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Partnering With Intelligence

By: Victoria L. Rayner
Posted: June 9, 2008, from the December 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 3 of 3

When two professionals decide to work together, they should spend some time refining their speaking, listening and correspondence skills beforehand. This advice may sound sensible, but, surprisingly, few think to take this precautionary measure. Both parties should be acutely aware of their own individual styles and how they go about expressing themselves. As members of a team, each partner needs to confer constantly with the other about a variety of situations. The key to good communication lies with each person’s willingness to convey their thoughts in a manner that is different from their normally preferred mode of expression. This may require acquiescing to the other’s communication style for relatability.

Persuasive points must be sold, not made. Partnerships are not dictatorships, and—although they hold potential—they do not guarantee the promise of fulfillment. For this obvious reason, negotiation skills are paramount to these types of arrangements. Grievances occasionally can be vented, but, for permanent resolutions, negotiations must occur, or resentments will linger. Individuals always must be prepared to present an argument that they believe is valid if they want the other person to consider their position seriously. In every relationship—business or otherwise—inequities exist, resulting in episodes of internal quarreling. The worst thing a partner could do in a joint business venture is to become too passive and be unwilling or unable to assume their bargaining position. Partnerships require a multitude of skills, but none is as important as the ability to be a good negotiator.

Be careful

Of course, these are only a few of the many recommendations that must be considered seriously before going into a partnering situation. The message here is a simple one: Be careful in selecting a potential partner; be prepared by learning all you can about these types of relationships in the spa industry; and plan for as many of the potential pitfalls as you can, because any one of them could lead to the demise of what otherwise might have been a successful joint business venture.