Many business partnerships fail. There might be a number of reasons for this failure, but experts cite a lack of clear and honest communication as a major contributor to failed partnerships. Considering Seed Group’s vast experience in fostering lasting business partnerships, the organisation is perfectly positioned to comment on the matter. Hisham Al Gurg, the CEO of Seed Group, believes effective communication plays an imperative role in strengthening partnerships.
“Over the past 16 years, we at Seed Group have mastered the art of forming strategic alliances, and have found that the key to long-lasting, sustainable partnerships is – effective communication,” says Al Gurg.
“Through our vast experience in this field, we have learned that building actual relationships with our business partners and being open to sharing ideas, knowledge, and expertise can go a long way. These are absolutely crucial factors,” he adds.
Basic principles such as empathy, respect, trust, and alignment are the building blocks of the foundation one should aim to secure with their potential partners before forming a strategic alliance, he suggests.
“These principles are definitely as important internally, within your teams, as they are externally, with your business partners and customers. Mutual empathy and respect ensure that both sides fully understand each other’s perspectives and lead to more effective communication between both parties, which in turn, leads to better outcomes.”
However, it is also important to bear in mind that some things might not work out as you initially anticipated, he warns.
“But that is fine. You need to be flexible, patient, and keep an open mind.”
Effective communication lies at the very heart of every healthy relationship, be it in business or personal life.
“Clear, honest, and open communication are essential in all kinds of partnerships. This is also the case when it comes to business relationships and partnerships,” says Al Gurg.
“Making your intentions for the partnership clear from the very beginning is important because you need to make sure your goals for the outcome of the alliance are aligned.”
A business partnership without communication can often lead to failure. Partnerships involve the use of both parties’ resources, from talent and sales all the way through to expert insights.
Not communicating effectively—or at all—reduces the potential for success. Great ideas emerge through constructive dialogue. A lack of communication can often lead to missed opportunities.
“Playing your cards too close to your chest will only lead to misunderstandings and unaligned goals. And this does not work in favour of either party involved. “
Al Gurg elaborates, “The first one would be: don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Many people think that over-communicating is a bad thing. On the contrary, over-communicating in a business situation will mean that you can get your point across and make it crystal clear.”
“When you’re entering into a strategic partnership, you need to make sure that you have made your goals and intentions clear from the very beginning, prior to starting the partnership process.”
Being clear and transparent about what you want to get out of the business alliance, what each partner’s role will be, and what the expectations are on both sides, are all crucial to starting off on the right foot.
“The important thing is to be clear, transparent, and honest about what you want to get out of the partnership. Basically, communication is everything,” he adds.
Meeting commitments are also a key aspect to consider here, he stresses.
“You need your partner to know you’re reliable and that you’re serious about making things work, and to see that you and your team are true professionals.”
“Ensuring that you are on time and that you deliver on the promises you’ve made will make your new business partner respect you and your work ethic, which will also lead to more honest discussions, and they will regard you as a true professional.”
In addition to this, keeping in touch regularly is also important, he says.
“Consistent communication is the key. Make sure you keep in touch,” he mentions, adding that this will need to be done in order for both sides to keep track of who is delivering on their promises and who is falling short.
“Having regular meetings will ensure that you revise how far you’ve come, what your strategy will be moving forward, and whether you need to reshuffle your priorities in the partnership. This will help both sides gauge where they are at and solve obstacles early, or before they even take place.”
“Both sides can then implement sound business practices and take corrective action before it is too late.”
The fifth strategy is the need to be open to sharing knowledge and assets.
“When you’re entering into a strategic partnership, it is because both sides need each other, due to a particular skill set that one of the parties is lacking, a specific market that one party is stronger in, or because both sides complement one another somehow.”
In a partnership, when both sides work together cohesively, they can achieve better results.
“Remember why you formed the partnership in the first place and don’t lose sight of your common goals. Know that sharing knowledge, information, or assets is not necessarily a negative thing here. You are entering into a partnership to gain something from one another; it’s mutually beneficial,” he concludes.
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