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How to handle a narcissistic business partner

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2021 | investment Partnerships

Selling a brilliant product or service to the public is a sure-fire way to achieve the American dream. You may not be able to launch, grow and operate a business by yourself, though. Collaborating with business partners may give you access to the capital, knowledge and skills you need to make your venture work.

If you suspect your business partner may be a narcissist, you may expect to have some bumps along the way. After all, narcissists may be selfish, demanding and manipulative. They may also have trouble expressing empathy or considering the needs of others.

Draft a comprehensive partnership agreement

Because of the possibility of having a future power struggle with a narcissistic partner, you should start your venture on the right foot. Drafting a comprehensive partnership agreement may help you minimize conflict. In your agreement, outline each partner’s rights and responsibilities. Also, consider including provisions for resolving disputes, removing partners and wrapping up the partnership.

Maintain focus

Your business venture has pressing needs you must address, but managing a narcissistic partner may divert your energy. To maintain focus, try not to take your partner’s behaviors personally. By maintaining a healthy emotional distance, you model appropriate partnership behavior for your narcissistic partner.

Negotiate effectively

If your narcissistic partner shares some decision-making authority with you, you may struggle to reach a consensus. Brushing up on your negotiation skills may be beneficial. By looking for collaborative solutions that allow each partner to win, you may keep disputes to a minimum.

Even if one partner is a narcissist, it is usually possible to make a partnership work. Ultimately, while you probably have little control over how your partner behaves, you can and should control your response.