Tips for Success in Family Business – Communication
It’s probably no surprise that healthy communication is one of the recommendations for success in family business.
Effective communication can be one of your most power tools, and yet a lack of communication is one of the most frequent complaints among families I work with. Next generation family members in particular can be hampered or discouraged in their participation when important conversations are not had.
There are many reasons why individuals may not communicate. Sometimes, people worry about making promises they can’t keep or encouraging a sense of entitlement. They may want to keep their options open or maintain a degree of control. Maybe they’ve had a negative interaction in the past that they don’t want to repeat. And of course, there is never enough time. Whatever it is, communication is often not leveraged the way it could be. We also know that in the absence of open communication, people will make their own minds up about what is happening, and why. So, choosing to communicate openly and frequently about as much as you can, with as many people as you can, will go a long way to support healthy participation and teamwork, and happy family gatherings.
Now, even when you understand that regular, open communication is of great value for everyone involved, you know as well as I do that it does not happen by accident. Time must be taken to prepare your thoughts and meetings should be scheduled in advance for communication, planning and discussions to take place. I strongly recommend family business leaders nail down regular meeting schedules for these important group and one-on-one interactions.
Of course, not everything is for everyone to know, but bringing people together and communicating as much as you can to ensure everyone is on the same page will dramatically increase your hopes of a happy and profitable future.
At Covenant, helping families to communicate effectively is a key part of our process. If you are a business-owning family and communication or other challenges are causing you concern about your future, please, give me a call 604.546.1100. I know that we can help.