Take this quiz to determine how your co-founder reacts in close work relationships.
Have you noticed that, in some relationships, it gets harder to maintain good conflict as time goes on? You’d think that the closer you are to a person, the easier it would be to fight well. But sometimes, the opposite is true.
In my essay, How to Build a Better Co-founder Relationship, I discuss co-founder conflicts through the lens of attachment theory.
The following is a questionnaire to help you establish your partner's attachment style. For each scenario, note the letter of the characteristic response of your partner. At the end, you'll find out which letter corresponds to which attachment style.
1. A mini-crisis just happened in your co-founder’s area of the business.
A) “This is typical. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”
B) “Mistakes happen. How can I support the team?”
C) “My co-founder isn’t responding. I need to speak right now! I'll call a fifth time.”
2. Your co-founder doesn’t reply to an emailed request for a couple of days.
A) “Whatever! At least I'll get some peace and quiet.”
B) “They must be busy. I’ll wait until our next meeting.”
C) “Why aren’t they responding? They must be ignoring me.”
3. You and co-founder interpret a piece of data in different ways.
A) “They are stupid—they just aren’t that good.”
B) “I’m curious. Where is their opinion coming from?
C) “Maybe they’re right. I’m not sure anymore.”
4. Your co-founder asks about something in your area.
A) “It’s none of your business.”
B) “Sure, I’m happy to take you through it”
C) “What am I doing wrong?”
5. Your co-founder goes out for lunch with a VP and doesn’t invite you.
A) “No problem. Next time I meet that VP, I won’t invite my co-founder.”
B) “That’s nice. I’m glad they are getting along well.”
C) “I want to know exactly what they talked about (I know it's about me!)”
6. A close friends asks how the co-founder relationship is going.
A) “Well, the truth is that I’m carrying this business.”
B) “Great! We make a good team and I love working together.”
C) “Honestly? I spend a lot of time worrying about the relationship.”
7. You have some feedback for your partner.
A) “I don’t like giving feedback, I’d rather just focus on my work”
B) “I find it easy to give feedback without causing issues.”
C) “When I give feedback, it often ends up with a fight.”
8. Your co-founder gives you some feedback on a presentation.
A) “Now isn’t the time. Can we discuss this later?”
B) “Thank you. I appreciate it and I’ll take it onboard”
C) “Why do you always put me down? Can’t you see I’m working hard?”
9. You’re making some new plans in an area of business that you manage.
A) “I shouldn't need to involve my partner. This is my area.”
B) “I like to run plans by my partner so I can take into account their feedback.”
C) “I want to go through all the details together so I don’t make a mistake.”
10. You find out your co-founder is going through a hard time outside work.
A) “Their problem, not mine.”
B) “Gosh, are their ok? I’ll check to see if they need anything.”
C) “I guess this means they’ll spend less time at work.”
The 'A' responses correspond to an avoidant attachment style. Your partner has a strong need for independence and can feel suffocated when a conversation gets too personal.
The 'B' responses correspond to a secure attachment style. Your partner cares about you without taking things too personally.
The 'C' responses correspond to an anxious attachment style. Your partner needs reassurance and often has trouble expressing themselves.
For more information on Attachment Theory and how to build stronger relationships with your co-founder, check out my essay: How to Build a Better Co-founder Relationship.
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