For a small business, alliances and partnerships can be an important path to growth, so learning how to nurture these relationships is critical.
In “Paid to Think: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future,” husband-and-wife authors David and Lorrie Goldsmith offer a number of tips for making partnerships and alliances work.
For starters, you need to be committed to these relationships so doubt doesn’t creep in. Make sure everyone is clear on timelines, expectations, deliverables, communication preferences, collaboration methods and other issues before you even move forward.
Don’t overpromise and under-deliver; that can be a sure way to undermine a partnership. Show attention to detail, even down to spell-checking documents. You want your organization to build a good reputation, so demonstrate your professionalism in all aspects of the partnership.
These relationships depend on trust and commitment, so there’s no place for apathy. Watch out for self-delusion and keep your eyes open; it’s easy to pretend everything’s going well when it’s not. Be up front about everything, even problems and mistakes. Integrity and honest communication will go a long way toward helping your alliances work.
Adapted from Ten ‘Sins’ That Can Destroy Your Alliances at Baseline Magazine.