A series of articles exploring the seven critical areas that can indicate a partnership is in trouble.

Conflict Becoming the Norm – Part 1

Dr. Dean Ornish, noted cardiologist, says the greatest cause of disease is the stress that comes from conflict. Conflict is bad for your health, your personal life and definitely bad for your business.

When disagreements have reached the stage of conflict, emotions have overcome the issue. At this point no one is thinking clearly or speaking truthfully about the original problem. It becomes all about winning. How useful is that?

You can win the battle and lose a whole lot more. Conflict becomes a nail in the coffin of your marriage, or in your business partnership. Though you may win in court, you often lose in life. This is a major component of the scenario that accounts for the high rate of divorce in marriage and even higher rate of dissolution of business partnerships.

Even if conflict doesn't reach this dramatic result, living with conflict is an unhappy, unhealthy situation. Not only does it cause you misery, but it is contagious. Employees, clients and family members feel the tension. They may be taking sides even without realizing the unspoken details of the issue. You and your partner avoid meeting, may deteriorate into a yelling match when you do meet, or live in silence avoiding addressing other important issues as well. This is not the scenario that inspires you to get out of bed in the morning.

The best solution is prevention. Resolve things at the disagreement level before they become conflicts. If the two of you can't get to resolution where you both feel like winners, call in a coach. Actually, my clients find that a monthly meeting is a great preventative and also teaches them the tools needed to handle most situations on their own.

Now is the time to remember that there were good reasons you chose your partner. If you were honest and sincere in your initial evaluation and desire to succeed, it's helpful to keep that in mind and if things have gotten out of hand, hire an outside expert who can help you get back to that place of harmony and mutual respect.

The first step in resolving conflict is to agree to do so and to agree on the ultimate goal which is greater than each of you as individuals. When you are seriously committed to the same outcome things can usually work out. When you've reached this point, a third party, non-biased expert listener and coach is not just desirable, but essential to direct the discussion and keep emotions at bay.

Author's Bio: 

Dorene Lehavi, Ph.D. is principal of Next Level Business and Professional Coaching. She coaches Professionals and Business Partners and teaches teleclasses on techniques to break through barriers to the next level. Dr. Lehavi offers a complimentary coaching session so you can experience how coaching can work for you. Contact Dr. Lehavi at Dorene@CoachingforYourNextLevel.com
or on the web at Http://www.CoachingforYourNextLevel.com
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