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Meaningful Conversations

Stranberg Resource Group recently had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Carolyn Friend, a founding partner at Inheriting Wisdom. Dr. Friend helps family businesses transfer their legacies from one generation to the next.

In this conversation, we explore how conversational nuance can support or undermine critical dialogue in family businesses.

Meaningful conversations form the basis of strong relationships.

In a family business, having a meaningful conversation can be difficult due to the multiple roles family members play in our daily lives. Being a family member (son, daughter, aunt, uncle, etc), is fundamentally different than being a peer, boss or subordinate at work. When families work together, these roles can conflate and cause unwelcome or awkward tension.

Consider this scenario:

The Vice President of Operations plans a meeting to discuss retirement and succession planning with the CEO, who is also her mother.

A discussion between a mother and a daughter about retirement is entirely different than a VP and CEO discussing succession. Without carefully considering the roles that each person plays, an important conversation can be derailed.

In family businesses, patterns that develop across lifelong relationships can perpetuate and become entrenched modes of behavior that prevent us from evolving our relationships.