Unconditional love! You’ve got to be kidding right!
No seriously. Life is short and we need to do everything we can to make the family business experience rewarding and enjoyable.
Practice Unconditional Love
Start off by practicing unconditional love for your family members. I know it sounds like a big stretch. It felt like a big stretch when I was trying to practice unconditional love for my uncle in our family business.
The truth is everyone has their challenges, their idiosyncrasies, and their personality traits that can be very annoying. Yet, when we can build our unconditional love mindset we can give ourselves and our family members some positive energy.
Don’t mistake what I’m saying. I’m not advocating putting up with bad behavior or subjecting yourself to any kind of mistreatment.
Give Your Family Tools to Succeed
The cornerstone of the Family Business Playbook is helping everyone get clear about what they want and need. It will help you to more effectively explore if family members should be together in the business.
Too often, our “love” becomes a weapon in family business struggles. We “give” our love only when we feel like the other person “deserves it” or has “earned it.” That type of thinking creates distance, resentment and even estrangement (no longer getting together at family functions).
When we can truly feel and express our unconditional love to each other, it creates a better environment for cultivating understanding and compassion for one another. With a compassionate mind and heart, we might see that we have conflicting values or beliefs about work, or how to run a business.
Have a Loving Mindset
Coming to those discussions with a loving mindset enables more creative ideas for solving the issues. Sometimes the solution is to “agree to disagree” or even realize that one party needs to exit the business. We call that “pruning the family tree.” Our family did that in 1930 and 1970 during our 89 years in business.
You only get one family. You can find people to work with, different ways to make a living or follow your professional passion. Don’t get stuck in a tug of war that drains your life energy and erodes family relationships.
You can love someone unconditionally. That never means you have to work with them everyday or spend your professional life with them. Step back, create an environment where everyone can be open and honest about their needs. Find a path where everyone can enjoy their life.
Sometimes it means not working together. Sometimes it involves some “give and take” and modifying your expectations of one another. You can do this – we watch it happen every week with our family clients. Be courageous and relentless in finding the way.
Play to your potential!
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. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.