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 partnership demise. It’s amazing how often people dive into business relationships without clear guidelines.
In the most recent story, a team-member changed organizations only to discover after the move, the other partner seized all the benefits from the move.
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 hope and end up with regret.
Goals Matter – Mis-matched goals are frequent cause of failed partnerships. 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 their differences. The secret is a high-level of mutual respect and an appreciation for complimentary strengths.
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, 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 operate under the same un-written rules. Discuss these and make sure they’re compatible. A skilled team coach can help uncover these. Most people aren’t aware of their assumptions (which is what makes them assumptions).
Resource of the Day – Insightful Assessments
Quality assessments are a great tool for developing 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.
To see samples visit: Assessment Samples for Individual, Teams & Leaders
(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.)