Are you endangering your business?
Ask yourself 2 questions: Is there something I avoid speaking to my partner about because it feels too painful, annoying, or confrontational?
Is there anything I suspect that my partner is avoiding bringing up for one of those same reasons?
Most of us would rather not get into arguments or even talk about something that pushes our buttons. Conflict is bad for your health, your personal life and definitely bad for your business when the partners who own it don’t get along.
When disagreements have reached the stage of ongoing conflict, emotions have overcome the issue. At this point no one is thinking clearly or speaking truthfully about the original problem. It becomes all about winning. How useful is that?
You can win the battle and lose a whole lot more. As it does to a marriage, conflict becomes a nail in the coffin of your business partnership. Though you may end up in court and even “win”, you often lose in life. .
Even if conflict doesn’t reach this dramatic, sad and costly finale, living with conflict is an unhappy, unhealthy situation. Not only does it cause you misery, but it is contagious. Employees, clients and family members feel the tension. They may be taking sides even without knowing the unspoken details of why there is this tension.
If you and your partner avoid meeting, deteriorate into a yelling match when you do meet, or live in silence without addressing the important aspects of running your business you are putting your business in danger. Even if you never break up and go out of business, there is no way it can function well in these circumstances. The effect of your conflict is that the machine cannot run smoothly and your earnings, the reason you are in business in the first place, will show it.
Tom and George avoided each other like the plague. Tom believed he was doing most of the work and his level of compensation should show it. George vehemently disagreed and stopped talking to each other over this disagreement. They each focused on their area of expertise, but didn’t see how that focus was eroded due to the lack of coordination between them. As a result the sales and marketing division also didn’t talk to the design or fulfillment teams. The managers of the divisions were often confused about how what they were doing or not doing fit into the picture at any given moment. Everyone was shooting from the hip and running the business by putting out fires, sending ambiguous emails between departments and overall chaos became the norm. There was demoralization at all levels. Some of the most valuable people were sending out their resumes.
The business was definitely in danger because those running it dropped the ball over an unresolved issue between them.
The best solution to conflict resolution is conflict prevention. Resolve things at the disagreement level before they become conflicts. If it’s too late for prevention call in a relationship expert to coach you ASAP before things deteriorate beyond repair.
Now is the time to remember that there were good reasons you chose your partner. If you were honest and sincere in your initial evaluation and desire to succeed, it’s helpful to keep that in mind when things get rough. Find your way back to that place of harmony and mutual respect.
The first step in resolving conflict is to agree to do so and to agree on the ultimate goal, the success of the business, which is greater than each of you as individuals. When you are seriously committed to the same outcome things can usually work out. When you’ve reached this point, a third party, non-biased expert coach is not just desirable, but essential to facilitate discussions and keep emotions at bay. Once you’ve done this enough times with help, found a win/win solution, you will be able to run the business or your own using the tools you learned with expert help.
A successful business is not just your livelihood, but likely the biggest part of your life. It sustains you on many levels, provides for your family, jobs for your employees, a good product or service to your customers and is an asset to your community. Think of all of this when you avoid dealing with each other over an unresolved conflict. For help in having the conversations, call in a relationships expert. Find out more HERE!
I wish you success!