Guest Author: Philip Kriszenfeld, B.A Q., Med FEA, Business Family Advisor and Mediator
The title says it all.
I often find myself in conversations regarding the pandemic and how it is affecting each person so differently.
First and most importantly, it is about staying safe and healthy with your loved ones. We tend to first talk about the impact on mental health for kids out of school and the lack of social interaction for many of us, but there is also a higher level of conflict brewing. This conflict is especially rising for those in the space I work in, The Family Business.
Many of us (me included) sat back in March and said, "Let’s wait and see if this blows over in the next few weeks". Well, 6 months later we are still in it and there seems to be no indication of this novel coronavirus ending in the near future.
What happens with those families who work together?
The matriarch and patriarch could be at increased risk due to their age or compromised immunities. The next generation may have kids at home who they want to protect. The employees have many of their own issues to manage during these times. I could go on and on and would never cover the every scenario.
What is happening with the business during all of this?
We had stages of lockdowns that denied many businesses from operating in any capacity. When they could open, who was going in to run things? How do we operate with half of our staff? With the CERB, some businesses are having trouble getting some of their staff to consider the health risk for similar or even less money just to come back to work.
These are some of the discussions that I have had with both existing clients, and potential clients. The family unit that works together is struggling. The struggles are around all of the points made above and then some.
The communication is terribly negative, and often judgmental, simply based on individual decisions amongst family members who work together trying to decide what their next steps should be. Tensions are heightened due to the inherent stresses associated with living in a worldwide pandemic. The stresses inevitably carry over into the Family Business as well.
As with most conflicts, the most effective way to address them is to use a collaborative approach. Let me help you have that facilitated discussion and hear all the sides. Let everyone put their concerns out in the open and we can take the next steps together.
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