The Third Blog in a Series of 3: How You Treat Your Partners, Advisors, Associates and Colleagues


In this final blog of our Restoring Respect series, we’re going to talk about the people that often don’t get the focus of your time: your partners, advisors, associates and colleagues. They’re incredibly important because they give you advice, provide you with guidance and make critical recommendations for your business.

Before you continue, have a read through the first two blogs in this series:

How You Treat Your Staff
How You Treat Your Customers

You’re short on time – but so are they!

If you’re like most business owners, you probably find yourself wishing there were many more hours in a day. It’s easy to let these feelings of urgency dictate how you deal with the people you’ve hired to help you (your advisors) or the people you find yourself working with on a daily basis (your partners, associates and colleagues). Since they’re not your paying customers you may feel pressured to speed up meetings, to answer emails in the midst of conversations or to arrive unprepared hoping they’ll pick up the slack since you’re “too busy”.

Remember that these are the people who help you run your business successfully. Their time is just as valuable as yours and it’s important you show them the respect they deserve before you find yourself without a team to rely on.

Work collaboratively, not individually.

Whether you’re meeting with an advisor or discussing company changes with a partner, always take a “we” – not an “I” – approach. As a rule, collaborations result in far better outcomes than one-sided communications. It’s like the old saying goes, “Two brains are better than one”. Even if you are the “superior” in a particular situation, there’s no need to make it seem or feel that way. It’s already known. So think of the end goal and make more of a collaborative effort. Work together in order to achieve common objectives. Once others know that their thoughts and opinions are valued, you might be surprised to see how much effort goes into the tasks you assign.

Keep an open mind.

Remember that your advisors are experts you’ve hired to assist you. Your partners are people you’ve chosen to run your business with you. Your associates and colleagues are people who’ve been selected by you to assist in some aspect.

These people are here for a reason. Their expertise, experience and individual perspectives differ from yours. And that’s a good thing! You want diversity in your business so you can make decisions based on multiple inputs, not just your own. So keep an open mind. Listen and seriously consider what they have to say. Think of them not just as people you’ve hired, but as a team members you value.

Respect is a delicate thing. It isn’t difficult to show but it can work wonders for your relationships with staff members, customers, advisors, partners, associates and colleagues.