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Is it possible to work with a narcissistic business partner?

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2021 | Business Litigation

Even though narcissists seem to be virtually everywhere these days, a narcissistic personality disorder is a comparatively rare personality disorder. In fact, clinical narcissism only afflicts an estimated 5% of the population. Still, many others have narcissistic tendencies.

An individual whose personality has narcissistic aspects may have an overinflated sense of importance. He or she may also prioritize winning at essentially any cost. If so, the person may make an excellent business partner, provided you know how to keep the narcissistic elements in check.

Your partnership agreement

The most effective way to manage a narcissistic business partner is to have a solid partnership agreement. In addition to outlining formalities about the venture, your partnership agreement should clearly define each partner’s responsibilities. You may also choose to include a dispute resolution procedure to follow if or when your partner’s narcissism becomes problematic.

Your view of your business partner

If you do not have narcissistic tendencies, working collaboratively with a narcissist is likely to be foreign to you. Simply put, you probably should not take your business partner’s actions personally. Listening to your partner’s ideas may satisfy his or her ego, but you cannot forget to speak up for yourself and your interests.

Your exit options

Eventually, you may find you cannot work effectively with your business partner. Consequently, at the outset, you probably want to detail some exit procedures. Using your partnership agreement to specify how to force out a partner or wrap up the venture may be wise.

While there are some good reasons to work with a narcissist, you do not want your work life to be miserable. Ultimately, with some planning, you may be able to take advantage of the good parts of your partner’s personality without letting him or her steamroll you.