Home > Cofounders Need to Learn How to (Productively) Disagree

Cofounders Need to Learn How to (Productively) Disagree

Posted on 4/28/2023, 4:55:00 PM

Starting a business is an exciting and challenging experience, especially when it's done with a partner. Co-founders work together to create something from scratch, and they put their time, money, and passion into the venture. However, working with a partner can also lead to disagreements, and it's essential for co-founders to learn how to productively disagree. In this article, we will discuss six ways in which co-founders can effectively navigate disagreements.

Cofounders need to understand that disagreements are inevitable.

Disagreements are inevitable in any relationship, including business partnerships. Co-founders should not be surprised when they encounter disagreements. Instead, they should expect them and be prepared to handle them productively. Co-founders should recognize that different perspectives, opinions, and experiences are essential to making informed decisions. They should approach disagreements as an opportunity to learn, grow, and make better decisions.

Co-founders need to create a founder's agreement.

Before starting a business, co-founders need to create a founder's agreement that outlines their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. The founder's agreement should also include a dispute resolution process that outlines how co-founders will resolve disagreements. This process should include steps for mediation and arbitration, which we will discuss in more detail later in the article. By creating a founder's agreement, co-founders can avoid misunderstandings and reduce the likelihood of conflicts arising.

Co-founders need to assign a third-party mediator.

Sometimes, disagreements can become heated, and co-founders may struggle to resolve them on their own. In these situations, co-founders can benefit from assigning a third-party mediator to help facilitate discussions and find a resolution. The mediator should be impartial and have experience in conflict resolution. They can help co-founders identify common ground, facilitate communication, and help co-founders reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

When in conflict, co-founders need to let data drive decisions.

In disagreements, co-founders should let data drive decisions, not emotions or personal biases. Co-founders should collect data, analyze it objectively, and use it to inform their decisions. By using data to make decisions, co-founders can remove personal biases and emotions from the equation, leading to more informed and objective decisions. Co-founders should also be open to changing their minds if the data suggests a different course of action.

Co-founders need to be always honest, but speak with compassion.

In disagreements, co-founders should be honest and transparent with each other, but also speak with compassion. It's important to avoid attacking the other person and instead focus on the issue at hand. Co-founders should communicate their perspective calmly and respectfully and listen actively to the other person's point of view. By using compassionate communication, co-founders can reduce the likelihood of escalating disagreements and maintain a positive working relationship.

Co-founders need to travel together and grab a drink together.

Finally, co-founders should spend time together outside of work. Traveling together and grabbing a drink together can help co-founders build a stronger bond, reduce stress, and create a positive working relationship. By spending time together outside of work, co-founders can get to know each other on a personal level, which can help them navigate disagreements in a more productive way.

In conclusion, co-founders need to learn how to productively disagree to build a successful business. By expecting disagreements, creating a founder's agreement, assigning a third-party mediator, letting data drive decisions, using compassionate communication, and spending time together outside of work, co-founders can navigate disagreements in a productive way. Disagreements are an opportunity for growth, and co-founders who learn how to navigate them productively can build a successful business together.

Loved this post?

Sign up to our newsletter for more.

Also, please don't forget to share this post!

On demand advice from top experts

Get the help you need with your career or business from seasoned experts.

Find an expert

book a call with top startup mentors and career coaches

Get The Help You Need Today With MentorDial!

Find the best business advice from the word's renowned experts.