Assessing potential business partnerships
I have often wondered how to evaluate potentially good business partnerships and have since come up with 3 metrics that you probably won’t learn in business school:
1 — Do they take initiative?
When problems arise, do they come with solutions or only complaints about who or what caused it? Even better, do they start to work on the solution or do they wait for someone else to notice the problem?
2 —Are they transparent and do they communicate well?
Do they openly and willingly share opportunities with you or are they extremely secretive about what they’re doing otherwise? A good tell-tale is if they generally try to be helpful and aim to develop the relationship — personally and professionally. Obviously most people are (rightfully) focused on their own interests and seek to extract more than contribute — unless there’s an existing relationship. That’s reality.
3 — How do they handle conflict?
When there are disagreements or conflicts(especially about money), do they focus on their individual benefits, become overly defensive or revise their commitment to the project/business? Most people drop their facade when money is involved. One aggressive strategy to expose someone’s ability to handle conflict is to charge a higher fee than usual (or lower depending on the project) to see their genuine self if you are unsure.
Ultimately someone’s values matter a whole lot more than their skills or aptitude. Do business with those who share your values in business and life.
I’ll share some thoughts on how to find alignment in values next time