The one thing we all are afraid of when building a business partnership is ruining the personal relationship with the person. A partnership is prone to arguments, disagreements and even occasional fights. This will have a direct impact on your personal relationship with the partner. Most people, when looking for a new business partner, prefer to go with a good friend, relative or colleague whom they know and trust. While this might be good for the business, it can have a negative impact on your personal relationship with the person.
It is very much possible that you will eventually start disliking the person or liking less than before or even start hating them when you are engaged in constant fights and arguments for a while during the course of the partnership. This doesn’t mean that you should not form a partnership with a close friend or relative. It only means that you will have to take some extra measures or be extra careful not to ruin the relationship while building the business.
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Here are some things you can do to make sure that you continue liking each other even after spending years in the partnership.
Work together more often
When you are sharing a business, you need to work together very often. Even if you do have specific responsibilities and duties, you can still work side by side. When you are together more often, you’ll be able to communicate more frequently with each other rather than keeping things in mind or sharing them with a third person. It’s not enough for partners to only attend weekly meetings together, they should be doing tasks, having discussions and making decisions together. This helps to build a trust between the two that goes a long way in the relationship.
Like the person underneath
Even if the ideology or thinking of your business partner doesn’t match with that of yours. That doesn’t mean that he/she is a bad person. Remember why you liked them in the first place and keep reminding yourself of that whenever you feel like hating them. Try to be the change you wish to see in your partner. Understand their strengths and weaknesses and behave accordingly so that you can continue having a good relationship.
Make decisions together
Many business partnerships fail because one of the partners start treating himself superior to others, making important business decisions by himself and all. Even if you are given such an opportunity to be able to make decisions together, don’t do it. When a decision is made by consulting all the partners and after mutual discussion, the responsibilities and blames are shared by every partner when the decision results in a success or failure. It is natural to like a partner more when he/she respects your inputs in the decision-making process.
Let them speak
Never, ever make your business partner feel unwanted by neglecting their inputs or by not listening to them when they speak. It is important for business partners to be empathetic if they wish to establish a successful partnership and maintain the relationship with each other. You should give them enough time and space to share their ideas and then you can, in a proper way, input your thoughts on it. Try putting yourself in their shoes to understand exactly how they feel about you and about the partnership.
Let them do what they’re good at
One important way to build a friendly partnership is to understand the strengths and likes of you partners. If your business partner is good at something, you should allow them to take that responsibility. This not only increases the chance of success but also strengthens the relationship on the personal level. Also, be ready to make the sacrifice when there’s something you are both good at and want to do.
Do not lose a good friend for the sake of building a bigger business. Respect your friendship and your partner as a person to ensure a smoothly running partnership.