How to Run a Successful Business Together as Business Partners

As in all close interpersonal relationships, when business professionals are unaware of different relationship styles—without a compatible mindset, and set of tools, and skills they can use together—each partner individually reverts to what they know best. What they know best is typically unconscious, old, less functional, patterns. This article will tackle these three points of context and answer the following questions... What are the pitfalls of co-owning or operating a business with your partner Understanding the choices and consequences of relationship styles What are the four keys to a successful business partnership Like everyone else, put two business owners together and you’ll find some random combination of approaches to relating which can get them in trouble when faced with conflict and their styles are different. Married couples in business together can be doubly susceptible since they live and work together. I always say when partnerships (personal or professional) are going well, they are wonderful. It's when faced with conflict or disagreements that relationship style differences bring on a challenge to change. What originally feels like a positive connection becomes confusing. Responses that used to work no longer work. Without new information, people do not know how to work themselves out of this sticky situation on their own. They can push it under the rug, but typically it does not go away without being addressed. That's why many couples work with therapists or life coaches. In the world of work, business, and careers, having a business coach or business transformation consultant [...]

Facing the Challenges of Taking on a Business Partner

When a solo-owner or entrepreneur knows that partnering is the next best business decision—be it for start-up, expansion, for future transition, or sale—paving the way with a well discussed, communicated, thought-out relating style is essential to avoid future conflicts. Consciously facing the need to come together with one or more business partners and pairing that with one's own strengths and weaknesses around communication and expectations demands clarity and choices about where change will be necessary—and just where it "ain't going to happen." Choosing the right business partner That's where an expert in both relationships and business comes in to guide you to help you clarify what you want in your business and how a business partner relationship fits your end goal. A business partner coach can then help you assess the candidates and coach you in discussions to ferret out that fit so you stay on track with your ultimate desired outcomes. Challenges of Communication in Business Partnerships The personality characteristics and strengths of the entrepreneur or business owner often run counter to, or do not co-exist well with, the needs of a mutual on-going working business partner relationship, let alone a binding partnership. It's a well-known fact that many (but not all) founder, owner, entrepreneurs are visionaries who follow their own drumbeat. They do not necessarily "play well with others." It's not that they don't care about others, it's that they tend to be self-focused on the business they develop. They want to be in control of [...]

Coaching for Business Partners: 4 Times to Work with a Skilled Business Relationships Coach

Business partnerships have a lasting impact on how and where a business will grow. It takes clarity and communication to make it work. All parties understanding their responsibilities, fulfilling the expectations of the mutually agreed-upon objectives for growing the business. Establishing processes to maximize each other’s strengths, focusing on commonalities in values, and shared visions for business outcomes creates a foundation of trust from which to grow. Business partner and owner coaching lead to successful outcomes. Figuring out how to bring unique individuals together in a successful business partnership is the goal. Because when things are going well, there’s an almost indescribable energy. And when things are going well between you, it carries throughout your organization and all relationships. Together you create better. You communicate better. You work better. You play better. You just do it all better. - Jan Hoistad This article takes a look at coaching for business partners and breaks down 4 times when you need the expertise of an experienced Business Relationships Coach whether you've been in business for a while or just starting a new business. How To Make a Business Partnership Work Business Partner Case Study Focusing For Better Alignment and Successful Outcomes Preventing or Repairing Difficulties in Business Partnerships Summary If you’re looking for guidance on improving your relationships in the business world, you’ll find lots of information on developing sales and management or leadership styles. Some resources focus on aspects such as presence, empathy, confidence, and listening skills. Information on how these [...]

Jumpstart the Next Stage of Your Career with a Complimentary Coaching “Discovery Call”

These past 18 – 24 months has catapulted some personal and professional lives forward — often if you were in the right industry at the right time, and you were lean, mean, and agile. If your position was indispensable to the company in the midst of cutbacks. If work from home (WFH) was seamless for you and your employer or your business. You may still be assessing if the opportunities during this global crisis are relevant or desirable now. At the same time, an overwhelming number of careers and businesses stalled out at the end of 2019. Growth or transition planned for 2020 was road blocked. You may have been eyeing next opportunities or even in conversations with a company you hoped would find you an attractive candidate. Suddenly many doors were closed. Business owners hung on for many months, watching for positive economic signs to hire and expand again. In this same scenario, enormous numbers at the low economic end were laid off or on unemployment for so long, 2/3rds  consider changing fields or occupations. The hit on women’s careers and equality has been devastating with many working mothers forced to step away from their careers. While you may have experienced these setbacks — and wonder which career, business, and life choices make sense for you now — you desire to move forward. Not knowing the "best way" to proceed keeps many people in stasis. Let's talk about an opportunity that can help you leapfrog through your choices so that [...]

4 Business Partnering Styles and Their Impacts on You and Your Business

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 [...]

Relationship Reset: Learn to Grow Stronger Together by Standing Still

You don't have to be loudest in the room. You don't have to be the most visible. Sometimes, you can be strong for you both in a more simple way. In this video, Dr. Jan shares that one SIMPLE STEP - one that can provide a HUGE POSITIVE IMPACT on your relationship and change negative communication patterns between you. She calls it "Standing Still." ⠀ SHARE THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO with a couple you care about today. 🎥 https://loom.ly/HshT-N8 🎬 ⠀ ⠀ Standing Still is a bit paradoxical! It's STOPPING any old behaviors that have not been working. Yet this is not passive. Here's the key - If you're not getting the positive results you want - and the same thing happens time and time again when you try to address it the same old way, then stop. By stopping you can focus on what you are feeling when this happens between you. You can focus on what you really want. You want to be effective, right? Of course, you do.⠀ You want a good relationship - and owning your part in the kerfuffles or battles or disengagements is the FIRST STEP. So, stand still and reflect. Learn a new way - a better way.  ⠀ 👉 Reach out for a Complimentary Conversation or sign up to be notified when our online courses become available. ⠀ 👉 You can also download a FREE Relationship Communication Style Assessment for you and your partner to review together.

