Family Business Notes


4 Ways of Managing someone who takes offense easily and gets into frequent conflicts.

Managing a family member who takes offense easily and gets into frequent conflicts can be difficult in any business, but it can be especially difficult in a family business where personal and emotional dynamics are often at play. Everyone tiptoes around that family member fearful that the slightest provocation can cause a blow-up. Often important but controversial subjects are avoided in family business meetings to avoid unpleasant situations.


Here are 4 things you need to do :

1. Communicate clearly: When dealing with a family member who is easily offended or prone to conflict, it’s important to communicate clearly and avoid any language or behaviors that could be perceived as aggressive or disrespectful. Use “I” statements to express your own feelings and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

2. Listen actively: When conflicts arise, take the time to actively listen to the family member’s concerns and perspective. Validate their feelings and try to see the situation from their point of view. This can help to defuse tensions and build understanding.


3. Set boundaries: If the family member’s behavior is causing disruption or creating a toxic work environment, it may be necessary to set clear boundaries around what is and isn’t acceptable. This might include establishing ground rules for communication and behavior or even seeking outside mediation or counseling.


4. Focus on common goals: Try to keep the focus on the common goals and shared vision of the family business. Remind everyone of why they are working together and the benefits of a harmonious and successful business. This can help to keep conflicts in perspective, minimize disruption and prevent them from becoming personal or emotional.


Don’t expect any of these 4 action points to deliver instant results overnight.  It will take weeks and months of sincere efforts to change habits and behavior. But it can be done.


More on managing a multi-generational family business:


Harsh Chopra