Family business needs professional communication skills. For a family business to survive it must learn how to communicate like a business not like a family. Unfortunately, poor communication habits can doom a business that has great potential. Too often families don’t realize this need before it’s too late.
To run a successful business you need to learn how to have the tough conversations without getting personally offended or upset. It’s like Tom Hanks said in the movie “A League of Their Own” ‘there is no crying in baseball’ – there should be no crying in family business!
The most successful family businesses that last several generations do so by learning how to clearly define performance measurements and hold people accountable to those results.
When a family gets stuck worrying about upsetting a family member over a performance issue they are putting the business at risk. Dealing with the issue is always difficult in a family business, but not addressing the issues can have a serious financial impact to the family if the business fails.
The family first should educate family members creating an expectation that family members will be held to the same performance standards as non family employees. Additionally the family should make it clear that if a family member us unable to produce acceptable levels of results they will be asked to leave the business.
Creating clear expectations before a family member joins the business can help the family avoid the potential drama should someone be asked to leave.
Learning to talk about performance is just the first step. The second step is learning how to do that in a professional and supportive way. It is incumbent on any good business leader to learn how to give feedback in a way that helps the team member improve and succeed. It’s not just enough to give feedback, great leaders also know how coach their player on how to continually improve their performance.