When we first started this blog we swore to you that we would tell it how it is. Not just all the fun, bowling around Shoreditch, drinking prosecco side of setting up our business … The lows as well, no holds barred. It was pointed out to me recently that it has appeared on social media as though we have been having a whale of a time … which we have … mostly.
Now don’t get me wrong, Jess and I usually work alongside one another as harmoniously as two otters having a snooze in a canal. But there have been moments where we’ve either disagreed on something or been in a bad mood and it’s not been smooth sailing.
What is the best way to deal with business disagreements?
Jess has pointed out to me on multiple occasions that one of both my strengths AND my weaknesses is my absolute innate stubbornness. It is, I’m told, one of the reasons she wants to work with me, because I’ll stand up and fight for what I believe in but on the other side of the coin, it drives her absolutely to distraction when she thinks something differently and I end up going ‘full mule’ on her.
I genuinely find it hardest when we’re not directly working together. If for whatever reason we are working for different clients and have to hash out our disagreements over email it usually means someone (me) misinterprets the other one’s (Jess) bluntness as being p***ed off and the whole thing takes a lot longer to resolve.
My best bit of advice, if indeed I am qualified to offer any at all, is communication. It’s the basis of all relationships and usually once we get face-to-face, Mac to Mule, we can be back cackling about nonsense in no time. Also owning your weaknesses as well as your strengths. I know I’m stubborn. Jess knows she’s as blunt as a butter knife. We may as well not waste any time denying that so we can crack on with the job in hand.
Mule’s top five tips for avoiding a business bust-up:
1) Apologise. Immediately. When you know you’re in the wrong, own up to it and say you’re genuinely sorry. Otherwise you’ll waste all sorts of time playing the blame game.
2) Try and resolve any disputes face-to-face. It’s so easy to take things out of context when you’re talking over email and if you’re not careful you could end up having a whole different conversation than the one you thought you were having.
3) Think of the bigger picture. It’s easy when you’re wound up to see the short term niggles as all-encompassing but it’s important to remind yourself why you set out doing what you’re doing and that this is only a bump in the road rather than the end of it.
4) Once you’ve said what you need to say … Draw a line underneath and move on. You’ll never get anywhere (in life) if you hold a grudge.
5) If all else fails … buy them a latte.