Resolving Conflicts in a Family Business

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Article by Martin Federer

Conflict is a natural phenomenon in any family business. It can shatter a family into pieces.

Family and business conflicts arise due to difference in opinions between the different family members. In a family, there is more of emotional values, protective bonding and they do not willingly accept changes. For a Family Business to succeed, change is inevitable.

Conflicts cannot be predicted. A simple conversation between two people can lead to misunderstandings and arguments. The argument can have nothing to do with the topic being discussed, at all. Conflicts in families that are also in business together are higher than normal families because issues such as money is often an inflated interest and of greater concern.

The family and business conflicts need to be handled differently. When you mix the issues over matters, such as leadership and money, then both relationships suffer a lot.

It is very important to find out the base of any conflict and the way you handle it.

Families that involve themselves in handling the conflict are more likely to succeed in their businesses. Families should build up a family plan which describes how you are going to be in family without your business influence. Businesses should deal with leadership and management plans.

Some of the ways to tackle family business conflicts are:

1. Frequent family meetings to be held to discuss business related issues and settling disagreements.

2. Active involvement in the meetings, have patience, and listen to what the other person has to say. Remember, we are born with 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason.

3. Brainstorming: Gather the solutions to the problem, accepting the ideas and opinions of each individual.

4. Find the solution that has the highest potential.

Unresolved conflicts are harmful and put both the family and business at risk.

Families and businesses that managing conflict effectively have higher chances to survive and achieve their goals