How to Patch-Up a Sour Business Relationship for the New Year

Just about any type of relationship can go bad at practically any time. Business relationships are no exception to this sad phenomenon. Even Dave Ramsey says often, “The only ship that won’t sail is a partnership.” Statistics certainly prove this point true. But, it’s not just professional partnerships. Small business owners enter into many working relationships and any one of them can go bad. So, if you experienced this type of situation, there are ways to get back to doing business together, though both of you will need to make a commitment to make it work.

Alternatives, Options, and Change

If the relationship is irreconcilable, or it’s just not possible to do business again (because of an extraordinary circumstance like death, retirement, or the person has gone out of business), you’ll have to rely on other options, which can mean going with an alternative. But, before you jump right into another relationship, it’s usually best to try and work things out first.
The common thread among all damaged relationships is the trust between both parties has been broken. Trust is the underrated lubricant for success in business, and rebuilding that trust is the first step in repairing any business relationship.–Inc.com
After all, if you had a working relationship with this individual before, you both benefited from it and it makes sense to continue so neither one of you is forced to start from scratch again. However, if this isn’t feasible or even possible, make a list of alternative options and write down each one’s pros and cons. Make some preliminary contact and explore working together. You could even give one or more a trial run in order to determine how well it does or doesn’t work.

How to Patch-Up a Sour Business Relationship

Now, if there is a possibility that the relationship can be reconciled, there’s no real good reason not to try. Although, it will take quite a bit of commitment from both parties in order to have a viable future. Here is some effective advice for how to mend a broken business relationship:
  • Start with introspection. Humans are keen on shifting blame away from themselves. People not only dislike making mistakes, but they also do not like being in the wrong. So, it’s up to you to take a good look at yourself first and be willing to accept any blame you deserve.
  • Be humble but honest in your approach. Next, try to reconnect on a casual basis. If you have mutual interests, that’s a good place to start to reconnect. If necessary, take a gradual, measured approach and go slow. When the time is right, you can have a more candid discussion about what transpired but, don’t be blameful.
  • Agree to leave the past behind for the sake of the future. Both of you will have to keep this promise in order to have any chance of working together again. Make it a point to put sensitive topics or events off-limits and focus on your future working relationship instead.
  • Keep an open line of communication flowing. Once you agree to work together again, don’t let the same things get in the way. Stay in regular contact so that everyone’s expectations and needs are known. This will be a great way to help the relationship flourish and be beneficial to both parties.
What other advice would you give entrepreneurs about patching up a sour business relationship? Please share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your perspective! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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