About Us & Our Approach:
The rate of business partner breakups is higher than the divorce rate. Yet few resources exist to help business partners start out on a solid footing or resolve conflicts as they arise.
We're Chuck Hunker and Jaime Roth, co-founders of True Connect LLC. We are committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve their highest vision by working together amicably and effectively. As co-founders and business partners ourselves, we understand the benefits and challenges of implementing a vision together.
Why mediation and facilitation for partners and co-founders?
Whether partners are already experiencing conflict, or just starting out together, it can be very difficult to raise thorny issues one-on-one. For new partners starting out, discussions regarding how to split equity and how to ensure that the division of labor is fair and equitable can be difficult, even in the best of circumstances. If one or more partners feels that the arrangement is unfair, or that their partner is not meeting their expectations in some way, it can be incredibly difficult to productively air these concerns. Partners often find themselves in uncomfortable confrontations or, perhaps worse, they avoid confrontation, harbor resentment, and ultimately burn out or resort to litigation, co-founder breakups and other bad outcomes for partners and their businesses.
As mediators and facilitators, we help make these conversations less confrontational and more productive. With new partners and co-founders, we use a broad yet customized agenda that covers the thorniest issues that partners need to discuss. By having us raise some of these issues initially, rather than partners raising issues directly with each other, the discussion flows more easily. By committing to work with us, new partners ensure that they devote the time and energy to laying a strong foundation for their working relationship, rather than aspiring to have those difficult conversations "someday."
For existing partners in established businesses who are experiencing conflict, we help facilitate productive dialogue and help you explore options for resolution. Resolution may include partners separating from the business, or a so-called "business divorce." We can help you discuss and explore how to work better together or how to walk away, if it comes to that.
About facilitation and mediation:
Mediation is a process in which people experiencing a conflict or engaged in a difficult discussion sit with one or more neutral intermediaries who help facilitate the dialogue. Facilitation is assisted communication in a group setting, whether or not a conflict exists. A neutral party serving as a mediator or facilitator might help the parties distill the issues down into manageable parts, and create an agenda for the discussion based on the needs of the parties. The neutral listens attentively to all participants and ensures that everyone has an opportunity to be heard and provide input. They give all participants the opportunity to clarify what is important to them and help ensure that discussions are thorough and meaningful. Neutrals do not impose their own viewpoints or opinions on the participants. When agreements are reached, the neutral helps to capture these in writing with the parties' participation. When strong feelings come up for the participants, neutrals may call for a break or caucus, and help the participants get to the issues underlying the emotion. They are sensitive to any imbalance of power between the participants, and are experienced in ensuring that less confrontational individuals are given sufficient air time to make their viewpoints and positions heard.