Managing Underlying Conflict in Family Business

blog May 03, 2021

Family business can be so good and it can be so difficult.   

It is good because we usually have extraordinary trust in our family. Family members are often incredibly loyal, have shared experiences and values. You know where you stand.  You can have the odd dispute or disagree on a multitude of issues and always know that your family member will be there tomorrow. It can be so much easier than navigating a relationship with a non-family member.  

And then the family can be incredibly complex and difficult because sometimes it is much harder to have some of those difficult conversations with family; it can be difficult to maintain firm boundaries with family members that are relatively easy to enforce on non-family members. Often in family business disputes matters come to a head, there is a full-on argument and then the next day everything goes back to normal. Nothing changes and that can make it worse.   

I have seen so many family businesses struggling with the handover of responsibility of the business, or children of the owner of the business feeling unreasonably criticised or judged by a parent.   

There often leads to high levels of resentment mixed in with absolute loyalty that makes this relationship and this arrangement so difficult.   

What I know is that everyone is always doing their best. It's just that it's so hard. 

I have had an interesting life. I have worked with thousands of families through the work I used to do in child support and I have worked with so many workplaces through all the work I have done in mediating workplace disputes, and coaching and building up leaders and teams.   

Every family has its stories; it’s pain. My family has not been immune to that.   

I understand families and I understand conflict. I can help you create real change, manage those boundaries and reduce resentment. It’s not a fast process but your family business relationships can change.  I apply a strength-based, nurturing and supportive approach to dealing with conflict. I'm not into punishment and looking for blame.  

Let me know if you need any help with your family business.   

 

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