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5 ways to avoid a family business dispute

Family disputes can make the holidays awkward. A family business dispute could cancel the holidays altogether.

There are many causes to a family business dispute, and conflict often takes place in stages before it gets ugly. Not only could family relationships be potentially ruined, but large sums of money may be spent on litigation before anything is resolved-if it ever is.

What are some ways to prevent conflict before it escalates? We will discuss 5 tips for doing so in this post.

1. Keep personal lives and business separate

When you work with family, it's important to separate your personal lives from business. Taking work home with you could cause destruction in your relationships with your family.

Decide when to not discuss the business, such as after the workday or on the weekends. Respecting personal space will prevent conflicts and maintain the health of the business.

2. Give everyone a clear-cut role

Ensure that everyone has a straightforward responsibility. Without specific roles, it's easy for family members to get caught up in conflict. Especially in start-ups, where there may be no clearly defined positions, having roles is important to avoid a fight for power and control.

3. Have a common family goal

One of the leading causes of family disputes is a clash of interests or goals. Maybe it's a debate of keeping the company private or public, or maybe it's an argument over the company's mission.

Whatever the case, it's important that everyone is on the same page. Be sure to establish a common goal for the business through open communication. Hear everyone out and calmly work towards a common resolution.

4. Effective communication

Effective communication is crucial to a conflict-free business. Especially in family businesses, ensuring that there is honesty and transparency in decisions could prevent relationships from souring. Empathy and composure are important in a setting where collaborative decisions drive success.

5. Mediation

If there are significant disagreements on one or more issues, mediation could help resolve issues before they escalate out of control. A mediator will help facilitate discussion in a productive way while the disputing parties supply their opinions and thoughts.

Disputes can have long-lasting effects on family members. They may place a burden on relationships or destroy them altogether. Taking steps to neutralize conflict before it escalates can help you and your family business succeed.

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Chodos & Associates
1880 Century Park East
Suite 615
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Toll Free: 866-986-7255
Phone: 310-598-3405
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