My wife and I can go stretches without seeing each other awake. At times, our work schedules can be very demanding. Throw in a beautiful 3 year old girl in the mix and life can get a little hectic! For us, there are a few things that keep us grounded and on the same page: we talk to each other and we take each other’s circumstances into consideration before we make decisions, even the simplest of ones. Before we schedule a dinner date, before we make plans to visit family, before we make a doctor’s appointment, before we go to the grocery store—we talk. I know, this may not sound profound. But we’ve found that it’s the simple things that work.
I believe this simple approach works with business partnerships as well.
To ensure you’re being the best business partner you can be, talk to one another! In fact, you need to develop a regular habit of talking to your partner because you can’t assume you know how they will respond to a particular subject. This is especially true with questions that involve time and money. Even if you and your business partner have had previous discussions about a particular topic, talk to them again before making a final decision. That extra phone call or email may cause a shift in your partner’s original thinking, leading you to a much different outcome than you previously expected.
You have everything to gain by communicating more. It conveys that you value your partner’s ideas and input. You make better decisions by exploring different ideas, studying the pros and cons, and evaluating possible outcomes. Once you’re on the same page, you make confident decisions that both partners will stand behind and support.
People Need To Talk To People when:
• Money is involved;
• Outcomes of a decision are uncertain or assumed;
• Ideas are born;
• Time investments will be needed.
These are critical points in any relationship, when everyone involved should be fully participating in the thinking and decision-making. Whether you’re just developing an idea, reaching major turning points, or dealing with consequences, partners need to work together closely, to know and understand how each person feels and thinks.
Make a conscious choice to be more open with your business partners. Communication is not just something that happens—it is a choice that we make every day. Even if we have communicated great in the past, if we suddenly go through an important period without talking, then that will have a real effect. It’s not enough to count on what we’ve done in our relationship before; we have to keep talking now, about the things we’re doing and thinking about today.
So get on the phone with your partners. Go out and meet with them. Step outside the office and talk with your employees. The importance of talking to people might seem obvious, but it’s something many of us struggle with, and we have to make it an everyday habit. It works in personal relationships, and it carries over to business, too.