Irritants can lead to friction. Friction causes heat. Add a little "fuel" and pretty soon you may have an inferno.
Hopefully this is not how you would describe your current business relationship, but if it is, there are steps that you can take to douse the flames and start moving in a positive direction. Perhaps you recognize that you are in the irritant and friction phase, and you need to take steps to prevent ignition.
Partnership Tune-Up services are for partners who have been in business together long enough to see that there are items which are causing discord, stealing their peace, and disrupting productivity.
Even if a business was started without walking through a thorough Partnership Pre-Planning process it is not too late to stop, have the important conversations, and decide on how to move forward. Can you relate to any of these four common areas of conflict?
Expectations - An expectation is defined as: a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future, or a belief that someone will or should achieve something. We go through life managing a constant stream of expectations. We place them on ourselves, our significant other, our children, our parents. We place them on the Barista at the coffee shop, the driver in the next lane, and on the appliance repairman. Most of the time we can manage our expectations and easily adapt when they are not met, but in a business partnership, unmet expectations can be very destructive. If they are not addressed head on, they can insidiously erode at the foundation of a partnership, and cause serious discord.
Fairness - It is common in partnerships to have a division of labor. It is inefficient for both partners to engage in every activity, so tasks are divvied up based upon skills, experience, desire, or other factors. Usually with a rough estimation of fairness in relation to workload, stress, etc. But what can often happen is something that looks good on paper does not always translate into working well in practice. The partner on the positive side of the equation may not even realize there is a problem, while the partner on the negative side can begin chafing at the lack of fairness.
Direction - There is no quicker way to divide a business partnership than to have partners who are literally moving in different directions. This may be because of differing goals for the company, or differing personal goals. In either case, not being on the same page when it comes to direction is a sure fire way to cause irritation, friction, and ultimately flames.
Communication - How individuals give and receive information is one of the most fundamentally important aspects of human interaction. Without a common language, a translator, or other practices in place to convey information effectively, there is a high likelihood of confusion, mistakes, and chaos. Perhaps you have found yourself thinking: "I say the same thing over and over again, but he/she just never seems to understand what I'm saying". In business it is essential that information (and expectations, fairness, direction...) is being conveyed in a way that is being received and understood. If this is an area of breakdown, there are tools and practices which can be implemented in order to understand how information is best given and received between partners in order to guarantee connection.
If any of these ring true to you and you want to explore options for moving forward in harmony, perhaps it is time to consider a Partnership Tune-Up.