Is a Poison Relationship Sucking Life From Your Biz?

July-15-PostAre you unfortunate enough to have a poison relationship that’s sucking life from your business?

You know what I mean:

  • The proverbial “client from hell” who is constantly asking for more than was originally agreed upon and demanding more time than expected
  • A vendor who is becoming increasingly unreliable and uncommunicative, causing you more frustration and uncertainty in your business
  • A joint venture partner who isn’t holding up his or her end of the bargain while you are operating completely in integrity

Dealing with this person in your life may fill you with a sense of dread, raise your blood pressure, or cause you to feel overwhelmingly fatigued. It may cause you to procrastinate on important tasks, which means that you slow the progress of your projects. It may cause you to overwork to overcompensate for the other person’s deficits.

You’re definitely losing time and you may also be losing money. You may even feel like you’re starting to lose your sanity!

You know that you need to fix things or sever the relationship, but circumstances may be such that you can’t make this a priority today. You also may feel a bit uneasy about having the conversation.

So how do you cope with such a situation in the interim – before you go crazy?

Here are three tips that can help:

1) Focus on your goals. 

You have the power to turn your attention to whatever you choose. Pour your energy into things that are going well in your business and that bring you joy. Control only what you can control and put your energy into that. Focus on what you are in charge of.

2) When possible, delegate the task that requires you to interact directly with the offending party.

Yes – this is avoidance behavior. But it is only for the purpose of preserving your energy for whatever is more important at present. It is not a permission slip for making your own excuses and it is not a permanent solution to the problem.

This can work well in a problem client situation – for example, you may just not be a good fit for each other and the relationship is pushing your buttons in the wrong way. Another team member may have a better pulse on how to work successfully with this client.

Often times, however, it’s difficult to delegate the task – especially if it’s with a joint venture partner, for example – so read on.

3) Seek support.

If you’re at a loss for how to effectively deal with the situation, seek support from your network. It’s likely that more than one person in your circle has dealt with (or is currently dealing with) a similar situation and can offer constructive suggestions on how to move forward. You can get support from your mentor or mastermind group. Often times, others who have a birds-eye view of the situation can offer suggestions and strategies for how to deal with it more effectively, especially when they don’t have an established relationship with your adversary.

When the time is right, set up a meeting to talk with the person with whom you have the problem. It’s best to do this live, over the phone or in person, rather than in email so that nothing gets lost in translation or misinterpreted. You can role play this conversation with your mentor, colleague or mastermind group to be sure that you feel confident and empowered in your communications.

If you want to preserve the relationship, air your concerns, look for common ground, and talk about how you can move forward. Think about using the “sandwich technique here” – by “sandwiching” the problem in between two compliments about the person’s work and how much you enjoy the relationship.

If you want to end the relationship, do so quickly and cleanly.

Then celebrate a job well done!

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Hi. I’m Monique, the founder of Making Productivity Easy. I help business owners find peace through productivity by taming their runaway businesses so they can once again enjoy the empires they’ve created. Let’s connect: Check out my full bio, schedule a Discovery Session or join the community on Facebook.


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