All individuals cannot always agree on all matters at all times – in fact, disagreement is a veritable ingredient that refines our interactions and improves our ingenuity, shrewdness and productivity which in turn leads to success.
Dealing with difficult or tough business partners is a way of business life that has been mastered by successful people not only in business world but in all endeavors of human existence. Argument over simple issues like how best to setup the marketing department for example can and do occur but the difference lies in how we handle the situation.
Humans are wired to thrive as a result of occasionally conflicting with one another. So, it will be counterintuitive to assume that there would never be any form of disagreement and conflict in your business dealings with your business partners – these ones resets to normal after sometime by default.
However, there are business associates that are extremely difficult to deal with and that is why we are providing these tried and trusted conflict resolution tips
This article today titled (12) twelve ways of dealing with difficult business partners is written to give you tips on how best to manage difficult business partners.
Twelve (12) tips on how to deal with difficult partners
- Be factual: hunches and intuition are not necessarily best way of dealing with situations. You will continue to have problems with your business partner if all you do is rely on your hunches for important business decisions. Basing your actions on verifiable facts is one of the best ways of wining the trust of your difficult business partner.
- Show Empathize: every human always appreciates being empathized with and that includes your difficult business partner. Do not ignore their perspective of things. Rather, try and see things from their point of view. He or she will greatly appreciate you for empathizing with him or her even if you both end up agreeing not to go with his or her opinions.
- Take personal character inventory: Rumi once said ‘I was clever yesterday, so I try to change the world, today, I am wise, so I am changing myself’. A starting point for building self-awareness is to take inventory one oneself. What if the problem has all along been you and not your supposed tough business partner? There are many ways of taking personal character inventory but one of my favorites is the one that has to deal with asking positive questions. For example, ask ‘how can I make my business partner see the reason behind this?’ instead of ‘why is my business partner not seeing this?’ am sure you noticed the emphasis on ‘how and why’.
- Listen: listening to someone is often a sign to the person that they are been taken seriously. The best way to show that you are actually listening to someone is by reaffirming what they say. In my experience, most difficult people I have ever had dealings with always mellow down when they are convinced that I pay attention to what they are saying. Never combine another task when talking to these people – fiddling your phone is a No No.
- Be mean sometimes: it is not always advisable to be submissive to difficult people. Situations may demand that you stand your ground. Being firm when the occasion demands shows that you are a person of character and your business partner would respect you for that. They instantly know that they have crossed their boundary immediately they notice that you are not moving grounds. Use this technique sparingly otherwise it becomes a habit and will over time loose its potency on the person you are using it on.
- Improve your wealth of knowledge: a golden rule to remaining relevant is to keep expanding your knowledgebase. People will naturally respect you when they know that you know your onion and that you are also in tune with the trend of events in your industry. Your hard to please business partner would always think twice before giving you attitude.
- Know when to apologize: the strongest word they say is ‘sorry’. Know when to say that you are sorry and move on.
- Communicate freely: open communication is a major ingredient in any relationship. Keep an open line of communication no matter what. This will ensure that no issue is left too long without being resolved.
- Live by example: talk they say is very easy. Avoid the trap of being talker without corresponding action. You will quickly loose the respect of everyone you deal with if they associate you with being a talkative with little or no action.
- Never take business issues personal: the line between business or professional issues and personal issues should be clearly drawn. No personal attack is allowed when dealing with business partners.
- Don’t aim to win every argument: the point of engaging in an argument with a business partner is not to win the argument but to proffer solution to a problem facing the partnership. Bear this golden rule of argument in mind whenever the need arises.
- Leave the partnership: let’s face it. There are times when the best solution to a problem is to totally avoid getting involved with the source of the problem. This will be your last resort if all the above eleven tips did not work. Care should be taken here so that you don’t act too hastily and regret the action afterwards.
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