Communication and connecting is essential in all areas of business. Communicating with business partners in an effective and profitable manner takes authenticity and a commitment to the business and the relationship. Most people communicate the way they want to receive information and this can lead to disaster if the other communicates in a different. It is much more effective to communicate in a way that the receiver can receive the information. Communicating with business partners is vital to your success.
Recently, I was working with business partners who were struggling with perception of who was doing more for the business. Both were feeling upset with the other because of the idea that each one was doing more than the other. One of the partners enjoys emailing, texting as means of communication. The other partner prefers personal contact via face to face meetings and telephone calls. The simple solution here is to communicate with your partner in a way that person can understand and resonates with their way of taking in information. When you speak to the listener rather than forcing your way upon the other, you develop improved rapport and better communication overall.
Many of the partners I work with have a history of being an excellent practitioner of their craft yet have not previously owned and managed a business that offers the craft. There is a difference in thinking strategy and goal setting and responsibility when going from a practitioner to an owner. Many people think they can figure it out and they do. Some like to jump in and make mistakes and keep going while others are more tentative and cautious. Either way, there is a growth curve and experience that having a mentor or support system for business ownership that is vital to success.
Communication Skills for business partners include:
1. Develop the skill of listening to what is being said by waiting a few seconds to respond. Resist the temptation to wait for your chance to listen.
2. Develop inner clarity of your personal mission and credo and how your person mission relates to the business. Remember: you are NOT your business.
3. Clearly communicate company goals and time frames for action toward the goals as well as responsibility.
4. Have frequent feedback loops for clarity and to offer opportunity for course corrections before major problems arise.
5. Know what you are willing to do for the business success. The more specific the better.
6. Know what you are willing to no longer do for the business. One of the things to release might be controlling behavior or contempt prior to investigation and focusing on the wrongs of your partner.
7. Share your message in 5 word sentence and use 5 sentences. Having clean language reduces misunderstandings based on fluff words.
8. Focus on the good both parties bring to the table and remain in a yes/and rather than an either/or mentality.
9. Remain open and receptive to new information and ways to grow, keeping the company goals first when talking about the company.
10. Reserve the right for each person to change their mind or to make mistakes. Excellence is the key. Being a perfectionist is too rigid and causes discord.
11. Be compassionate with self and others, offer gratitude and live by principles that align with your deeper sense of values.
12. Establish and maintain consistent company culture that includes all involved most importantly your customers and each other.
There are many aspects of business communication. Partnership allows for growth by both people. Your business is a growing and evolving entity and should be taken care of properly. Being harsh, judgmental, controlling and passive aggressive are not helpful qualities and will certainly undermine success. Remember that each of you has feelings and beliefs and the business is a reflection of what you both choose to be the corporate culture and way.
When it comes to your business partner and communicating, be sure to be authentic and present for the relationship. Distractions and excuses can breakup an otherwise powerful partnership. Pay attention and state your needs quietly and clearly, listen to your partner as they state their needs. Together, great things can happen. It takes investment. The investment is worth the work as long as it all aligns for your goals.