Proactive Conflict Resolution

By Alan Horowitz  |  Posted 2001-01-22

Theres nothing wrong with partners disagreeing, or worse, as long they have a mechanism in place for resolving their disputes.

Tim Radtke of TSR Solutions and his partner employed informal, after-hours weekly chats to iron out their differences. "Wed talk about what was happening, how the business was doing, what we liked, what we didnt like," says Radtke.

Another excellent tactic for handling conflicts is to rely on an impartial third party, like an attorney or friend, to arbitrate when the parties cant resolve the issue themselves.

When Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastion founded WordPerfect Corp., for example, they granted each other 49.5 percent ownership stakes in the company, and handed the remaining 1 percent to a trusted third person, who therefore had the swing vote when deadlocks occurred.

That procedure should resonate in any red-blooded American, because its the same one specified in the U.S. Constitution for resolving tie votes in the Senate.

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