In our experience if we can teach a family to be more effective communicators and KEEP them communicating they can make great strides in working together and being a stronger family and business.
Very often family members tell us “I just don’t want to deal with it any longer. I’m tired of talking about it and am not sure the talking is getting us anywhere”
Another common scenario is they incur an injury along the way. Someone in the family hurts or offends them. Their natural reaction is to want to retreat and “take their ball and go home.”
I know how it feels. I remember when Uncle Walsh smacked me down for a perceived bad decision. It hurt on a personal level.
Becoming a stronger marathoner requires you to keep pushing yourself even when you are tired or have suffered an injury. We call it resilience. The ability to pull yourself together and strap on your sneakers and get back in the marathon.
When family members check themselves out because they can’t take it anymore, it limits our ability to push further and learn about what matters to each other and how we can avoid the injuries in the future.
If you need a short break or breather – take it. But please don’t give up. When you challenge yourself and push yourself you will become stronger and more resilient for the next uphill stretch of the road.
I don’t think Uncle Walsh really wanted to hurt me. He was angry. Later (after I cooled down) I could see where he was coming from. I got back in the game and we got back to work. I was a bit stronger and more resilient as a result.
Successful family businesses need strong resilient team members. Keep building your ability to stay in the race and/or get back as quickly as you can. If you don’t feel safe, seek out the help of a family business advisor, or what I like to call myself at times, the family business referee.
Keep learning to be better communicators so the bruises and injuries don’t happen in the first place. Next week we’ll talk about how to choose our words so that we minimize team friction.