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Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur: 6 Steps to a Better Future

Even simple misunderstandings can lead to disastrous results. Here's how to move on.
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Jack Canfield, the motivational speaker and co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, says too many people would rather be right than be happy. "The need for money, approval, food, self-esteem, nurturing, and so on often drive a person's actions," says Canfield.

But resolving conflicts and forgiving others, he says, is the only way to move forward. When business is at stake, it's especially important to address conflicts with your partners and customers without letting disagreements fester into bitterness.

On the other side of your conflict, you'll be able to take action to create future gains for yourself, your team, your company, and your family. Canfield--who has a new book, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be--has himself has dealt with being kidnapped and assaulted by a stranger; enduring physical abuse by an alcoholic father, embezzlement, and frivolous and costly lawsuits; and being taken advantage of in business dealings.

I spoke with him last week to get his guidance on how entrepreneurs can forgive themselves, resolve conflicts with a partner, and move into a successful future.

1. Acknowledge your anger and resentment.

You might say something like this:
"I feel angry and disappointed that you are not doing your fair share of the work."

2. Acknowledge the hurt and pain it created.

"It hurt me when we brought on this new client, knowing that it would be a lot of work, and you took two weeks off without concern for the project deadline."

3. Acknowledge the fears and self-doubt that it created.

"I was afraid that I couldn't do it alone. I was worried that you would drop the ball on the whole project and never get fully back on board with our company."

4. Own any part you may have played in the conflict.

"I'm sorry that I didn't tell you then how I felt. I didn't tell you what I needed from you and give you the chance to explain."

5. Acknowledge what you were wanting that you didn't get.

"I want to know that I have a partner who is there to support me, and who I can support in return. I understand that you have a family who needs you. I want us to share the responsibilities here at work in a way that meets both of our needs."

Hint: When you put yourself in the other person's shoes, you can better understand where he or she was coming from at the time. What needs was the other person trying to meet--however inelegantly--by his or her behavior?

6. Appreciate and forgive the person.

"You bring so much to this company, and I value our relationship. Let's put this in the past and make sure we communicate better in the future."

Do you have a conflict looming over your head? How disruptive is it to your happiness and success? Follow these steps and let me know how things change!

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: May 20, 2014




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