Relationships mean everything. Healthy relationships enable a business to thrive. Dysfunctional relationships will eventually disintegrate a business and a family.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines relationship as: the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc. talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other.
Never have relationships been more complicated than in the family business! Psychology today cites that unhealthy relationships can be one of the greatest sources of personal anguish and unhappiness.
When I look at the definition of relationships and think about the work we do with families, here is how the process typically plays out:
How You Talk to Each Other
We deploy a simple behavioral assessment that enables family members to identify their inherent personality type.
From there we begin to build a framework to help them teach each other how to best communicate to each other based upon their inherent styles. Detail people need the details, big picture people want to hear the big picture.
When we teach the family to learn how to talk to each other more effectively, it’s a giant step toward healthier relationships.
How You Behave Toward Each Other
Families develop interesting and often annoying ways they behave toward each other.
Don’t even get me started on how my older brother behaves with me!
We help the family take a step back and look at some of the patterns of behavior that have developed over a long period of time and help them agree upon new ways of behaving.
While change isn’t easy, when a group of people can identify destructive behaviors and commit to new ways of interacting, change can happen. The key is to keep practicing the new behaviors to build the new neural pathways in the brain.
How You Deal With Each Other
Businesses operate with guidelines and policies to create stable and reliable decision-making and governance for long-term success.
Successful families learn how to create guidelines and policies around: employment in the family business, conflict resolution and financial agreements around the business.
The sooner clear and thoughtful agreements can be made, the sooner the family has a road map for how to rationally and fairly deal with each other in the context of the family and the business.
Create a Fresh Start!
Make the time to sit down with your family and have conversations about how you want to talk to each other, behave toward each other and deal with each other.
It’s never easy, but through hard work and focused effort you can build strong and rewarding relationships.
As the relationships get healthier, the extended family and the business will have a bright and promising future!
LANDMINE DETECTION KIT
Are you battling next-generation issues, in-law drama, sibling rivalries or even health-related problems due to stress in your family business? The Landmine Detection Kit will help you identify underlying issues that eventually could create catastrophic damage to your family business.