Working with family in your business
I have been fortunate! I have worked together with my wife during most of my professional career. And for the past few years our daughter has joined our business as well. We have had very few issues over the years and were always able to solve them amicably.
Is it a good thing? Yes! Will it work for everyone? Maybe! Here are some of the do’s and don’ts. I found the following tips on the internet.
Working with members of your family has the potential to be a very trying and challenging situation. It can bring out the best in you and your relatives–and also the worst in your working relationships. It can cause you to minimize or overlook errors that your relative commits, or it can make you excessively hypercritical and condescending. Why?
- You know too much intimate information about the other person.
- You’ve most likely had arguments or negative conflicts.
- You know the other person’s “hot and cold buttons”.
- Maybe you don’t like your relative or, conversely, you’re very close with that person, which means you could either be overly critical or overly protective.
As a result of the knowledge and closeness you have with this other person, you may find it difficult to be rational, logical, accurate or fair with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
Here are some suggestions to make sure it will work:
Spend time apart: Be sure to develop your own hobbies outside of work. It’s healthy to have time away from each other. Maintain your individuality; consider driving to work separately, taking different lunch appointments and sitting in separate offices.
Compartmentalize: After work hours, stop talking about office issues and go back to being family members. During work hours, though, remember that what happens at home shouldn’t carry over to work. Create some clear boundaries so you can separate the personal things from work life.
Cheerlead: Remember to encourage your family members. A quick compliment can go a long way and helps keep everyone energized. Building each other up is crucial. Likewise, a negative comment can have even more detrimental impact than you realize.
Get on the same page: Be sure to define your goals early on, so everyone is working toward the same things. Naturally, you will each have your own ideas about how to get to the end goal, so there will be clashes. But if you define your top priorities, there is a common purpose. Remember: at the end of the day, you are stronger collectively than individually.
Last but not least, communicate: Of course, communication is the most important thing to keep in mind. With family, however, this may be easier said than done. Sometimes you know your family members so well that you assume they know exactly how you are feeling. But that is definitely not the case. It’s best to let go of that idea and communicate as you would with any non-family member. Good communication results from actively listening and giving effective feedback consistently.
And what is the best thing about working with your family members?
You trust them implicitly and of course you love them.