The most successful and sustainable businesses have a strong culture for goal setting and accountability.
Most of my family business clients want to have the freedom and autonomy to do things “their way” and not be a task driven (big corporate) culture. I agree with their vision AND encourage them to realize goal setting is in their long-term best interest.
If I had the opportunity to help every family business set their goals I’d encourage them to have these three:
- Improve their communication
- Embrace conflict
- Practice gratitude and mindfulness
Effective communication is the lifeblood of every healthy business and family. Some great ways to improve communication can be:
- Have a weekly or monthly meeting to talk about issues and goals
- Take communications training – have everyone identify 1-2 ways they can be a better communicator (and learn to be better listeners)
- Perform annual or semi-annual performance or relationship reviews
Healthy conflict can be a critical element to overall success. Good debate pushes everyone to be better and usually results in better decisions for the business. The problem is so many families either do conflict very poorly or avoid conflict altogether (because they’re not every good at it).
A good way to improve your conflict skills is to take some conflict training or take a conflict style assessment so you can identify everyone’s inherent approach and beliefs around conflict. Make new commitments to each other to “lean into” healthier conflict this year.
Practice Gratitude and Mindfulness
If you’ve been a reader of mine or been around me at all you know that I believe being more mindful and grateful will lead to more happiness and effectiveness in your life.
Most of the family businesses I meet have so much to be grateful for yet seem to spend way too much time and energy in frustration or anger.
A couple of good ways to build these muscles is to create a ritual at the beginning of every meeting. Have everyone take a minute to think of 1-2 things about the business for which they are grateful. Keeping a grateful mindset sets the right tone for being more compassionate and better leaders and teammates with each other.
SIT DOWN AS A FAMILY AND SET 1-3 goals for your family this year. Have everyone set 1-3 of their personal goals that are in alignment with the overall family business goals. You’ll be a better, stronger, more sustainable business as a result!
Not sure where to start? Email me and I’ll send you a free copy of a couple of my favorite tools like my Family Business Scorecard or my Conflict Style exercise.
Remember, even the most talented musicians and athletes need to keep practicing to play at their best! Help your family realize practicing these skills will be a lifelong journey!
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. Check out Coach Pete’s free tools: the Family Business Landmine Detection Map and the Family Business Survival Kit. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.