Do you have a controlling business partner, and you’re wondering how to deal with such a partner?
Is it difficult to make decisions and run your business because your partner always wants to have their way?
Are there ways on how to deal with a controlling business partner? Yes, there are!
You’re about to discover some specific guidelines on how to deal with a controlling business partner effectively.
So, read on till the end to discover all you need to know.
Guidelines on How to Deal with a Controlling Business Partner
1.Limit your interactions Where Possible
You might be wondering how you will go about this since you are both owners of the business.
You do not have to avoid seeing your business partner; that is not remotely possible.
Create boundaries between your professional and personal lives.
Keep your interactions professional.
You might have to engage with a controlling business partner at work but he or she does not need to get involved in your personal life.
2. Where Appropriate, do not Engage
A controlling partner most likely tends to care less about how he or she speaks to you.
So, rather than getting all sad and depressed when they come at you, brush it off.
Ignore their attempts to make you feel small.
You are both owners of the business; no one is another’s superior.
If they get aggressive, it is best to leave the room.
3. Don’t Be A Puppet
Do not let yourself get manipulated into doing their biddings.
Be prepared to say No.
If your partner comes up with outrageous demands, answer with an assertive “NO” and be sure to stand your ground.
4. Always Speak Up
You will often have ideas that will add value to your business.
It could an idea for a promotion or an idea to fix an ongoing issue.
Speak up, communicate your ideas.
Do not be scared of your partner such that you cannot speak your mind.
5. Review the Partnership Agreement – How to Deal with a Controlling Business Partner
Go back to the agreement that was made when the partnership was formed.
Read it through and see what each person’s role is.
Both you and your partner might have forgotten what you agreed on.
This will help you to know your role and your partner’s role.
6. Talk to Your Partner About the Agreement
Set a meeting where you can discuss the agreement with your partner.
Ask if they are comfortable with what was agreed on or if they desire a change.
Wisely bring up the topic of your partner’s controlling behavior.
Make sure you let your partner that his/her behavior will not help the business grow.
Ensure you are calm and professional while doing this.
7. Exit the Partnership If All Attempts at Peaceful Dialogue Fails
In any case, whereby your business partner refuses to yield and continues being a bully, you have to look for an alternative.
Since his/her behavior would continue to hinder the business growth, it is best to walk away and start all over.
You have to be ready to end the partnership and move on.
Besides a partner being controlling, there are other behaviors that a partner can exhibit which could spell doom for that business partnership and the business generally if not addressed appropriately.
What are these behaviors?
Find out below.
Signs of a Bad Business Partner
Most people notice that their business partner is difficult.
They fail to tackle it head-on until it leads to further problems and conflict in the business relationship.
However, here are some red flags in a business partnership that you need to address as soon as you notice them.
1. They Blame You for Everything
You are blamed for everything that goes wrong in the business, even when it is not your fault.
They act like the innocent ones and then make you think you are responsible for all the bad things in business.
You would hear them say things like “it is your fault it all happened” or “you should not have done that”
This is one obvious sign that your business partner is out to control.
2. You are Criticized at Every Turn
A controlling partner is always out to weaken your self-confidence.
They make you look foolish in public or private.
Also, they never admit you did something right; instead, they are fond of criticizing your decisions.
If you keep getting criticized by your partner at every turn, that’s a major red flag that your partnership is a wrong one.
Worst still, it could be a sign of a potential controlling partner that you may have to deal with in the future.
3. They Enjoy Gaslighting You
Gaslighting partners undermine your emotions; they will call you paranoid or over-sensitive.
If they said something to you in the past and it upset you, they will deny saying it and claim that you are thinking it all up.
You would end up overthinking everything around you.
4. They like Intimidating You
When you notice that your partner likes acting superior to you, he/she is controlling.
Controlling partners enjoy undermining your reputation and talking down on you.
They might even threaten you but will always cover it up with a joke.
5. They are Moody
When your business partner keeps having severe mood changes, you might want to be watchful.
They can be kind and generous to you one minute, and then they switch to being mean and harsh.
You would end up being very cautious around them, never knowing what to expect.
They also would not take responsibility for hurting you.
6. They Never Settle for “No’”
A difficult/controlling partner will always want to have his/her way.
They would never accept no as an answer, and they care less about your boundaries.
You would see them implement all sorts of persuasive methods to pressurize until you change your mind to suit their desires.
Most times, what they are fighting for might not help the business to progress.
7. They get Jealous Easily
This is another major red flag in a business partnership you need to look out for.
