Business Partners are not Therapists

by Madeline Laughs

This rule covers business calls and what they can mean to a new company.

Business calls are an important part of any working relationship. When you partner with someone on an opposite coast, long distance business calls become a part of your everyday working hours. It’s okay to accept collect calls from your business partner on occasion, however if the collect calls become a habit because your partner compulsively uses up his long distance allowance or his cell minutes talking to his girlfriends or checking the surf reports, then it’s appropriate to ask your business partner to find an alternative way to call you.

One nice alternative is Skype, which we will get into later.

RULE #82: When your business calls start to sound more like therapy sessions to the uninterested listener, it’s time to find a new business partner. 

Collect call from Partner. Will you accept the charges?

Of course you will.

Then Partner says “Hey You, guess what? My social life is such a mess that I should be crying about it, I hate my ex-wife, and my prostrate is swollen to the size of a grapefruit. I don’t know what to do anymore. Can you help me?

If you receive a collect call like this from your business partner, consider this call a huge, swollen-prostrate-sized, red flag and run like hell in the other direction.

“Collect call from Partner. Will you accept the charges?

Of course you will.

Then Partner says “Hey You…”  and then you hear the telltale sounds of sniffling and you ask what’s wrong. This opens the floodgates of hell and all out wailing and moaning ensues in between garbled sentences about some woman that’s done Partner wrong. His heart is breaking. He wants to die. Blah, blah, blah. These kind of calls continue for several days at all hours of the day and night and you try to advise him, to no avail.

It’s okay to occasionally get off-topic and discuss appropriate personal news, but deeply personal issues are best shared with close friends and loved ones, not your business partner. When you realize your professional relationship has taken a nasty turn down the too-much-information highway you can try to steer it back on course by setting boundaries. If this doesn’t work then you should suggest that your colleague join a support group that meets his needs.

However, when your husband starts holding up the two fingers pressed to his forehead for the universal sign language meaning Loser every time the phone rings…

…perhaps it’s time to find someone different to work with.

There is a certain amount of intimacy that will occur in any small business venture, however there are lines that you clearly should not cross. Try to remind yourself that this is a business and professional behavior is mandated in order for your business to remain vital. Your colleagues and coworkers are not your personal, built-in therapists.

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About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
This entry was posted in All kinds of Advice and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Business Partners are not Therapists

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  6. Definitely interesting points and definitely agree with it. Business partners have to draw lines about their communications with e/o.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Never send a Boy… | Madeline Scribes

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