6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail

October 30, 2013 | By | Reply More

business partnership

Business partnerships are great — if they work. If done correctly, strategic partnerships allow you to grow your business, reach new markets, extend your capabilities and improve the business. Working with partners allow you to strengthen factors or elements in your business that otherwise would be weak. Partnerships can also help you strengthen your position in the marketplace, even block potential competitors with the boost you receive from your business partner.

However, business partnerships are not without problems, and getting out of a bad one is not as easy as a walk in the park. Below are 6 common danger signs that indicate your business partnership, or any partnership for that matter, is in trouble. These are:

  1. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Communication Breakdown
  2. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Competitive, Not Complementary Action
  3. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Conflict Becoming the Norm
  4. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Cumulative Money Problems
  5. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Control Issues
  6. 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail: Changing Vision

Communication Breakdown

First, and most important, in my view, is the issue of Communication Breakdown.

Although my list refers to the danger signs that partnerships are in trouble, the fact is that communication breakdowns abound in all relationships. Sometimes they are serious leading to downward spiraling such as in business partnerships and marriages where the stats of breakup are astronomical. Other times they are simple miscommunications of lesser impact that don’t negatively affect the relationship.

As an experienced listener, sometimes I smile when I happen to hear people answer the question they think they heard and be replied to as if they answered the question that was asked. A recipe for trouble. Then the conversation twists and turns and no one is the wiser (but me!).

What can you do to avoid these breakdowns?

First and foremost be committed to open listening. Honestly, you don’t have to be right all the time. Others have worthwhile opinions too. Don’t set yourself up to judge. Put your agenda aside. You can always embrace it later.

Allow the possibility that you have something to learn from someone else. Often what happens is that you may reject the idea expressed but it triggers yet another idea and another. Before you know it you’ve both expanded your options and have created new and exciting possibilities. Or you have respectfully listened to each other’s viewpoints and feelings or cleared the air about something which needed to occur before moving on to the business itself.

In partnerships there is an additional vital element for good communication. That is a commitment to the relationship no matter what the disagreements. It goes without saying that trust is a given.

Now that you have the mindset, you can use the following techniques.

  • Be open and honest with your declarations.
  • Repeat back what you think you heard for clarification.
  • Ask questions to be sure. Did you mean…? Are you saying….? Did I make myself clear? Can I/you say that another way? Did I hurt your feelings? Have I offended you? That’s a great idea! Thank you for pointing that out. I appreciate you saying that. I never thought of it that way. That’s brilliant!

When communication is clear, you’ve taken the most important step to preserve your partnership and relationships.


NEXT: Competitive, Not Complementary Action

Read Other Articles in the Series 6 Signs Your Business Partnership Will Fail


About the Author:

Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Contact Dr. Lehavi at Dorene@CoachingforYourNextLevel.com or on the web at Http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com

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Category: Strategic Alliances

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