Family Businesses – Fertile Ground for Conflict

In any company, there’s going to be conflict; it’s a normal part of everyday business. When the business is a family business or some employees are family, the potential for disagreement increases. Dealing with the issue(s) can be more challenging in a family-run business because the stakes are higher. Personal relationships can be threatened, and keeping the problem at the office becomes a problem in itself.

Related Search: How to deal with Conflict in a Family Business
Issues can snowball in a family business situation because three areas of interest come into play– family issues, business issues, and ownership issues says Don Schwerzler, a U.S. family business expert in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business. Swcherzler recommends seeking out a mediator or consultant to help with family feuds.
A business coach with expertise in working with families can help with those difficult conversations and teach skills to family members so they can collaborate and work together.
Here are some helpful tips on avoiding havoc in family-owned businesses. Some of them are quite obvious, but it’s surprising how often people make these mistakes leading to problems with family members and non-family employees.

  1. Don’t put a family member on the payroll who isn’t contributing to the business. Make sure everyone has a role and responsibilities are spelled out and are very clear, says Jane Hilburt-Davis, president of Cambridge-based Key Resources and co-author of Consulting to Family Businesses in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business .
  2. Keep strict boundaries between family matters and business matters.
  3. Be honest with your employees – don’t keep it a secret that family members are involved in the company.
  4. Don’t play favorites with family employees over non-family employees.

Related Search: Effective Business Communication
In any relationship–work or personal—genuine and authentic communication helps to resolve issues or to prevent them in the first place. Having someone with the experience to teach or guide family members in a business to communicate in ways that solve problems, not create them, can be the key to having a successful family-run company.
Photo Credit “David Castillo Dominici” Free Digital Photos.

Presentation and Speaking Skills for Leaders

For business leaders, the ability to speak and present ideas effectively is crucial for success. As a leader, your role is to persuade others and to create change. Moving others to fully buy-in to the ideas and changes you are proposing takes skill, and being able to present your message in a way that creates lasting change, will make your job easier.
Related Search: Public Speaking Skills
Most of us are uncomfortable with public speaking and would rather face a root canal. Even if you have developed some level of skill, here are some tips for being more comfortable, and for presenting your ideas in a way that will engage your audience.
Related Search: Executive Coaching

  1. Knowing your audience is crucial to a successful presentation. You know what you want and need, but are you clear on the needs and wants of your audience?  Before you begin to develop your presentation or speech, do your research—it will pay off.
  2. Be conversational in your delivery—by practicing your material and knowing it inside and out, you don’t have to worry about missing points and you can relax. A conversational tone will appeal more to your audience. Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Tell a true story about yourself that relates to your material. People want to know who you are, not how much you know. By telling an authentic story about your life and yes, even about some failures you have experienced, you will come across as genuine and likeable.
  4. Don’t rush through your talk and don’t stand in one place with your arms at your side. Use energy and silence to deliver your message. Move around and use your hands. Stop and take a few seconds before moving onto the next point.

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910, American author and humorist)
For most people, becoming a skilled speaker and presenter takes time and practice. It’s an essential skill for success and using these tips will help to make you a more effective leader.