Finding the right partner for any long-term relationship takes some doing. You don’t always find the perfect match at your first attempt, and even when you do find ‘the one’, the relationship doesn’t evolve, develop and succeed without time, care and attention being put in from both sides.
There are a number of common factors that determine the success of any partnership, so here are four attributes any great relationship must have.
- It has to be based on trust
Trust is paramount from day one – it’s a cornerstone of any relationship. Of course, trust is earned and will get greater as time goes by, however, you must feel as if the other party is doing things for the good of the partnership.
In a business relationship (or if you’re a Hollywood power couple), you can put your expectations and promises to each other in a contract, however ultimately it’s much more about what you do and how you do it, day in, day out, than what’s written on a piece of paper.
- It needs mutual effort
Any successful partnership is a two-way street and needs to be built on shared goals and objectives. If there are unrealistic expectations on either side it’s doomed to fail from the outset, so expectations must be shared, discussed and agreed upon.
Communication is key – talk to each other openly and rationally, get things off your chest if need be, discuss things openly and objectively, with a desire to improve the outcome.
Ultimately, both parties need to bring something to the relationship. If one is putting everything in and the other isn’t giving much back, success is going to be seriously limited.
- It can grow into something really special
The early days of a new relationship are generally filled with excitement and promise. Then reality sets in, and those little things you may have overlooked in the beginning become more important.
The relationships that last the course grow together. You must share passions – in a business scenario, that’s about growing and improving, achieving things together you didn’t think possible.
- There will be ups and downs
Every relationship goes through some highs and lows, that’s life. When it’s a personal relationship, your assessment is hugely subjective – based on feelings and emotions.
Of course, a good business relationship is based on strong, effective personal relationships too – you have to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate each other too.
However, a business relationship has a more objective element to it. Business reports will help you assess the true value of the partnership.
You can gain comfort from knowing that it’s a productive and beneficial relationship – or it may give you evidence that it’s a relationship that’s had its day.
Either way, when it comes to business partnerships, strong reporting goes a long, long way.
Ultimately, for a business relationship to work it takes mutual understanding and appreciation on both sides, and a determination to get it right. There will be bumps along the way, of course, but if both sides genuinely want the best for each other, they can achieve things they couldn't possibly achieve alone.
Written by Darren Fogarty
Head of Partnerships, performHR