In celebration of National Sibling Week it seems only right as a family business coach to share a few tools to help minimize sibling rivalry that can lead to family and family business conflict.
In coaching we talk about helping clients make a “shift” or move from one mindset and perspective to another.
Here are the top five shifts I ask my family business siblings to make:
1. From Looking for Ways to Compete to Looking for Ways to Complement
It seems like natural hard-wired behavior to compete with your sibling — I know I have an older brother that brings out this tendency in me.
Rather than compete, look for ways to complement each other. I don’t just mean with a trivial shallow compliment. I mean look for ways that your natural talents can complement each other and work together to help lead your business and create stronger business results.
2. From Looking for Faults to Looking for Strengths
We all have faults and can all fall into the habit of looking for faults and pointing those out with the people closest to us. In coaching we take a strengths-based approach. In other words, spend more time looking for each other’s strengths and building upon them.
3. From Looking for Ways You’re Different, to Looking for What You Have in Common
One of the most disruptive behaviors with siblings in business is to continue to talk to employees about your different vision and preferences in the business. That behavior can be highly destructive to creating a cohesive culture. Spend time looking for the ways that you are the same in your business and practice sharing those with employees.
4. From Looking for Ways to Divide the Company, Look for Ways to Unite the Company
Many times employees in the family business will try to find ways to create special relationships with siblings or family members. While this behavior can feel good at times it can also create triangulation and cliques within a family business. Siblings should be aware of this potential behavior and continue to find ways to unite their team within the business.
5. From Looking for Ways to Hog the Spotlight, Look for Ways to Share the Spotlight
Even as young children it seems like siblings want to find ways to stand on their own in the spotlight with their parents and their family. This behavior can carry over into the business world. How about realizing how great it would be if you both stood under the spotlight together. Great leaders realize team wins are even better than individual wins.
Take some time this week and make a few of these shifts in your family business!
Landmine Detection Map
Are you battling next-generation issues, in-law drama, sibling rivalries or even health-related problems due to stress in your family business? The Landmine Detection Kit will help you identify underlying issues that eventually could create catastrophic damage to your family business.