The term “couples therapy” is very common and known to all. A counselor helps a couple, a husband and wife most of the time. When two individuals get married and living happily start having disagreements in their relationship. The small arguments start to pile up and become a complex problem that causes the relationship to fall apart, couples start wondering if they should live with their partner any longer or not.
You might be wondering, what has that got to do with the business world? A single entrepreneur who works alone might not be familiar but two or more cofounders might be able to find the similarities and know that most of the business relationships are the same as couples are bound by marriage.
Just like marriage, cofounders are the people who invest their time and skills in starting a business, they help by giving their expertise and financial resources to build the foundations of a company. The more the people working in a business and playing their part, the more successful the business is.
When different people are working together, chances are that there will come a point when there will be conflicts and disagreements among the members for various reasons. This can be lethal for a company and can be the cause for the business to fail. According to the study, the conflicts among the cofounders are 65% of the times the reason for new businesses to fail. It is better to find a middle path and bring conflicts to a stop to save the company. The profession of cofounder’s therapy is in demand nowadays.
Many licensed therapists focus especially on resolving the conflicts among the cofounders of different business partners and mediate between them so that the business goes on without an unhealthy environment.
Running a business in itself is already a hectic job and maintaining a relationship is also a difficult task. When these two are combined then the problems increase. Cofounders are different people and have different personalities, their levels of motivations are different and their visions for the company might vary as well. These differences between two people however small they are can cause problems for the business.
It is natural that when there is pressure at work, the relationships go south and you might not be able to ignore small conflicts. When the conflicts become too problematic then it can affect the business, decreasing the progress.
The cofounders now can approach the therapists to resolve the problems and can clarify their intentions. The problems mostly faced by these cofounders are a lack of communication and listening skills. The therapists help the cofounders and mediate between them so that they can be on the same page and build a successful business.
It is better to stop a disaster from happening than waiting for it to happen and then trying to fix it. Many lawyers do exactly that; they help the cofounders to avoid the therapy by making sure that the conflicts do not happen from the start.
What most of the entrepreneurs do is that they do not set the ground rules and rush into starting a business because they are very passionate. There is a class of lawyers is becoming very popular among entrepreneurs who want to start a business. The layers do their job by setting up the ground rules and regulations between the partners, the conditions are written down as an agreement that the parties sign before the startup of the business.
There are various reasons because of which the conflicts among the business partners can arise. The most common conflict that arises is the company spending but there are other problems too; for example, marketing tactics, managing the investors and hiring practices. These are some of the common disagreements that can be the end of a business.
The counseling can resolve many problems but these problems can be readily avoided by the cofounders so that they do not feel the need for therapy, can be done by learning how to avoid the conflicts from the start. As said earlier, the conflicts are unavoidable when there is an environment of the high level of stress but the cofounders learn a few skills then they can get cope with the issues before they get out of hand and fix the conflicts before they start mounting up.
What is the best way to avoid conflicts – you might be wondering? Communication! Communication among the partners and listening to each other can curb the conflicts. When you listen to other partners, you are practically telling them that you trust them and depend on them. It is better to listen to other partners and not interrupt them. Leave out your thoughts for a while and listen to your partner's first, try to empathize with them and put yourself in their shoes. The results will be astonishing as you will be able to avoid the conflicts by listening to each other properly.
Avoiding accusatory dialogue and seeking to truly understand your business partner’s perspective can make all the difference in finding a satisfactory resolution.
Another technique for reducing harmful conflicts is to focus on the big picture. What are the reasons you and your business partner decided to found your startup in the first place? Keeping the end goal in mind makes it easier to focus on why you decided to work with your cofounder. This can also make it easier to realize which sources of tension merit additional discussion and which issues aren’t worth arguing over.
Some cofounders prefer to seek counseling even before the conflicts arise. If you take one step at a time and calmly approach the problems then the entrepreneurs can avoid conflicts; avoid turning against one another and have a healthy relationship. Just like marriage.
While it is not possible to fix every relationship, there are times when the couples who go under couples therapy start their relationship anew which lasts for the rest of their lives. This is possible by bringing change within yourself; start from yourself and let go of bad habits and ulterior motives, communicating more clearly can solve everything. The business partnerships are like marriage, you need to be calm and collected in your approach, understand your partners and listen to them.