Story of the Day – Partnership Peril
Recently, I heard another sad tale of failed partnership. I’ve heard many similar tales with poor communication, mis-matched expectations, conflicting values and lack of clarity causing the partnership demise. It’s amazing how often people dive into business relationships without clear guidelines. This is especially true when there’s a power difference. A junior professional will partner with a senior professional expecting opportunities for growth, development and profit only to be greatly disappointed down the road. In the most recent story, a team-member changed organizations only to discover after the move, the other partner is taking all the financial benefits.
Tip of the Day – Five Foundations for Good Partnerships
On the other hand, I’ve witnessed more partnership successes than failures. These too have a common themes. Below are five foundations for partner success.
- Character is King - Partner with people whose actions match your core ethics. This seems like a “no-brainer” but people can be lured by the promise of success, throwing caution to the wind.
- Goals Matter – Another reason for failed partnerships is mis-matched goals and direction. What you want and where you are going need to be complimentary. Everyone wants to be successful, but how can take many forms.
- Respect is Key - Good partners are often very different, but they’re successful despite differences in personality and style. The secret is a high-level of mutual respect and an appreciation for the strengths of others.
- Get Help - It’s really hard for people to uncover all the core values, ethics and goals on their own. There’s very little incentive to reveal your true motivations and concerns, let alone your possible faults, while courting a partner. It’s much easier for an objective person (internal team expert or external team coach) to work confidentially with each party to ask the tough questions and get straight answers.
- Match Un-written Rules - We all have habits and beliefs that form a sizable list of un-written rules. People automatically assume that others will do as they do. Discuss these default assumptions and make sure they’re compatible. A skilled team coach can help uncover these, since most people don’t spend time unearthing their assumptions (that’s why they’re assumptions).
Resource of the Day – Insightful Assessments
Quality assessments are a great tool to use when developing partnerships and teams. I rely on John Wiley & Sons, a major provider of assessments for individuals, teams and leaders. The tools I use are excellent, reasonably priced and conveniently completed online. Contact me at Barbara Kay Coaching to request samples.
(I have no financial stake in Wiley nor receive any remuneration for promoting their tools. There are thousands of assessments. It’s overwhelming for most clients to pick on their own, so I try to offer a selection of good resources. If you have a preferred tool, please send me your suggestions. I’m always looking for quality resources.)