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How Conflict in the Family Business Can Help it Improve

Business woman executives are in conflict as to the next CEO of the CompanyMany companies spend a lot of effort avoiding conflict in the family business. Which brings us to the question, should you allow these disagreements to happen or continue shutting them down? Many family business owners intentionally skip over details that might ruffle feathers. Unfortunately, doing so can end up causing more chaos than it avoids.

We actively encourage healthy conflict to bring people closer together. Read on to learn how Positively People can help your brand with family business consulting.


Stop Avoiding Conflict and Focus on Sources of Tension

Even though you try to avoid arguments, you can feel the tension continuing to build. Soon, everyone becomes on edge and ready to pounce on any challengers. How can healthy conversations happen when everyone is ready to explode? The longer things are kept from discussion, the more they fester.

Avoid having everyone look around at the elephant in the room and talk about it. You may find that people may have an easier time accepting the news than you thought.

Objectively Bring Up Problems and Solutions

When family governance has an emotional connection to some issues, they often don’t articulate it well. It sometimes comes across as the first volley in a long battle. Instead, many companies elect an independent member or family business advisory service for help. These third parties aren’t invested in the outcome and can help you see issues for what they are.

Fighting arises from disagreements over decisions and the reactionary emotions behind them. Defaulting to an independent referee can prevent arguments from boiling over.

Avoid Accusatory Language When Revealing Disagreements

Some of us never grow out of using direct and accusatory language. When there is already a fight, the existing tension will only become worse. Pointing the finger will trigger an emotional response that will continue escalating. Before you know it, the boardroom sees an unhinged fight with bad blood.

Keeping discussions neutral and only dealing with facts helps keep everyone level headed. That is where having an independent facilitator especially comes in handy.

Think About the Effects of What You’re Requesting

Some leaders take it personally when others refuse to follow them. They might not realize that these naysayers have a valid point. We can’t always see what the possible effects are when it comes to specific actions. Unfortunately, that can mean hurting those we care about while pursuing wealth.

No decision should ever feel completely reactionary and without any insight. Engage others by asking them for help in avoiding blind spots.

Focus on Finding Common Ground

Like politics, the most growth happens when there is a shared compromise. Otherwise, one side will always feel ignored and their membership unappreciated. You may want to see all of your policies pass though, but realistically only some will. You can’t expect all of your ideas to be adopted by everyone else willingly.

A lot of continuity planning involves finding where the most common ground exists. Knowing how some members work with others can help you plan more efficiently.

Resolve Conflict in the Family Business with Our Advisors

Many arguments arise during family business succession planning, while others stem from old rivalries. No matter the source of your disagreements, we can help. Positively People will work as your independent facilitator that values shared solutions. Contact us today for a consultation.

Learn more about Positively People Services in Family Business Consulting.