Working productively with your business partner is essential to the success of your company. The strength of your business partnership is the foundation on which you build your business, but working collaboratively can be difficult even for partners who get along well. Focusing on improving your working relationship will help you ensure your company’s foundation is strong and create success for your organization. Incorporating these proven strategies into your daily interactions will strengthen your professional relationship and keep your business going strong.
Aim to Improve Communication
It seems almost any article on business success includes communication as a critical area of focus, and for good reason. No partnership can work successfully without it, but communicating effectively requires work in several facets, including communication preferences, when and how you communicate, and what you say. To improve your communication with your partner, follow these steps:
- Identify each other’s communication style – be clear how you prefer to communicate and be adaptable to your partner’s style.
- Agree on guidelines for communication – establish regular meetings, weekly status updates, and identify the types of situations to bring to each other’s attention.
- Communicate thoughtfully and respectfully – you are passionate about your company, and so is your partner, but passion can lead to other, more harmful emotions when partners disagree. Avoid sending messages or having confrontations when you are experiencing an emotional response. Think carefully about what you need to convey to your associate and do so respectfully.
Provide Positive Reinforcement
In Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” the author and businessman discusses the idea of the emotional bank account. Covey describes positive interactions like compliments and favors as deposits and negative interactions like asking for favors or being short with someone as withdrawals. The goal is to keep a positive balance with your partner by making more deposits than withdrawals. You can accomplish this by making an effort to make others feel good – recognize their strengths, appreciate their efforts, and be authentically interested in what they have to say.
Help Each Other Grow
Maybe you are the computer whiz and your partner excels at interacting with clients, or perhaps you have experience with marketing and your colleague deals with the numbers. Regardless, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Your affiliation should be an opportunity for you both to shine in your strengths, but also to help each other overcome your weaknesses. Share your knowledge, provide goals that require you and your partner to stretch outside of your comfort zones, and learn everything you can from one another. Growth is good for you, and what is good for you is good for your business.
Understand How Businesses Work
Another key component to a strong partnership and a successful company is understanding how businesses work. Knowing what it takes to run your company and make your organization successful is both of your responsibilities. Attend seminars on business fundamentals, consider getting a masters degree in business administration online, and stay up to date on the latest news and research related to your industry. This will reduce stress, make sure you are both on the same page, and help take your business to the next level.
Employing these techniques will not only strengthen your working relationship, but they will help you grow professionally and contribute to success. By improving your communication, providing positive reinforcement, helping each other grow, and furthering your business knowledge, you can make sure that your business association stays strong.