If your business partner gets jealous easily and unreasonably, you ought to be watchful.
A controlling business partner will get jealous of everything you do for the business.
An example is them getting jealous over an idea you have to promote the business.
8. They Want to Absolute Control Over You and the Business
When a business partner is trying to mold the business into just his/her vision, such a partner might be controlling.
They would want the business to be the way they want and not how you collectively planned it.
They might also want to change your personality to suit them.
When going for a business trip or meeting, they might give you a list of things you have to do to meet their standard.
You might hear them saying things like ’ you are not dressed properly for this meeting,” or is that how you are going to speak to the sponsors?”
This could lead to major disagreements much later if not tackled immediately.
Your business partner might exhibit all these signs, and some might not.
It is even possible that they might exhibit signs we did not mention.
However, you can easily tell the future of a business partnership if you pay close attention to the warning signs in their behavior towards you, others, and the business generally.
Now, say you’ve realized that your business partner isn’t the right person for you, what do you do?
The best thing is to dialogue, as we saw above.
However, if there are no improvements, it’s best to let go of such a partnership.
In other words, you have to dissolve the partnership, and here’s how to do it.
Steps to Dissolving a Business Partnership; How To Deal With A Controlling Business Partner
This process is in two phases;
Pre-dissolution Steps – How to Deal with a Controlling Business Partner
These are the actions you have to take before going on to ending the partnership:
1. Read/review the partnership agreement
An agreement would have been made and signed before the partnership was formed.
How the partnership will be dissolved would have been laid out in the agreement.
Read it to remember the terms of the agreement.
If a general partnership is formed without agreements, you would have to define the dissolution procedures with your partners.
2. Check the Business Finances
You need to consider the current business state before dissolving the partnership.
Look into the outstanding obligations of the partnership, such as mortgages, contracts, and liens.
Check to see if any client work remains, then ask yourself if the time is the best to dissolve the partnership.
You have to consider the business’s worth, figure out how much will be left for you after paying liability and splitting assets among the partners.
The business partner should also be assessed.
This can be done by employing a professional who will give you a clearer idea of the partnership’s value.
This is so that you’ll know your chances of survival after the dissolution.
3. Identify the Properties the Partnership Loaned from you
It is a perfectly normal thing for a partner to loan his/her personal property to a business partnership.
When this happens, the property must be stated out in the agreement.
You have to see if the property you loaned is in perfect condition; if it is not, you should ask for damage compensation.
If an agreement was not made, you could identify your property via the business.
You can get the documents that show the owner to help strengthen your claim on the property.
4. Meet With an Attorney
You would have to meet with a business attorney to help with the procedures.
You would need a qualified lawyer to act as a consultant and guide you through the process.
5. Discuss the Dissolution Terms
If your partnership has an agreement that states the dissolution term, ensure to follow the terms.
However, if there is none, you have to meet your partner to discuss the terms.
6. Consider Getting a Mediator
You can consider getting a mediator if an agreement on how to share liabilities cannot be reached.
A mediator would listen to what the partner has to say and ensure a mutual agreement between all parties involved.
Dissolution Steps – How to Deal with a Controlling Business Partner
These are the steps to take during the dissolution process…
1. Sign the Agreement for Dissolution Document
You and your partners have to draft an agreement for dissolution and then sign it.
This agreement is done to end the partnership agreement.
A business lawyer should help you with drafting the agreement for dissolution.
2. Formal Dissolving of the Partnership
You are to follow everything as stated in the business partnership agreement.
It is expected that all the partners would vote, ensure the vote is recorded.
3. Cancel all Credit Cards
You need to cancel all credit cards that the partnership can access.
This will help you prevent your partners from piling up debts while the business partnership is close to being dissolved.
4. Pay all Debts
All the liabilities have to be paid off by the partnership.
Ensure that all external creditors are paid off before reimbursing the partners who gave the business partnership loans.
5. Get paid
When the partners have settled all the liabilities, the partners will share the remaining profits and capital among themselves.
The method of allocating the profit stated in the business partnership agreement will have to be followed.
If there were no agreements made, the profits and liabilities would have to be shared how the partners all agree to.
6. Take your Property Back
Reclaim all the property you loaned to the business partnership.
If you have to repossess any of your property, ensure you do that.
Conclusion on How to Deal with a Controlling Business Partner
If your business partner is controlling, you do not need to worry.
All you need to do is handle the situation calmly and professionally using the methods we discussed above.