“It started out so nicely: A good idea, a groove that works and an approved budget. Your thing, your vision. You invested lots of your free time and you hope to reap the rewards at some stage soon. But this also means: work, work, work - and unfortunately it will never be the case that everybody on the project will put in the same amount of energy. Slowly but steadily the first grumblings arise. Suddenly you are standing in front of a veritable powder keg which threatens to explode at any moment. What now?”
You decide. (Pic: pixabay.com)
1. The high art of taking a deep breath
One thing I can tell you right away - I know about this stuff. Conflicts are absolutely normal and unavoidable. Honestly? While it is unpleasant, disagreements handled well can also be productive. A study by Noam Wasserman showed that 65% of startups fail due to co-founder conflict. I think they don't have to fail. So before you throw it all away in a Boulevard-of-Broken-Dreams moment, I have dug up some of my experience treasure:
Here I will share with you my experiences with conflicts in a startup workplace.
2. Where could conflicts arise – and how can you tackle them?
Beef topic number one: money... In 99.99% of the conflicts this factor plays a role. But you're still lucky. Financial disputes have an advantage - they are rationally comprehensible. In most cases, problems in this area can be solved by discussions and compromises. A mediator can help as well. It is best, however, if you get together with a competent lawyer.
Stressed out? Get competent help. For instance from one of my trusted experts.
3. "Decisions, decisions ..."
Differences in goals can be tricky. The simplest solution for founders: Explain the startup vision to team members again and again. You should also communicate any possible restructuring or change of direction. And with co-founders, who decides? As members of a team usually offer different skills, decisions should be made according to their knowledge field. And a tip for when you cannot agree, it may be due to different personal goals, so you should exchange them as early as possible.
4. Stress, overwhelmed and private worries
Sometimes it just doesn't work. It's okay to have a bad day. Listen to your body and get outside for a while. Take a walk, meet a friend, go to a spa or the next Bon Iver concert. Whatever - main thing, you're doing well. Try it, it helps me.
Do you feel misunderstood or underestimated? You are responsible for your own emotional health so take the initiative and make sure your boss or investors know about your ambitions, goals and skills. Then try this: put your right hand on your left shoulder and now the left hand on your right shoulder. What is that about? It's a BIG digital hug from me! You are a hero, and we need you here! <3
Digitals Hugs <3.
Questions of position can cause uncertainty, particularly in a startup. Job descriptions often do not make sense because everything is constantly changing fields. Go with the flow or better: stay agile and flexible - or go to a large company where things are clear and stable.
7. Who or what may help?
Jill Jusko has a great point: "Problems are a gold mine". Problems are always an opportunity to develop and improve. It's in all how you look at it: every difficulty and every dispute will help you and your company grow. And finally...are you experiencing a conflict missing on my list? If you don't know how to go on, or just want to talk about it: Keep calm, chat with me and carry on ;-) I would love to exchange thoughts and ideas with you.