Business Partnership Advisor
Together, we can fix your business and partnership problems
Chris Reich, Business Luminary
Business Partnership: Where is the Love?
“I know this shouldn’t matter but my business partner never tells me I’m doing a good job. Am I being petty?”
Just Do Your Job!
Assuming there is some agreement about duties, shouldn’t partners just do their jobs? Yes, of course. But it’s still important to support each other as partners. As owners, partners in a business share responsibility and the liability as well the benefits of entrepreneuership. Telling your partner that you appreciate their contribution is part of being a good business partner.
People get discouraged when they aren’t acknowledged.
Chris Reich provides Business Partnership Mediation in all 50 states.
Only Give Recognition if You Mean It
If your partner isn’t performing, don’t lay on the praise because they will recognize your insincerity. I know when I’ve done a great job and I know when I’ve come up short. Getting false praise when you know you’ve blown it hurts more than it helps. Your partner knows when she’s done a great job.
So if you don’t mean it, don’t do it. But what to do instead?
If your partner is, in your opinion, under-performing, ask a question rather than try to praise the problem away or worse, by trying to motivate by constructive criticism. It rarely comes across as constructive. Ask, is everything okay with you? Are feeling okay these days? Are you feeling stress from the business? These questions are open-ended and invite dialogue.
If you are pleased with the work your partner is doing, say it! We ALL like to hear it. In the most bitter mediation sessions I conduct, the most common complaint is, “he never says anything good about what I do.”
Would your partner say that about you?
Chris Reich, Business Partnership Mediator
“If your partner is, in your opinion, under-performing, ask a question rather than try to praise the problem away or worse, by trying to motivate by constructive criticism. It rarely comes across as constructive.”
When the business partnership breaks down, the darker sides of the personalities come through. A dominant partner turns into a bully. A person who does not do well with conflict will withdraw. As the bully gets more aggressive, the pacifist withdraws further. Eventually, the bully gets so angry they are ready to lock the other partner out. The pacifist quits coming in. The next blowout is over money. The course is as logically predictable as what will happen to your car if you hit the highway with no oil in the engine. It will get louder and louder until the engine seizes.
I recommend that partners talk through a specific issue and then draft an agreement (called a resolution) that sets a policy. You can keep this in a binder to serve as amendments (or foundation) to your Partnership Agreement. In this post I’ll explain how to talk about things that bug you with your partner and how to draft a binding resolution to fix the problems.
Unless you are in some sort of political business, you should keep politics out of your establishment completely. Of course, you have freedom of speech, but we are in very contentious times and displays of political or religious positions might be off-putting to to your customers.