In our experience, most problems in not getting along with your business partner stem from an inconsistency in expectations: You thought one thing and your partner thought another. The solution to this is clear — communicate, communicate, communicate! Develop a consistent vision and map out who’s doing what.
Sounds simple, right? Wrong! The reality is that business moves so fast and we get so consumed by day-to-day tasks that partners frequently formulate different expectations. And when they aren’t met, problems suddenly occur.
So how do you keep the communication open? Here are a few “tricks” we’ve discovered:
1) We make a point of frequently having lunch together outside of the office. This time away gives us a chance to talk.
2) We have dinner together with our spouses. When we talk business, our wives usually ask lots of questions, taking nothing for granted. As we answer their questions, we often find ourselves contradicting each other or realizing something that we haven’t talked about before.
3) When contradictions get too wide we force ourselves to stop, and as one of our mentors recommended, “step back and watch ourselves go by.” This allows us to recheck and reach a consensus on the direction we’re headed.
J.B. Schneider and Antonio Turco-Rivas