It Takes Two to Tango

If you have ever seen the tango being performed, you have witnessed the ebb and flow of tension and release, and the perfect balance of power and acquiescence.

Tango au01
(By Anouchka Unel (Own work) [FAL], via
Wikimedia Commons)

As with all so-called “lead and follow” dances, the lead must be willing to push and steer; the follow must yield in service of the dance.

Client engagements are a lot like this type of dance. Typically, a client reaches out to an outside firm to help them to choreograph their efforts when they cannot seem to find the steps. Perhaps they are stepping on each other’s toes internally, or need a new partner to lead them through unfamiliar moves.

Whatever the reason, it is important that when the music starts, the participants in the dance understand whether they are to lead or follow. Without such understanding, steps will be missed, cues will go unnoticed, and the rhythm will be lost.

When a project begins, it is critical to define the steps early, determine the length of the engagement, and set expectations. Only then can both partners move forward trusting that neither will let the other fall.

So, before your next engagement, take time to understand your needs, desires, and abilities. Then extend a hand, embrace your partner, and take care to mind the orchestration. Your projects (and your toes) are depending on you.