Sometimes, things just don’t fit.

However small or large a team, sometimes things can get just get a little rocky. Here, Alastair Gibbs suggests that openness and honesty are always the best policy

By Alastair Gibbs, TPG DisableAids Ltd

Relationships in business are more important than the products or service that you are offering. This is because it’s impossible to offer excellence to your customers consistently, over the years, if both efficiency and effectiveness are being compromised trying to deal with people issues.

Whether it’s our business or personal life, I think that it is, on balance, better to ‘front up’ differences of opinion, disagreements or disputes as and when they arise.

This is because when sensitive issues are shoved under the carpet, they inevitably re-emerge to bite back, requiring even more time and energy to fix. We are looking for discussion, maybe even debate, but ultimately an outcome that is acceptable to all parties.

The thing that most commonly gets in the way of this approach is people, often the most senior in an organisation, who would rather avoid perceived conflict at almost any cost. Yet all relationships naturally have a level of conflict built into them - just because we are all human. It is how this conflict is handled that is crucial.

For relationships over the long term, I believe that a mindset of absolute openness, honesty and transparency is, on balance, the best policy. For the people in your business or your personal life, this policy seems to develop that priceless commodity of trust and mutual respect.

This behaviour is more directly linked to personal beliefs and values; it can be seen in those that enjoy a variety of long-term relationships with all sorts of people in different areas of their life.

It’s fair to say, however, that both of these strategies, positive though they are, can lead to a parting of the ways and that sometimes happens sooner rather than later.

If any of the above strikes a chord, maybe a salesperson with their own agenda, maybe a manager who always knows best or an operative that is envious of others in the organisation, then rather than let things slide and allow a situation to fester and get worse, get some H.R. advice perhaps and deal with it.

Clearing the air of any worries or grievances will naturally lead to a better environment for everyone involved and should a parting of ways occur, by being open and honest, there is a much higher chance of that parting being both amicable and grounded in mutual respect & understanding. Having these kinds of conversations is not easy and requires bravery, but it is that bravery that will lead to better relationships in the long run.