family business research international center

Effective Communication in the Family Business

Among the typical problems that plague Family Businesses Poor Communication is at the core. One of the main reason and sometimes the # 1 reason why Family Business don't last beyond the Second Generation is due to lack of effective communication. Good communication lays the foundation of all trust based relationships
and partnerships.
Communication is a challenging issue in Family Business mainly because members must be able to communicate effectively as a Manager, Owner and Family Member (sometimes all at once) and if they fail to do so this can lead to misinterpretation leading to major misunderstanding in Family and Business. The situation can be even more acute in multi-generational Family Business where information intended to be delivered and received by all parties is vastly different due to age gap and generational differences.
The important element in successful Family Businesses is good communication as it facilitates smooth operations. Poor communication can be overcome by providing timely information on strategic decisions taken, key updates on company performance, challenges from competition and other important issues affecting the Business.

Some tips to keep the Family Members on the same page:
• All Formal Meetings and routine structured conversations must be focused and clear
• Take notes during meetings and hold Family Members responsible for the assigned task
• Family Members must keep their eyes on the common Goals
• Emotions must be kept out of workplace
Whatever role you play in a Family Business, Effective Communication will not only improve the dynamics of your Family-owned Business today but also result in fewer problems for Future Generations.

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