Family Business Mediation. Are You Ready To Have A Challenging Conversation? Part 1


Are you ready to have a challenging conversation? Few people enjoy confrontation in their personal or professional lives. Family businesses are always more fraught because the relationships are closer & longer-term. There are more hot buttons to push, & people get locked into memories that may not be relevant. If you haven’t built up the skill to address difficult topics over time, the default will be to avoid them and hope the issue goes away.

One legitimate reason for delaying a tough conversation is when emotions are heated. It is not the time to suddenly raise a topic when emotions are hot. Or maybe there is a heated deadline, and you’re under vast amounts of pressure. Possibly you need some quiet time to reflect. Just be clear about your reasons for the delay.

What may you consider when deciding whether to have the conversation? What is the big pull here? Call yourself to a larger purpose. Is it about greater transparency within the company? Excellence in operations? What, on a larger scale, makes addressing this problematic issue compelling to you.


Having a difficult conversation is a way to develop ourselves and can make the family relationship stronger. Next week, we will discuss how a trained facilitator can help you have a tough conversation.


Philip Kriszenfeld, B.A Q., Med FEA

Business Family Advisor and Mediator

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