As you'd expect, a doctrine such as partnering that preaches co-operation for the greater good will be met with scepticism. Here's how to identify and tackle it
There comes a time for every good idea when people will challenge it. That is proper. Ideas need to be tested in the real world and refined to take account of evolving circumstances. partnering has come under the microscope recently, and it is apparent that not all partnering is successful and not all "partnering" deserves the name.

There are six fundamental types of people who do not believe in partnering.

The first is the stick-in-the-mud. He says: "I've been in this company for 25 years, I've always got on okay, and I don't need a college boy telling me how to do my job."

The second type is the jobsworth. He is also well established, and he says: "I've been in this job for 25 years. Maybe there's something in this partnering. Maybe I should go on a course and learn about it. The snag is that while I'm doing that, that whippersnapper who's just joined from university will get my job. So I'll stay put."

These are the least worrying objections. They can be addressed by strong leadership and sympathetic retraining and career development.

Look, luv, your job is to look for weaknesses in the information to see where we can make claims

Much more serious is the third type, the one who just doesn't get it. This person says: "Partnering? There's nothing new in it. I've always done it. I've always got on well with my clients, even if I only worked for them once. Yes, the final account took years to settle, but that's the industry, isn't it? I've never had any complaints from our subbies, and if I did I wouldn't give them any more work."

Then we have the fourth sort, the diehard sceptic. Some are congenital, such as the site manager who makes the following response to inquiries about partnering: "I run this site, not the governor. He only comes once a month. When he does, I'll tell him I'm partnering. Meanwhile, I'll carry on doing it my way – and hey, you, shift that *m%!ng scaffolding now before I stick it up your @*§e." Others are sceptical for a living. So we have the lawyers who believe as an article of faith that the client will always seek to rip off the builder, or vice versa, or the builder to screw down the subcontractor, or vice versa, and that the only way to prevent this happening is to insist on tough contract conditions that tip risk away from their own clients. The answer to these people, the congenital and the professional sceptic, is to woo them with real commitment from their clients.

The fifth is the control freak. A good example is the designer who feels that the formation of an integrated project team marginalises them. They would rather stick with the traditional system of a disconnected series of performers with one contract administrator and leader – them. Others, of course, are involved in real partnering, and support it.