difficult for you and seeking assistance or backup, is an incredibly mature way to live.
But….if it’s your sibling pointing out your strengths and weaknesses, is it as easy to acknowledge?
My wise friend, in our discussion, while speaking about their own sibling, said that eventually they realised that while the sibling was very very different, they weren’t wrong. Just different.
It’s a very mature and wise statement, don’t you think?
Do we expect more from a sibling than we would from a co-worker? Or less, depending on the sibling…
This is not an anti-sibling piece of writing. It is meant to say that the sibling relationship is a special one, full of shared experiences and memories, supported by the same morals, ethics and parenting skills. It can survive adulthood and remain a supportive link throughout your life, or it can unfortunately be swept away by events and circumstances that make the relationship untenable.
If you are on good terms within a sibling – could you work with them?
And your takeaway from today is my new mental tattoo: “Different isn’t wrong. Just different”.