Just like any other social relationship, the one that you have with your business partners needs work and maintenance. Common interests and similar visions aren’t enough if you don’t really trust each other well enough.
If you want both sides to perform with the same amount of motivation and engagement, you have to build a proper relationship and keep it together. After all, these could be people that you are going to share your business secrets with.
Be transparent with them
Transparency and honesty are crucial in business relationships. Don’t just give compliments to your partner. Leaving a good impression and making things seem flawless on the surface can actually be quite detrimental in the long run. As we have ascertained, trust is crucial.
So, sooner or later, the other party is going to find out the things about you that you didn’t want to show at first. They will realize that you aren’t telling them everything except for the good things, and they will certainly begin to question everything that you say from that point on. In the end, when you have to let them know about something that has gone awry, it is going to be a lot harder to do.
Don’t focus on the shares so much
Keep in mind that the share in the company shouldn’t determine your business relationship. While it is something that you cannot forget, it is crucial to consider the fact that the other party doesn’t want to feel like they are in the second place, and that you have the power to overturn their decisions just because of your position.
Think about the fact that you work with a partner because you really need one. Otherwise, you would be doing it all on your own. So, make sure that both of you have a say in what matters and that the weight of it is equal.
Get to know them on a personal level
While business meetings generally cover all that you need to know about your business partners, it is still extremely valuable to get to know them on a personal level. Taking your relationship beyond the boundaries of an office may significantly improve the way you cooperate and how well you trust each other.
It is always a good idea to come up with some kind of activity where you can spend time together and talk while having fun. Set up a laser tag match or head out to the golf course. If you aren’t that familiar with golf, you might want to get some practice first. You can take some classes, or, if you are a DIY kind of guy, make use of the assistance of a putting trainer, and practice on your own.
Meet them in person when an issue comes up
Whenever there is an issue that needs to be discussed (or maybe even just certain business matters that need to be glossed over), make sure that you hold a meeting in person. By agreeing to meet with them face-to-face on such occasions, you are not only showing them respect, but also getting the chance to read all the non-verbal signs that tell how they feel about what is going on.
This works much better than a simple conference call.
If you need to work with business partners to begin with, then it is without a doubt extremely important to make sure that your relationship with them is perfect. Of course, you will argue about certain aspects from time to time, but if you have a significant level of trust built, and you know each other in person well enough to be able to tell what’s wrong, you will most often be able to mend fences easily.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several sites.