Conflict arising in a Business is challenging because it involves people with different views, backgrounds, and culture. In the case of Family Business, resolution of conflict is even more challenging due to a greater possibility of deep-rooted differences among the Family Members coupled with their Business ambitions. Unresolved conflict will have a negative impact on the business unless it is effectively redressed.
There are several problem-solving techniques to resolve conflicts. Harvard's “interest based" model ensures that all members are able to express their views and preferences fully. Skilled advisors are present to iron out differences in a constructive manner and lead the family towards common objective.
The following steps form the conflict resolution process
- All Family Members must be open to resolution: The starting point for resolution of any conflict is the acknowledgement of an issue to be resolved and all members demonstrating interest in resolving it.
- Everyone must have clarity on the issue: Many conflicts do not get resolved because participants do not clearly articulate the exact point of contention and focus on minor and irrelevant issues.
- Family Members must be aware of generational issues: It is important to note that, as business comprises of multi generation family members it is necessary to accept and appreciate the generational differences while trying to find a solution to the issue on hand.
- Emotions must be under control: Conflicts cannot be resolved when emotions of members are not under control. When members are upset the reasoning power diminishes the proceedings may not be necessarily constructive.
- Awareness that members assuming different roles can have an impact: Members may operate out of different spaces in Family Business - Ownership, Business, and Family and it is better to be aware of which space they are operating from to understand their perception in order to reach a solution to the issue on hand.