In business, nothing is more important than selecting the right partner to work with. And some partnerships have a flying start. However, not every business partnership is meant to last forever. Although intimate relationships are convenient as a starting point of a partner relationship, it is recommended to search beyond social acquaintances.
Whether you’ve chosen to partner with your best friend or your spouse if you’ve noticed the respect and trust are fading, your skills are no longer complementary to each other, the communication has broken down, and many other signs – it is a cause for an alarm.
Now, how should you handle the business partnership when it is close to hitting the bottom? Before anything else, start communicating about the obvious and review the points that brought you to where you are with your partner. You can agree to discuss privately each other’s view on the issues.
Think Before You Speak
In life, business and marriage the number one rule is to maintain the communication open. Get back to being in tune. No hidden agendas. No sealed books. As a team, you both need to loyally prove true to your promise to interlace your personal and professional lives. Handling crisis is not a question of “if”, but more of a “when”. Therefore, it would be good to have a plan ready when it comes to tough conversations. Establish healthy boundaries for how you communicate. This is particularly beneficial when a crisis strikes and you both are most likely to speak before you think.
Navigate the Situation Toward Solution
Short temper, bitterness, isolation, bad attitude, fear, discontent, detaching, as well as stress and anxiety are natural reactions to any crisis we often project on our spouses and/or partners. Ones you acknowledge that both you and your partner are committed to your partnership and your business as well as to each other, managing crisis will be effective and you will navigate the situation successfully. Leaving the partnership is not under negotiation. Admitting that making a break for it is not an option hammer out the deal for effective work and can obliterate a huge barrier in the journey to a solution.
Make a List
If you have the feeling that you are pulling more weight than your partner, talk to him/her directly and explain it in the least accusatory way. You can even write a list of all the things you think you are contributing to the business and another of everything your partner is giving. Share both with your partner and ask if he/she agrees. If not, ask him/her for an explanation and to write a list of his/her own. Chances are, your partner may have a completely different view. Make an effort not to criticise each other in the process as you are only trying to inspect the situation from one another’s perspective.
Focus on the Future Partnership Potential
Changing expectations or differences that are not addressed in the early stage can leave a lasting mark on the partnership. Having an impartial colleague or a good business advisor to talk to can help you look at things more objectively. What is more, confronting your partner with frustrations and concerns can sometimes knock some sense into the situation and make you aware of the aftermath of main unsettled differences. In situations such as this, focusing concentration on future partnership potential, rather than past partner infraction can help get the partnership going in the right direction again. However, if the patterns of disagreement keep recurring, then talking about amicable separation may be the only logical option.
If No Other Way, Settle
A good partnership agreement will make the ending less painful. In a crisis situation, there can be no pinch-hitter for experience and it’s healthier for partners to find independent, brittle advisors instead of using advisors who are personal friends or next of kin to help out resolve parting. That is why you should seek the help of qualified lawyers, who can provide impartial advice focused on what’s best for the overall partnership and business. Moreover, lawyers can help you examine and settle your acute differences, inevitable in any business, as in any marriage. Even though emotions are high and charged, if they are simply fractured and you are clearly advised of your position, you may find that settling is the most convenient outcome.
Good business partnerships can be built with the right cohesion of interpersonal chemistry and individual expertise. However, to make the partnership work successfully, to keep it thrive and last, a cooperative and continual mutual involvement is more than required. Keep in mind that partnerships are legal bonds. Misunderstandings over business vision and money can destroy even the best of friendships as well as other personal relationships.