Sometimes it’s difficult to see your way out of conflict when you’re in the thick of it. But if you ignore the conflict or allow yourself to wallow in it, you could be jeopardizing the survival of the family business. But it is possible to pull yourself out. Banyan partner Aline Porto shares her top 5 tips for managing conflict when you’re right in the middle of it.
See below for a PDF version of the 5 tips to manage conflict and how to put them in practice.
5 Tips to Manage Conflict (12:48)
- Unmanaged conflict can paralyze a family business, stifle progress, and break down relationships in the family and in the business.
- Deal with conflictual situations as they arise–don’t let them fester. If you ignore the conflict, it can jeopardize the survival of the family business.
- Balancing talking and listening is crucial in trying to manage and resolve conflict. Ask open-ended questions, really work to understand the other side of the argument.
- Be curious. Find a way to care about what the other person has to say because if you are genuinely curious, you are more likely to understand their point of view and be able to move forward.
- Follow the 1% rule. There is a chance you may not be 100% correct in the argument, even if it is just a 1% chance that the other side may have valid points or ideas. Listen to them with that in mind.
- It’s not about being the smartest or having the best argument, it is about making sure the other person understands you and what you are trying to say. Work together to find what the real issue is and how to see each others’ sides.
[1:00] Tip 1: Don’t let the conflict fester– it will get worse and it can threaten the future of the family business.
[2:11] Tip 2: The balance of listening well and respectfully explaining your point is necessary to reduce the conflict. You must try to understand the other point of view through listening to them and asking them questions.
[3:20] Tip 3: You must be genuinely curious about the other point of view and care about resolving the conflict to get anywhere.
[4:41] Tip 4: Employ the 1% rule. Have the mindset that there is a 1% chance the other person may have a valid point or information that you don’t that can get you closer to resolving the conflict.
[5:51] Tip 5: It’s not about being the smartest or having the strongest argument, the goal is to be understood. From a place of understanding, you can have empathy for the other person and get clarity on their point of view.
[7:07] Aline Porto shares ideas of how to put these tips in practice for past conversations and in future ones.