Family businesses represent over 80 percent of North American enterprises, and like all organizations, have their share of conflict. But family business conflict that has to do with such items as goals, strategies and processes can be productive and motivational, as long as any relational/emotional components are well managed. So says a new study by Kennesaw State University and EY Family Business Services, which collected data from 25 of the world’s largest family businesses in each of 21 top global markets.
In the survey, nearly half the family businesses reported potentially dysfunctional conflict. It was how they dealt with it that made the difference between success and failure—not to mention family happiness versus interpersonal distress.
The report pinpoints specific traits that family businesses use to help reduce unhealthy conflict. Among them:
As we’ve long said, no business can or should flee from conflict, but instead mine it for its potential power to generate greatness.
We want to hear: Have you ever been part of a family business? How does your business address conflict and do you think it does so successfully? To join the conversation, click "comments" below on our Community of Practice Forum.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion