Complexities of communication - cousins & shareholders
Listen to Joseph Astrachan, Stephen Woodman and Paul Darley discuss the importance in communicating within a family business. Frequent communication between all members in a family business, particularly stakeholders, is essential in the avoidance and resolution of conflict. When communicating, it is equally important to discuss both conflicts as well as successes of the business.
There are some techniques that I suggest people use in order to get families to embrace communicating about things that they don’t want to communicate about. Practice difficult communication. Let’s start with easy topics that you find a little uncomfortable, and generally move to greater and greater topics of discomfort.
Doug Woodman (should say Stephen)
We brought in and outside advisor and we had him, for quite a while we’d meet with him. And he’d put together, get the family together, get business people together to come up with our idea, or morals, what our goals were and get us communicating, get us talking together, to see where we wanted to go and how to bring this business forward.
I think it’s critically important that in a family business that you over communicate with your stakeholders and particularly your shareholders, so we as a business make sure that we’re constantly keeping our shareholders involved via email, via web broadcasts and other means, on what’s going on in the business where we’re headed, what’s happening with dividends, what’s happening with our strategic direction, where we are with new hires, what our forecasts are, and you really can’t over communicate enough with them.