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Is it possible to work with a narcissistic business partner?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2021 | Business Law

If you are thinking about launching a business venture, you realize how overwhelming it can be. After all, not only must you come up with an in-demand product or service, but you must also shoulder the financial and workload burden. Having a business partner may make all the difference.

Some of the characteristics that define narcissism also make narcissists good at business. If you can keep from going crazy, working with a narcissistic business partner may be lucrative. Still, because of the personality traits that often come with narcissism, you need a coping strategy.

Start with your building’s foundational documents

One of the more effective ways to insulate yourself from a narcissistic business partner is to get the business planning process right. Specifically, you want your partnership agreement to clearly define your rights and responsibilities. If your professional relationship falls apart, you may be able to use the partnership agreement to regain control.

Understand what to expect

Narcissists tend to have overinflated egos. As the saying goes, you cannot ask a leopard to change its spots. By understanding what to expect when working with a narcissistic business partner, you can determine when to push back and when to agree. Remember, because narcissists often want to feel important, simply letting your business partner talk may be helpful.

Consider alternative dispute resolution

If you have a disagreement with your business partner, it may be beneficial to seek alternative dispute resolution before litigating the matter. A qualified mediator may help you and your business partner find common ground.

While narcissism in a business partner may seem like a red flag, you can probably make your professional relationship work. Ultimately, though, having a successful partnership with a narcissistic usually requires both commitment and ongoing effort.