I have been thinking a lot lately about the term: “co-pilot.” It is applicable to so many parts of our life. Our spouse or partner is our co-pilot, whether that means in how you parent, deal with your family, or even how you support each other. Using the term co-pilot is not meant to confuse you. In flight terms the co-pilot is second in command to the pilot. Remove that notion from your thought right now, and think of co-pilot as it is defined. “Co” meaning joint or mutually. Are you with me so far?
Think of it in the realm of parenting. If one parent is always the pushover and the other is always the firm one it can cause issues with the kids (not that I have kids and truly can speak to it but just stay with me for a second or two). Going back to pilots. In order for those pilots to fly that plane (all modern conveniences aside) is that they have to be mutually connected to the task at hand. They have to know what the other is responsible for during the flight, so that they do not override each other and potentially create turmoil for their passengers. Just like if parents communicate and are on the same page, it creates a much clearer message for children to follow. Still with me?
It also translates to a work environment. Many individuals have to share a role with a peer, or co-lead a team. In order for that team to run smoothly they need to communicate clearly with each other, make sure they are on the same page, ensure there is clarity of roles, and then execute based on what is mutually agreed upon. If one individual does not communicate with the other, it can lead to resentment, frustration, and have a trickle down effect to the rest of the team. The same goes for marriage: clear communication, clarity of roles, and follow through with what was agreed upon. Quite simple right?
See how many areas of our lives we have to share responsibilities and be very clear on what end result we are driving towards? Yes, I am making it simple, and it actuality is an intricate web of personal dynamics, differences of opinion, and emotions that can lead to a multitude of responses and outcomes. Yet, if we just go back to the idea of “co” and make sure that we are making choices that are mutual, joint, and inclusive we might begin to weave a cohesive, strong, and unflappable thread in our marriage, family, and work environments.
Start with “co.”