Our last post pointed out three ways family businesses can minimize conflict in the workplace.
Here you’ll get 5 tips for when a conflict with a family member or co-worker arises.
The most common cause of any conflict is lack of communication and failure of communication.
And the longer a conflict goes on, the more resentment builds. This could ultimately lead to a complete breakdown in the family and business relationship.
When a conflict with a family member or co-worker arises in the business, it’s generally best to approach the other person right away with intent to resolve the conflict. This can be an opportunity to deepen understanding and improve the relationship.
Before starting a difficult conversation with a family member or co-worker, build trust with these 5 tips:
1. Set your intention for a positive outcome. Suspend all judgment about the other person. Instead of automatically assuming he or she is lazy, selfish, or taking advantage, you might try coming up with three alternative reasons causing the behavior. For example, it’s possible they may have just had a fight with their spouse.
Avoid starting a difficult conversation with “we have to talk.” Your family member or coworker is likely to expect to hear you tell him something he is doing wrong.
2. Carefully weigh your response. Stay away from correcting or criticizing your family member or business colleague. Simply listen to find out where the other person is coming from, how they view the world. Show you’re listening by using a phrase like “I hear you.”
3. Plan your timing. Hold a positive attitude and make sure you have their full attention.
4. Get curious. We are all wired to defaulting to defending ourselves. Instead of jumping in to defend yourself, you might ask “Do I absolutely know this is true of the other person?”
5. Take responsibility. Conflicts are rarely caused by one person. You might ask yourself “what can I take responsibility for?” Acknowledging your piece is likely to build trust with your family member or business colleague and he or she is likely to respond in kind.
When a conflict with a family member or business co-worker arises, it’s generally best to address it right away with a positive tone.
Carrying around resentment can take its toll on you. If left too long, it can lead to a complete breakdown in the family and business relationship.
I’d love to hear from you. What is a family conflicts you’ve recently experienced? How was it resolved?