In sports, people often talk about the importance of matchups. Size matchups, skill matchups, grit matchups.
In fact, any given sports team has a variety of strengths and weaknesses that together form the quality of the team. Even though wins and losses are tracked to rank order teams, the fact of the matter is that the ‘best’ team is really just the team who matches up well against other teams more often than most.
The ‘best’ team can still easily lose to the worst performing team if the matchup works against them, which speaks to the power of matchups.
Oddly enough, the concept is rarely used outside the context of sports, even though it applies quite well to all relationships.
For instance, how do you build a great team at your company? Exclusively recruiting only the best of the best is actually not a good strategy. Any hiring manager worth their salary will be able to tell you that it is better to draw from a pool of highly qualified candidates, but to focus on assembling the right team.
But we are still talking about teams, let’s look deeper–to your personal relationships.
With your best friends you’ll find that your tastes, preferences, inclinations and propensities match up in such a way that you complement each other’s weaknesses and bolster each other’s shared strengths.
Naturally, there’s no magic formula for finding the right friend–sadly, I can’t help you there. Relationships develop on their own and in unexpected ways, but taking the time to reflect on how you matchup with others can unlock insights that will improve your friendship.
What is your best friend’s biggest character flaw? Is that an area of strength for you? Be conscious of when your friend’s flaw is coming to the forefront…can you support them in that moment rather than react viscerally?
What is their biggest strength? How do you help others express and build on their natural skills? Is there a chance for you to showcase a particular skill of someone else’s?
Don’t always try to be the best yourself–see how you matchup in all of your relationships, from friends to work to love & leverage that knowledge to create balance and support.
You and your friends form a team afterall.