We live in a world where it’s next to impossible to do anything on your own. We all rely on others to help us get to where we want to go. Whether it’s clients, friends, lenders, suppliers, mentors, or colleagues; we need relationships to help us grow.
The most productive and successful relationships take the form of partnerships. But partnerships only work when they are mutually beneficial. Over the course of my career, I have come to realize that there are 3 key factors to building and maintaining successful partnerships.
Communication is crucial for both parties to have a mutual understanding of the other’s perspective. Without communication neither party will be clear on the wants/needs of the other. If there isn’t clarity in the relationship, chances are there will be miscommunication which in turn can lead to hard feelings and a breakdown of the partnership. Communication is also an integral component of building trust.
Honesty and trust go hand in hand. If you don’t feel someone is being honest, or you don’t trust someone, it’s hard to depend on them and the relationship will never be healthy. When you do trust people, you have confidence in them – in their integrity and their abilities. As Stephen Covey once said “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
Everybody wants different things for different reasons, and in partnerships it’s rare that both parties align 100% on their wants and needs. It’s ok to concede a little to get what you want, but it has to go both ways for it to be mutual. It will never work if it’s one-sided.
Good partnerships are hard to come by, and they also take time to form. If you are lucky enough to have them, they are generally worth the effort (on both sides) to keep them going. Putting the effort into effective and open communication will lead to a true bond of trust and mutual respect. This in turn will allow for a strong foundation on which to negotiate healthy compromise and goal alignment.
Trust me, its worth the effort!