In this article you’ll be introduced to four relationship styles entered into by business partners. In four articles indicated throughout and at the end of this overview, each style is discussed in greater detail.

Each style comes with conscious or unconscious assumptions and expectations. These in turn contribute in different ways to:

  • Feelings of ease, trust, respect, and the ability to count on one another.
  • A sense of individual contribution, recognition, and loyalty.
  • Ease and openness of communication.
  • Invitation, support, and encouragement of unique perspectives as part of a creative culture.
  • A commitment to working on the “same team,” An attitude that “We can resolve anything together,” in navigating decisions and differences that impact personal satisfaction, as well as business success.

Each style is briefly analyzed along the following dimensions:

  • The conscious or unconscious relationship mindset or perspective. This dimension is about ultimate decision-making power. It may supersede title or even who appears to be in charge. Who ultimately gets their way, or final say? Are you operating as partners, a team or as a solo decision-maker?
  • An approach to decision-making across all aspects of the business. Where and how are you given autonomy to make decisions individually as a business partner? Is it clear when decisions must be considered together? How do you wish this to filter throughout your team?
  • A perspective on differences, conflict, and how they get resolved. Are you in agreement about how you will handle differences or conflict? Do you have ways to stay engaged when differences arise? If your individual response to conflict is different, do you enlist help so you come to resolution together, or do you revert to grand-standing or pushing things under the rug?
  • Expectations regarding production, agreements, and accountability. Once decisions are made, do you have a clear system communicating next steps and project flow? Is there agreement so you can count on follow through, along with specified times to deliver, reevaluate or refine?
  • Regard for individual as well as mutual contributions and needs. Is value placed in acknowledging each person’s contributions? Is their respect for individual territory, based on expertise and capabilities? Are you conscious of both business developmental stages, and also personal developmental stages? How these needs are integrated, or not, for you and your employees needs impact the business.

In the following articles I’ve focused on each relationship style in depth so you can see the strengths and weaknesses and ways they might be impacting your business.

Having partnership difficulties now or in negotiation with a potential partner? Don’t wait! Let’s get you on a better path  Contact me here.

Read about all 4 relationship styles now by DOWNLOADING the full paper:


For a case example of business partners successfully implementing the Big Picture approach, please read this article.

Please look around the website for more resources, contact us here, or email Dr. Jan directly  to schedule a conversation. Let’s discuss your partnering needs and I’ll share more about the mindset, tools, and skills of Big Picture Partnering can benefit you and you business, so you can have the great partnership that expresses your values and dreams, enriches your pocketbook, and your entire life!

Pitfalls to Running a Successful Business Together as Business Partners

To download both  White Papers for business partners, please go here.

Additional information for Couples, Dual Career Couples, and Couples in Business can be found here.

When you are ready, let’s talk! To discuss your partnership needs, contact me directly here.