Conflict and the Family Business

Many of us will have close families, siblings, parents whom we see fairly regularly. Some of us will also run our own businesses.  Some of us combine the two and work with our families as part of the running of a family business.

In these circumstances, the interdependence of family structure can be found weaving its way rather uniquely into working lives too.  In a combination of practical, financial, commercial, emotional and psychological threads which at the best of times can be tricky to keep on an even keel.  Putting family members together to achieve sometimes incompatible goals and sharing the same pool of resources, places an often inevitable strain on relationships.

Its not hard to imagine then how conflict may be fuelled in such a scenario. After all, Fred was always the laziest brother and he’s never pulled his weight. Mum really just wants to get her life back, leaving the day to day grind to the children, but Dad simply can’t let go. After all, he’s the ‘linchpin’ of all of the enterprise…..

There are almost 3 million family businesses in the UK, employing 9.4 million people.  These are estimated to contribute a quarter of the UK’s GDP and generate tax revenues of £102 billion.

If something becomes an issue, it’s not so easy in a family business situation to just walk away from one another. There may be lasting consequences to the family bond.

If a conflict escalates, then taking a family member to court will also have lasting and often devastating consequences. Seeking an imposed solution through arbitration (even though chosen) is not optimal as the ‘loser’ will undoubtedly feel hard done by…….

In contrast mediation’s more malleable processes can stretch, expand and contract to taken into account that truly human element of a dispute within family businesses. Let’s face it, we know that when a conflict arises within families or close relationships, there is often:

  • A need to vent
  • A desire for recognition
  • A need for understanding

Mediation will focus on a solution to the specific issues, but also look to how the relationship will be beyond this dispute just now

If you would like to find out more about how to manage and resolve issues specific to your family business, then feel free to call and speak to one of our accredited mediators on 01279 211657 for a no obligation free conversation.

 

Carolyn Hanes

Carolyn Hanes

At first glance Carolyn Hanes appears the archetypal legal professional. Beyond her many qualifications and years of experience in Family Law however lies the heart of a classical musician and poet. Originally from the Lake District, Carolyn’s love of nature vies constantly with music in her soul for top place, and best passion. Her working life over the years has been dedicated to finding a better way to help families in transition.
Carolyn Hanes

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