From Robert in Santa Cruz
Dear Coach- my brother’s driving me crazy in our business and I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?
Hi Robert – this is a common problem and there are a lot of different roads to go down in terms of solutions.
The first thing I encourage people to do is to try to take a deep breath and remember that even working in corporate America you are going to be faced with working with people that drive you a bit crazy. That’s part of the nature of work– learning how to deal with people that have different personalities and styles and work ethics. I know it’s even a bit more maddening when it’s your sibling.
The most common solutions we look for with family business coaching are to identify: personality style differences (so you can learn to understand and communicate with your different styles), defining clear work responsibilities and results that you each produce, the values differences (what’s important each to each of you) and conflict styles.
Those four roads should give you some places to look at with your brother. Remember, it is a process. No single conversation is going to make everything better. You need to start to engage in some dialogue, explore your differences and look for common ground. Life’s too short to be suffering in your family business or any business for that matter. Many times the other brother doesn’t want to deal with it so it’s going to be incumbent upon you to push forward and make life better for both you and your brother.
If he is absolutely not willing to discuss it, the last row is acceptance — and deciding whether or not you’re willing to work with him as he is, or one of you has to move on.
Good luck and get to work!