We work a lot with business partnerships at McBride For Business (www.mcbrideforbusiness.com). One of the things that are inherent in all partnerships is that at some point in the business partnership’s life there will be a disagreement.
Partners are simply going to go in different directions: the business is going to evolve, and unexpected situations are going to come up. It’s very rare to see a partnership that doesn’t have some degree of disagreement on a frequent basis. Now, for some partnerships, things can be negotiated, the partnership can continue to move forward – and that is the best outcome in most cases. However, in some cases, the disagreement becomes bigger, and the partners are not able to move forward.
For the early stages of a disagreement, how do we know which one we’re dealing with – a temporary or permanent one? How do we know whether it’s a big disagreement that’s going to last forever, or whether it’s a small disagreement which may be forgotten a year from now?
I think one of the keys is to look at values. Trace back and determine why is this disagreement happening. Is it a strategic disagreement, a different perspective, or are there fundamental values at stake here? Are the partners perhaps disagreeing because they have different fundamental values or different outlooks on life?
It could be as simple as a work-life balance or the number of hours the partners want to contribute to the business. It could be customer service values, the amount of time and energy put into the customers, and it could be values over employees versus owner’s profit sharing.
There could be a lot of reasons why value differences come up.
If you’re in a disagreement and you’re trying to figure out whether it’s going to be a long-term permanent disagreement or a short-term passing disagreement one of the keys is to analyze why the disagreement’s happening, more than just a surface level, but what’s going on behind the scenes.
What’s been your experience with disagreement? Have you seen these before? Have you dug down to figure out whether it was a value-based or another disagreement? Join us in the comments below and let us know your experience with disagreement.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Camila Schnaibel.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment (www.rshawnmcbridelive.com/3laws), gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can reach R. Shawn McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 418-0258.
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