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3 key communication lessons for family businesses

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

It is just family; you do not need communication; that is where you might be wrong. When it comes to family, in particular, family businesses, communication becomes key. While you might assume that communication comes easy when family members are involved, it is quite the contrary. When you are a part of a family business, communication is effortless only with proper mechanisms in place.

One of the foundation stones of a family business- communication could be the deciding factor of a family business, reaching new heights or experiencing a fall-off. T.T. Jagannathan, Chairman of TTK Prestige, attributes communication to the success of his family business. Fairness in business and organizational dealings, trust, transparency, accountability, and pursuing a policy of appropriate disclosures and communication form the core value system of the TTK Group, says the chief.

  1. Personal and professional- Separate!

Working with your family does not imply the mixing of personal and professional life. Personal issues should never be allowed to affect work conversations and vice versa. Signs of your personal and professional conflicts getting intertwined should be taken as an indicator to improve dialogue.

  1. Open, regular, honest- Not just adjectives!

There are high chances among people taking the importance of communication for granted in a family business. An existence of wrongly perceived notions about the understanding between the family can lead to unwanted conflicts.

  • Open communication

Disregard the ‘hush’ advice or instinct about communication; it is always better to be as open in your communications as possible. Address the elephant in the room- be it succession plans, switching roles, unmet expectations, or the future of your family business. Openness is key.

  • Be Regular

Putting off serious conversations merely because they are seemingly uncomfortable might lay the groundwork for conflicts among your family members and cause repercussions affecting the success of the family business. Set up a monthly or weekly schedule according to your needs, and discover the benefits of regularity in communication.

  • Honest communication

Probably the most crucial part of your communication, honesty is just as important. Communicating does not involve sharing business-related information alone; it includes being vocal about each family member’s understanding of the family business goals, strategies, and other crucial decisions. As long as you are transparent, no kind of misunderstanding can creep in.

  1. Listen as much as you speak!

Communication, generally assumed as speaking up; but, another critical aspect is listening. With an emphasis on listening, you can smoothly discredit things you wrongly presumed and avoid possible misunderstandings. Further, listening helps you gain insights into the thought process of your family you never knew existed! Adding different perspectives to your beliefs is only going to aid your growth. For instance, listening to the previous generations about their applied strategies in the family business will assist you in combining the old and the new or even formulating new approaches.

  • Emphasize on Empathize

An intricate aspect of listening is to empathize. Considering the familial relationships involved, an emphasis on empathy is imperative. There is an unintentional ignorance of a deep understanding of what your family members think. Trying to understand things from their perspective through empathizing can do wonders in improving communication in your family business.

To include effective communication in practice, you need conscious efforts. Improper dialogue can be detrimental to the success of your family business. Years of your family business success can suffer if you let conflicts and misinterpretations thrive.

Are you feeling somewhat clueless about how to find the best approach? Kin & Kith is here to make your apprehensions disappear! With a wide range of courses for family businesses including, family business management, Kin & Kith will assist you in your journey to achieve the necessary Family Communication and Harmony to scale up to higher levels.

We are here to guide you on the driving factors to the growth and longevity of a family business through specially curated family business courses for you.

Start your journey with us today!

Want to know how is family business MBA is different from other MBA programs?Learn here.

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