Friends Again? How To Make Up After A Business Breakup

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July 19, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown

Recently, Timbaland spoke to Revolt TV (yes, Diddy’s new venture) about the falling out he had with Jay-Z. According to Timbaland , the pair had a falling out over what he calls “petty” personal stuff and not “industry” stuff, reports Spin. Although it took a while, but the two worked together again on Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail as the album’s main producer.

The reunion goes to show that even a business relationship gone sour can be repaired — if approached the right way. You don’t have to pen a song called “Sorry” like Timbaland did, but there are certain steps to take in different sticky situations.

Bad Job Exit

We’ve all been there. You left the job from hell and you didn’t leave on the nicest note. But now you need to contact your former manager for assistance on a new venture since she is the best person in the industry for the project. Don’t be shy, pick up the phone and talk about the elephant in the room. “You create a good working relationship by briefly talking about what happened (at a high level) and then talk extensively about what is going  to happen in the new business relationship and the outcomes that can be expected,” recommends growth and success coach Dr. Laureen Wishom, who spoke to MadameNoire. “Talk about the areas that you have grown in and how this growth will make for successful new working relationship. Commit to providing ongoing progress reports and give more than what is expected.”

Reteaming With Former Partner

You and your partner have gone separate ways but due to a turn in the industry you want to collaborate with her again. There is no shame in teaming up with someone who you have had previous success — such as Jay-Z and Timbaland. “Both parties should agree that this is a good venture and that together it can be beneficial to both,” says Dr. Laureen.

Spell out exactly what is expected of each person so as not to repeat your business breakup history. “Put in writing the terms of the new relationship, addressing any misgivings from the prior relationship – make sure that both parties agree with the written agreement and commit to be more honest and to talk a little more throughout this relationship.” Discuss your previous relationship and share your feelings and thoughts about what went wrong. “Always talk about what you did that could have been done better or differently, the lessons that you learned from the prior business venture and how you wish things could have been different.  If appropriate, definitely apologize,” says Dr. Laureen.

Can’t Stand Your Co-Worker, But You Need to Team Up

There may come a time when you will be asked to team-up on a work project with a co-worker you despise. It can be hard not to bring your personal feeling to the table, but instead do a self examination as to your part in the bad relationship. “The two of you should briefly talk about what happened prior, do not blame her but accept your part in the horrible relationship, apologize if necessary and establish the ground rules for teaming up for the new endeavor,” advises Dr. Laureen. “Be sure to commit to be totally honest and transparent as you both move forward.  Talk about what 3 to 5 things that both of you can do to make for a better new relationship.”

Oh No, Not Her

Do you have a peer in the industry you usually avoid at all costs? But what if one day you need to use her as a resource?  Keep an open mind until you get to know her better. “Ask for an appointment to talk to them (lunch, after hours, or during work hours if appropriate),” suggests Dr. Laureen. Then talk about their suggestions for the project and how they would handle it.

If you stick to business matters, there’s a good chance that you can work with most people. If it’s mutually beneficial, you can find a way.

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