When we started off for canoeing on our New Zealand trip, the guy who rented out the tandem canoe looked at my husband and told him: “If you want to quit the canoe as happy couple you should be aware of the fact that for the next hours your wife (me) will be the boss — as she sits in front. She will be defining the rhythm.”
We laughed, I felt comfortable to be in the leading position and then we started. For the first 10 minutes it was hard to find a common rhythm. Me claiming my husband (being a leader himself in his job) to keep to my rhythm. Me trying to keep to a constant rhythm. Of course we both failed. Had a short discussion 😉 and started to practice ways of cooperation in order to go straight and fast. The solution was having a common understanding of what was technically needed (in order to go straight): balancing the boat with every paddling — smoother or harder, depending on the wind. And having clear roles: My husband taking care of the alignment of the boat, me being responsible for the constant move. Finally reaching a flow that created room for your own thoughts and creativity in order to bring in new perspectives. Shared leadership as we called it: Having agreed on the technique and roles, listening to the context (wind an waves) and being aware of the other´s contribution in order to compliment.