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Jacky Sherman

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Jacky Sherman

Have you fallen off your big pink fluffy cloud yet?

On the subject of partnerships in business ...

Posted on: 15/10/2014   By: Jacky Sherman

Do you remember how it felt when you first fell in love? I always think of it as being on a big pink fluffy cloud. No matter what anyone else says, that person is just perfect. And if the other person feels the same? Wow! Just wow ...

Think of what you can achieve together! It's marvelous and you're so energised you can take on the world. Trouble is, it doesn't last does it?

"To sustain the relationship that pink fluffy cloud needs to turn into something more substantial!"

Is the same true for business relationships? OK, maybe you don't go into new business relationships with quite the passion of falling in love, but it often has many of the same elements.

People rush into partnerships, alliances and collaborations riding on that big pink fluffy cloud and their partner is just the perfect person to help them achieve success. It's so often about emotion rather than reasoned thinking. If you don't believe me, think about how people react when it all goes horribly wrong.

In 12 years of working with business leaders on their relationships, the one thing that strikes me most is the depth of emotion and the extraordinary - and often vicious - things people will do to each other when these relationships fall apart.

If you've been in business for any length of time, I expect you have your war stories, either when it has happened to you or you've witnessed it with others. You might even be living through it right now. Have you noticed that when people tell their war story, even years later, they still tell it with the raw emotion as if it happened yesterday?

When I've worked with business people going through this, the one thing they all say hurt the most and that they struggle to get past is the betrayal of trust. Yet very few people went into these relationships as cynical con men, out to do the dirty on the other person. Their intentions were honourable. So what went wrong?

At the heart of it are usually a set of unrealistic expectations on one or both sides. These are usually generated in the first flush of the relationship by an eagerness to please the other person.

So when you come off the big pink fluffy cloud you realise that:

  • Each of you is less than perfect and may not be able to deliver all that was promised.

  • You haven't agreed what you really want. You've gone along with what the other person says or just never discussed it at all.

  • Times have changed and what each of you needs to give to the business has also changed.

  • Your own personal circumstances may mean that what each of you wants from your business life will change too.

Four tips this week to put in place your parachute:

  1. With formal partnerships, seek expert advice. Not just to get a legal agreement but someone to work through with you how to manage the relationship over the long term. Remember if you're still on your fluffy cloud your own judgement may be coloured pink.

  2. Referral relationships are informal, This may make it easier to walk away but the emotional charge may still have a negative impact on you. I recommend starting slowly and taking your time to build these relationships. Also review them regularly and never, ever take the other person for granted.

  3. Under promise and over deliver. Often quoted for customer care. Well, it works equally for all relationships.

  4. A lovely quote to live by "We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly" - Sam Keen.

Coming Next Week: I'll share with you a great model you can use to assess, build and repair your relationships.

So see you next week; same time, same place. Do add your comments and share this blog post with others who may find it useful or just interesting. If you want to learn more about how to build relationships that generate amazing business for both of you why not give me a call on 07970 638857?

Until next time ...


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