Dysfunctional family dynamics can strangle growth pathways
The multi-unit franchise offers the ability to build something, be your own boss, and generate opportunities for others. As you design your strategy, recruit your team, create your culture, and string together success after success, it becomes very easy to think about who helps build your business as a family. Families are diverse, they come in different shapes and sizes, including those you share DNA with and those you have bonded with and consider family. Whether you work with the DNA family or not, you have a family business.
Family relationships develop over time and repetition. With history and repetition also come patterns of behavior, expectations and perceptions. At its best, a family business is a beautiful combination of communication and collaboration based on mutual respect and responsibility. At worst, family businesses fall prey to dysfunctional patterns of behavior such as silent treatment, bullying one another, and grinding emotionally-driven exchanges. The “norm” or behavioral dynamic between long-term partners and team members can have toxic consequences for relationships, productivity, and teamwork.
When the balance between family and business is off center, it puts the focus on the business and your personal life. Many of you deal with ineffective communication and unreasonable expectations on a daily basis. What is often tolerated as “it is what it is”, becomes accepted as standard operating procedure and eventually becomes a wrecking ball for business performance. Dysfunctional dynamics strangle pathways to growth, demoralize employees, erode company value, and drain financial resources.
The good news is that there are resources to help you. Getting advice from others who have already gone down this path can save you from creating unnecessary trauma for family and business. You can start by practicing the following strategies to create more positive trading momentum and protect your financial future.
Depending on your culture, this may require coaching on different communication strategies. A skilled facilitator can provide useful (and tested) governance techniques, forums, and strategies. They can also help you practice and offer guidelines for productive interaction until mutual trust, respect, and collaboration become second nature.
2. Tune Into What Others Appreciate
Beliefs can change, but core values stand the test of time – understanding and respecting what your family members, key leaders and employees value most allows you to bridge almost any relationship gap.
3. Take responsibility for your behavior and communication
You can’t control others, but you can control how you listen, connect, and respond.
4. Practice Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Chords
- Be flawless with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
5. Discuss complex topics when connectivity is high
Working with business owners for nearly half a century, we have witnessed first hand the impact of developing strategies to improve communication in business and its effect on business value. and financial well-being. The value of your business directly depends on the likelihood that the success of the business can and will continue.
Successfully integrating new units or new brands into your portfolio or thriving through challenges like Covid all require succession strategies to successfully transition. Succession planning involves developing strategies to overcome any challenges that threaten the success of your business. Effectively accommodating growth, family integration, franchisor public relations fiascos, and tenures are just a few of the major succession issues that many franchisees overlook.
Find out what issues can impact your vision for growth by answering these questions for yourself. Another great opportunity to grow your business is to make sure you attend the upcoming Multi-Unit Franchise Conference in March. Stop by our booth #342 to discuss strategies for realizing your vision.
Kendall Rawls knows and understands the challenges that impact the success of an entrepreneur-owned business. Her unique perspective comes not only from her educational background but, more importantly, from her experience as a second generation employee of the Rawls Group – Business Succession Planners family. For more information visit www.rawlsgroup.com or email [email protected]