Relationships that form around starting a business sometimes have trouble transitioning into relationships that work for running a business. Differences of opinion, strategic vision and management style clash at times. When leaders disagree, where they’re leading becomes unclear. Employees lose direction as they work toward competing goals or, worse, none at all. The whole business suffers.
Disagreements don’t have to be the end of a business but they have to be addressed. Leaders who find their way through business relationship problems often find renewed enthusiasm, both in themselves and in their employees. Any business partners who find themselves more often arguing about problems than finding solutions will benefit from assistance. Business therapy can help.
Leadership and Growth
To boil it down, the task of a leader is to bear the weight of decisions and actions a business takes. Business therapy can help facilitate conversations, encourage growth and guide leaders through the issues that divide them.
Discord presents two basic options, turn away or turn into. It goes without saying that, for most problems, turning away doesn’t work. So turning into conflict has to happen. But to be effective in this venture leaders have to manage their own psychology. The only way to do that is to look at how the personal affects the professional. As relationships suffer, so does business.
What determines if a person take things personally or not is how attached they are to being right. The best decisions are made by leaders who understand the issue from all sides. But getting to that understanding can be difficult when the baggage from past or ongoing disagreements muddies the water.
Growth, Your Way
No two businesses are the same. Working with a therapist to clear the air and rekindle a shared vision not only gets things back on track, it demonstrates to employees that putting aside the personal to achieve growth is the norm for the company. Individualized help works to supplement all the generalized advice found in those shelves full of business books.
Communication, as those books so often point out, is the key to all growth. Part of the process of communication, though, is uncovering what blocks it, clearing up old grievances and finding out how one is unconsciously hindering its maturation. Finding the truth in what others say, even when you disagree, helps bring you back to shared values and visions. Many times, leaders agree on a goal but get divided by the path to achieving it. Common ground usually exists. The process of uncovering benefits from guidance.
Saying the Hard Things
People often avoid saying the hard things for fear of the results. Or sometimes holding on to judgments just gives a sense of personal power. Whatever the reason, the hard conversations have to happen. This is one of the basics of leadership. Working through disagreements invites confidence from staff and customers. It shows them that, when things get tough, their leaders really can handle anything that comes up.
At the same time, those hard things that have been left unsaid for so long likely will cause some hard feelings. Business therapy helps get through those rough patches by allowing people to practice communication in facilitated sessions and process what comes up. Staying silent is sure to fail while the only thing holding people back from successfully clearing things up is fear—fear of stirring the pot and of having to deal with the fallout.
Trust and Communication
Putting so much of one’s time and energy into a business makes it feel personal. The hard part is separating what needs to happen for the business from what one wants to happen on a personal level. Leaders aren’t always right but they can surround themselves with people who are willing to speak their truth—even when it conflicts with the boss. Trust builds over time. Feed it with communication and attempts to understand others’ points of view. This creates a fertile ground where business can prosper.