Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Why Do You Fall Out With Your Partner?

Some tips to repair the damage ...



A few weeks ago, I talked about the pitfalls of forming relationships too quickly and having unrealistic expectations because you are still on your big pink fluffy cloud ...

If you fall out with your partner then my tips may help repair the damage!

If you fall out with your partner then my tips may help repair the damage!

At the end, I promised to share a simple model to help you get a new relationship off the ground and repair those that are falling apart.

I was introduced to Brenda Zimmerman's model of STAR relationships in one of my first sessions as a coaching client, and I have used it ever since both for myself and my own clients.

STAR is a useful mnemonic for four criteria that are necessary to form positive relationships. Let's work through it generally and apply it to a referral relationship:

  • R stands for Reason

    It comes first because unless you have a good reason to have a relationship in the first place one or both of you will not commit to making it a success.

    When forming a partnership or new relationship in business, check what both of you want to gain. Can you give what the other person wants and can they deliver for you?

    Over time, either of you may have a change in your priorities. These reasons may diminish, and the relationship will start to falter. It's worth having a regular review to check that you are meeting each other’s needs and adjust your expectations.

  • S stands for Separate

    Each partner in a relationship is a unique individual. Good partnerships are not always forged between people who are similar, many are from people who are complete opposites. However, differences in approaches to business can quickly lead to misunderstandings. This can be as simple as the speed of response to messages or how tidy their office is, or it can be more fundamental as different attitudes to risk-taking, meeting deadlines or making decisions.

    So it is how much you value the differences between you that matters. Also how willing are you to adapt your style to accommodate each other. In our referral marketing, we teach our clients how to treat others the way they like to be treated by understanding how their behavioural style and values differ. It can pay dividends to increase your understanding on how others think and respond.

  • T stands for Talk and Listen

    Whatever your style only really close friendships will survive for long if you don’t talk and listen to each other regularly and have proper conversations. As well as discussing your joint work it is an opportunity to share what is happening in your life, what’s new and what you want to achieve. In my experience, it’s often the off the cuff remarks in a conversation that spark something you can do for each other or explains why they’re behaving a bit weird at present.

    Where relationships often go awry is when you’re not giving or receiving enough information, explaining, clarifying, exploring, discussing, agreeing or disagreeing. When this happens what we tend to do is fill the vacuum, we make assumptions about the other person’s intentions, and we’re often wrong.

  • A stands for Action

    Ever have a job with loads and loads of meetings that never resulted in any decisions or actions? It’s easy for that to happen in a relationship.

    Nothing cements a new relationship more than actually doing something for each other. It gives you both an opportunity to assess each other and build the necessary trust. If you’re already in a relationship, check you are actually doing things together and for each other.

    And key the to all of this? If you say you will do something then do it

Referral Tip:

Map out your key relationships on the STAR of each criteria. 0 in the centre is neither of you meets this at all and 10 at the star’s points is you both meet that criterion completely. Draw it on the star and then join the dots. What does your STAR look like and where you could you focus to make improvements?

Is there a strong enough reason to invest in this relationship? Are there enough benefits to both of you? Are you both playing to your strengths? Are you willing to adapt to each other’s style? Do you have regular conversations? Do you both say what you mean and check what each other means?

"And lastly, what have you done for each other recently?"

If you found this useful do sign up to receive my blog regularly by filling in your details in the popup form. If you'd like a confidential conversation about a referral relationship you want to improve, contact me on 07970 638857 or by clicking here to send an email.

Until next time ...


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07970 638857