Relationships are extremely complex, as the things that define relationships are based around relative interpretations such as values, culture, beliefs, rules, and so on.
There will be two types of relationship that I will briefly address and they will be internal business partner relationships and external client relationships.
Often when people enter into new relationships they do not consider the end of the relationship, but only the entry point and status quo.
It is a sensible precaution to agree terms in writing beforehand, but not to the degree where the terms are rendered in a laborious way, like a 300 page agreement, but instead a clear understanding of the responsibilities and accountabilities of each person, with measures that can be judged objectively independently of the respective parties concerned.
Trouble can often be detected by capricious changes in the mood of a partner that is dissatisfied. However people can sometimes be blinded to these signs because they only see what they desire to see rather than signs of trouble.
However, a counter to this lies within the principle of expectation, which says, that whatever we expect with a strong sense of emotion becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
There are some who create mental demons where none exist, who envisage difficulties where there are opportunities, and attract failure whilst repelling prosperity.
Even though the mind can, as Milton said, ‘make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’ The sensory apparatus that govern our judgments must be adhered to in relation to the circumstances and conditions that accompany those judgments.
It is only with an integrated understanding of a situation that particular actions will make sense. One element of a story is not a story, but a sliced perspective.
It is essential to be able to gather knowledge and filter it through a discerning filter of prudent judgment. Prudence must be understood as a look into the future by understanding current situations and not conjecture.
It is not wisdom at all to be wise after an event.
When entering into a relationship, you must envisage the end, and how things can be resolved as efficiently as possible. Think carefully when allocating shares, as the most precipitous situation is when shares are equally distributed. There are a number of successful equal partnerships, however there are a larger number of unsuccessful partnerships that have ended in acrimonious disputes.
If you end up in a situation where you become trapped, there may be a chance to escape, however the real problem was created in a previous moment in history, therefore the time to think about those situations are at the beginning of the partnership.
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Clients differ to partnerships in a number of ways, and a significant way that a client will differ is that initially in the beginning a client may be unaware of your propositions, products or services, and may be uninterested in what you offer.
The client relationship is perpetually on a knife-edge as the client always expects their needs to be filled at every moment; otherwise their patronage will be taken elsewhere.
The client typically will be focused on their own needs which must be rendered by your product or service. The ways for trouble with clients are different and typically would be understood in relation to your products, services, fulfilment, promises, and empathy, among other things. You must continually deliver value in the mind of your client and if you can then they will be satisfied.
Agreements are a monumental subject to explore in regards to ways that trouble can be avoided. An agreement or legally binding contract cannot protect you fully if you do not exercise thought and excellent judgment.
In many ways, the more detailed the agreement the more opportunity that arises to be swindled. Sense and judgment must be pervasive within your thoughts and deeds.
Verbal agreements can be suitable among people who have a virtuous disposition, however the room for error is enlarged with the passing of time, as people tend to forget what they agreed to, unless they are recorded in some way.
When a contentious situation arises, and it is one side against another side, then to distinguish between each party by aiming to recall verbal agreements can be like trying to suppress the wind within a tight grasp of a clenched fist.
An agreement where there is a paper or digital trail of the intentions of both parties can be extremely advantageous at a later point in time. If you have a clear written record of the issues that may be contentious at a alter point then you will save an enormous amount of stress at a later date.
Often, people are shy, ignorant or naïve about getting things in order before embarking on a partnership. Sometimes it is easier to avoid an uncomfortable issue and hope for the possibility that things will be peaceful and calm for the duration of the relationship.
Sadly the time that many wish that they had recorded agreements and responsibilities are when it is too late.
To conclude I’ll finish with a few points to remember:
• You will only know the true nature of any person once they are placed in adverse conditions
• Sometimes that best partners in business you have will be people that are very different to you
• Very good friends may be even worse enemies
• Clearly put down the responsibilities of each person in writing and hold them accountable to their responsibilities
• Make agreements short but thorough
• Change agreements only when both parties are happy to change them
• Agreements are only a guide, and not a way to eliminate thinking in a prudent way
• A scoundrel will agree to anything, because his or her word means nothing
• Get a majority share in any enterprise if possible
• Be watchful of extreme changes in the mood of your partner that are out of keeping with their personality
• Speak about what will happen in the case of a split in the partnership while you are on good terms
• No matter how messy things get never allow yourself to become stressed over issues that you cannot control
• Make sure that your values align with the values of your partner
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