My partner, George, and I have recently moved into a house that requires us to share office space. This was quite a struggle for me since I have been accustomed to a spacious private office for the last 20 years.
We talked and juggled our books and computers and art and favorite chairs. Both of us were more committed to avoiding conflict than taking a straight look at what was most important to each of us in creating inviting space. Finally we grew tired of the “being careful” dance, and we took the big step of talking honestly about what we really wanted. And we tackled our shared office space with new eyes! We totally reversed where each of us had desks and chairs and book cases. and now both of us will happily hang art and I’ll bring in a couple of green plants! The room looks so much larger and each of has a view that suits us.
This sounds so simple, such a basic, easy task to accomplish! However, it didn’t get simple until we got to the real questions, individually and collectively. At first it was “How do I avoid conflict”? Later it became, “How do we work together?” Once we had the right question, the answers were fun to figure out together.