3 Ways To Spot Bad Business Relationships

Do you know how to spot the red flags of a potentially bad business associate? As a leader, sometimes you have the opportunity to chose who you affiliate your business with, which clients to take on, or who you are exposing your team to. So when you do actually have an option about who to associate with professionally, what are the things that you should be looking for to vet out potentially bad business connections?

Bad Communication

Maintaining rock solid communication about how you both do business is vital. Is your potential business affiliate willing to talk to you about what their business operations are like, the lessons they have learned over the years, and give you an honest assessment of where their expertise really lies? A major indicator of a potentially bad business partnership is an unwillingness for another business to answer tough question.

As a leader, before you link arms with any other business,you should be asking some tough questions. If the other party only has veiled answers to offer to reasonable business questions...you may consider looking a little closer to see if something is awry.

Different Values

Having a conversation about an organization's values can be a little trickier than it may seem. If you ask the question, outright, about what another's values are...you are likely to get a scripted answer. After all, most companies have marketing teams that construct these types of statements for public release.

To really understand where the priorities of another organization or individual lies, consider simply asking what they are most proud of right now, how they chose to promote people, or even how bonuses are given. The issues they are most willing to talk about might give you some insight into where their values system is rooted.

Another way to go about this, is to simply discuss YOUR values. Does the other party seem to be in alignment with what you are bringing up, or do they brush over your words and sentiments and try to move the conversation in another direction?

If you sense your professional values might differ, the odds of this affiliation going bad is very high.

They Are Not Solutions Oriented

One of the most challenging issues to deal with in any relationship is a fixed mindset. If your potential business partner seems to always find problems and rarely find solutions, be very concerned. Working well together requires collaboration and compromise. Both parties should be coming to the table with the intent to solve problems and move your business forward. If you suspect your potential affiliate does a convincing impression of a brick wall anytime a problem arises, your relationship will very likely be a challenging one.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, tune into the podcast below.

Want to know more about developing your leadership skills and business strategy? Subscribe to The Leadership Coaching Group podcast on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow us on Instagram @theleadershipcoachinggroup

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