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How miscommunication fuels partnership conflicts

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Business Law

Effective communication is important in any relationship and partnership.

Communication breakdowns or lack of clarity can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and conflicts.

The power of assumptions

In business and legal partnerships, one common cause of miscommunication is assumption. Assumptions occur when individuals believe they understand what others think or feel. Then, they fail to confirm their assumptions. This practice can lead to misinterpretations of intentions or expectations, resulting in conflict.

Lack of clarity breeds conflict

In 2022, new business applications reached 5 million, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. However, communication breakdowns can damage businesses and partnerships. These breakdowns include a lack of clarity in expressing thoughts, feelings or expectations. To prevent frustration, partners should communicate their needs or boundaries. This will prevent misunderstandings about roles, responsibilities and goals within the partnership.

Different communication styles

Individuals often have different communication styles based on their personality, upbringing or cultural background. These differences can lead to misunderstandings. This is especially true if partners are not aware of or sensitive to each other’s preferred communication styles.

For example, one partner may prefer direct and assertive communication. Another partner may prefer a more indirect and diplomatic approach. Failure to recognize and adapt to these differences can result in misinterpreted intentions or messages. Working to understand these different communication styles builds trust and understanding.

Active listening is an important component of effective communication in partnerships. It involves fully concentrating, understanding, responding and remembering what is being said. This type of listening helps partners understand and respect one another, no matter their preferred communication style.