Successful Business or Career Transition Planning Should Always Include Your Mate

Navigating Career Transitions Together During COVID-19 The Pandemic has been challenging on all levels of business, career, family, couple, and work relationships. I wrote this article before the pandemic hit, and hit our business lives, career trajectory, and pocketbooks. Work from home (WFH) is now highly endorsed by many, yet not possible depending on the industry and family needs. Business owners, dual-career couples, and couples in business together are spinning with demands. So reading this, your perspective on transitions you had planned before may be enlarged to include not only transitioning out of a company or high-level job down the road—but maybe a shift or major reroute altogether. Some of you are leaving your company and taking a new position. Or your mate is. Or maybe you need to have further discussions about going into business together. Or one of you wants to go back to school to be retooled. Retirement or slowing down may be pushed down the road. Either due to economics, recent life experience or just the facts and changes brought about internally or externally, the concept of "transition" may now need to become "revision" or "re-imagine." And you need to do it together. Because you impact one another. Like a mobile one parts shift and they all shift. Psychologically we're called on to change. To be created in our responses. Not immediately in some circumstances, but that's the ultimate outcome we need to open to. So those that use imagination, who "imagine" and "re-imagine" will [...]

Coaching The Big Picture Business Partner Relationship Way—Style 4/4

In the beating heart of every entrepreneur, business owner, and business partner, is a desire to move with ease and speed, to be one step ahead of the curve, to have a partner and team working smoothly in the flow, laser-focused on achieving mutual goals and agreed upon outcomes, driven to succeed. A business is fertile ground for partnering with one or more people, often with complimentary skills, energy and enthusiasm, sometimes investing money, bringing connections or a book of business. Like many relationships, business partnerships are sometimes humorously referred to as a working marriage. Both are “working relationships.” Humor highlights the complexity such close relationships bring. And like the long-term commitment of a personal relationship, the spirit that brings people together in business also requires interpersonal skill and attention to make the business and the relationship successful over the long-haul. Yet while business partners enter into their legal and working relationship with positive expectations, even enthusiasm, statistics show that anywhere between 50% to 70% of business partnerships ultimately fail. How do you inoculate yourself against such a demise? This article introduces an approach to navigating an important business relationship that should be a great asset to you and your business. It offers insight into the mindset, skills, and tools to work as Big Picture Partners™. This style of relating in your business provides you the communication tools and processes so you arrive at mutually satisfying solutions to your business needs—so you enjoy the process of owning, growing, and [...]

The Unilateral Decision-Making Relationship Style in Business Partners 3/4

This article is part of a series describing 4 Business Partnering Styles that can have an impact on you and your business. Refer to the article published here  to get a broad overview of these approaches. The first relationship style can be found here: The Dominant—Non-Dominant Relationship Style #1/4. Then I explore The Difficulties of Business Partnerships With Undefined Roles # 2/4 and the ramifications of this relationship approach.  Today's article focuses on Unilateral Decision-Makers #3/4.  On Thursday I'll publish the final article in this series and we'll explore the Big Picture Partnering approach #4/4.   Unilateral Decision-Makers Typically Function Like Roommates Unilateral Decision-Makers are initially attracted to what they perceive as one another’s equal competence, independence, and productivity. These are typically seen as complementary skill sets which advance their business. This is also a common default relating style among independent, educated, highly ambitious couples, who are sometimes couples in business together, running a home and an office together. When this relationship is working, each partner typically feels energized, supported, and trusting of the work, the relationship and the business future. It's fun! Parallel Play Having characteristics of entrepreneurs, these owners are focused on making their vision a reality. They each tend to have take-charge and in-control personalities. As a result, a major defining characteristic of Unilateral Decision-Maker owners is that they make decisions independent of one another. Often this is done with the best of intentions, assuming they will be in agreement, but without consciously taking their partner’s feedback into consideration. [...]

The Difficulties of Business Partnerships With Undefined Roles: Style 2/4

This article is part of a series describing 4 Business Partnering Styles that can have an impact on you and your business. Refer to the article published here  to get a broad overview of these approaches. The 2nd article focused on The Dominant—Non-Dominant Relationship Style #1/4 and can be found here.  Today's article describes The Difficulties of Business Partnerships With Undefined Roles # 2/4 and the ramifications of this relationship approach.  Next week we’ll dive deeply into the impacts of Unilateral Decision-Makers #3/4, and finally, the Big Picture Partner approach #4/4.   Partnerships With Undefined Roles People enter into Undefined Role business relationships under a number of circumstances. One is when they dive right in to the day-to-day demands and assume they will sort out the roles later—or sort them out over time. And often, they never get around to it. Others fall into an Undefined Role style because they have an underlying, often unconscious, desire to share everything. In the beginning stages of start-up this happens frequently and may feel both exciting and supportive as they discuss everything, sometimes ad nauseam. Over time, this need for connection proves to be inefficient and eventually keeps a business from achieving the growth they may or may not have targeted. This style may lead to placing value in interpersonal relationship satisfaction above and beyond business objectives. This can feel satisfying in what is called a “life style business” but it frequently doesn’t lead to successful growth. Merging or Lack of Boundaries Another version [...]

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