For BFF, communication is one of the most important areas for enterprising families to address. Here’s a summary of comments by Professor John Davis about communication and the discipline of tackling conflict in family business:
Sometimes there is a hesitancy about really talking about the family issues. So there need to be times where you agree as a family to come together and talk. And we are going to have an agenda and we are going to have somebody to facilitate because some of these conversations are hard but we have to have them.
A good process involves simple concepts, like how to listen to one another, that are not simple to do. But they are fundamental in helping build a better system so that the business can function better.
I think it needs to be specified that if we are not getting along and we cannot resolve our differences between the two of us, we have a way of bringing in a mediator. If the mediator cannot help us, we have both agreed to mandatory arbitration.
I think it frees people up if they know that if it doesn’t work out, if we cannot get along, if we change our minds, we are still going to have a process of reaching an agreement. We will not go to court and we will not use lawyers.
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