“Partnerships: How to Provide Good Company For Others’ Journeys Toward Self-Authorship”

Magolda refers often to the metaphoric symbol of a bike being the vehicle for traveling or navigating through life’s challenges and in this particular chapter Magolda suggests that partners should be riding the backseat and should be the support while the leader navigates.She also states that individuals before they reach self-authorship they have actually a “fragile internal voice.” She explains that this “fragile internal voice” turns into being “strong enough to hold its own against external pressure.”

In a sense, I do agree with Magolda about the partners being supportive but I even more enjoy her idea that in order to be a successful partner you have to challenge as well as support this person through life. Without these two components of being a partner, the person wanting to reach self-authorship cannot be in full control. In addition, Magolda brings up the idea that partners also can support their friends, parents, peer, etc. by helping them to learn “to control their reaction to reality.” Magolda sums up, “Thus, being good company means gradually shifting from forms of support designed to build confidence to forms of support designed to encourage integration.”

Magolda outlines fundamentals

Partners supported participants in developing self-authorship by:

  • Respecting their thoughts and feelings, thus affirming the value of their voices
  • Helping them view their experiences as opportunities for learning and growth, and
  • Collaborating with them to analyze their own problems, engaging in mutual learning with them.

Good partners also challenged participants to develop self-authorship by:

  • Drawing participants’ attention to the complexity of their work and life decisions, and discouraging simplistic solutions,
  • Encouraging participants to develop their personal authority by listening to their own voices in determining how to live their lives, and
  • Encouraging participants to share authority and expertise, and work interdependently with others to solve mutual problems. ” (pp. 251).

From this type of guide, I see that the impact of partnerships can help individuals be “self-authored” and can be helped in a way where the pressure is not so heavy but just the ability to be on the backseat. Now to me that sounds like it can be hard job but with these questions I am beginning to see that a partner’s influence to an individual’s decisions without the individual knowing what is going on. The individual sees this partnership as a “partnership” without actually understanding the partner’s significance to trying to prepare to be good company for him/her. Confusing at first to understand but partners actually have to prepare to be good partners which is interesting because Magolda introduced this idea that in a relationship both partners have to be prepared to be good company in order for the partnership to be life-changing.

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