This week’s video is a continuation from last weeks, which was titled “What do you do when partners don’t get on?” This is Part 2, If you haven’t seen Part 1 go back to the videos tab and watch Part 1 first…

Part 1 was about, ‘how to set up the partnership at the beginning, so as to give it the best possible chance of succeeding’. Part 2, is more about the reality that many people find themselves in when they enter into a partnership without any formal agreement and now find that it isn’t working and the relationship is breaking down.

It’s not working… now what?

When any relationship, personal or professional isn’t working, it’s never easy because you are often not dealing with the issues in a rational, objective or fair manner. You’re usually angry, disillusioned and bitter, and all that resentment starts to ‘poison the well’ and as a result you become part of the problem. So what are you going to do?

You can’t just carry on doing what you have been, which is probably a mixture of getting more resentful, withdrawn and angry. Instead, you have to have some confronting conversations with yourself and your partner.

Start first by asking yourself and your partner some hard questions…

Most problems in any relationship are caused by ‘communication’ or the lack of it… likewise, most problems will be resolved by communication.

It’s not about playing the ‘blame game’. No one will benefit from that, so try hard to put the blame aside and ask yourself and your partner some confronting questions to look at where you went wrong and what you need to do to move forward in a positive way. Questions like…

  • Do you really want the partnership to work?
  • Does your partner want it to work?
  • If the answers ‘yes’, that’s a positive start, so what do you both need to do?
  • Perhaps a good point to start at is to look at and acknowledge what is currently working and what you are both doing well?
  • Then ask each other what isn’t working?
  • Why isn’t it working?
  • What would need to happen to resolve the situation?
  • Are you both capable of putting the emotion aside and communicating openly and honestly to find the best way forward?
  • Are you both capable of compromise?
  • Would it help to have a third party to help negotiate a way through, someone who won’t take sides and doesn’t have an emotional investment in the business?
  • Is it possible to ‘retro-fit’ a partnership agreement that satisfies both partners?
  • What can you learn from the situation to ensure that it doesn’t happen again?
  • When and where can you allocate time each week to sit down together in private and have frank open honest conversations to keep on top of things before they get out of hand?

Is there likely to be tears, shouting, irrational comments, things you wish you hadn’t said… someone storming off …is it likely to get better for a while and then revert to old patterns of behaviour? ‘Yes!’ All those things and more are likely to happen, but if you really want this to work, you have got to work at it!

So, get on with it! Rant and rave if you have to! Apologise when necessary, and then get back in there because there is a lot riding on this.

Unfortunately, sometimes the relationship will have broken down past the point of no return and you simply have different visions for the business. So if the decision is to dissolve the partnership, what is the best way to do that without destroying the business and each other in the process so that you can both move on with the best possible outcome?

Good luck!

Thank you for watching…

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