… If you talk about it first!
When business partners are having problems in their relationship, they almost always tell me that they avoid each other.
Here’s why: issues have come up over time, small ones at first, that were not discussed when they happened and that have grown. Soon, more issues would come up, and the bad feelings would compound.
Resentment, anger and bad feelings fester causing serious damage to the relationship and, as a result, to the business itself.
When asked why they never told their partner what bothered them, they often tell me: “I didn’t want a confrontation.” My answer? “It wouldn’t have been a confrontation if it had been put on the table and dealt with immediately.” At that point, it would have been simply a topic for discussion.
If they had a written business partnership agreement, they would have decided upon a solution for resolving disagreements that would guide the discussion. However, when the issue is pushed under the rug and not dealt with, it grows.
Eventually, the damage is great, emotions take over and a true confrontation is inevitable.
The good news is that excellent communication skills can be learned. Also, they must be practiced on a regularly scheduled basis between partners. Every successful partnership that I’ve encountered emphasizes this.
Here’s what’s important to know: avoidance of discussing areas of disagreement is the beginning of a downward spiral that may not be capable of being rescued.