Managing Conflict

Manage the unique challenges of a family business

There are a number of reasons why only 30% of family businesses survive into the second generation. Jump clients are beating the odds because they learn to manage the unique challenges of business families: family dynamics, succession planning, family governance, and communication.

“A family in harmony will prosper in everything.” Chinese Proverb

Successful business families need to balance the financial well-being of the business with the emotional well-being of the family. When I work with family business leaders, I help them leverage the strengths family members bring to the business and firmly establish a framework for the business and the family’s success.

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Managing and Keeping Friends

In theory, hiring a friend onto your team should be a great idea. You know them. You already trust them. You have mutual respect. Why wouldn’t it work?

The reality is that transitioning a peer-to-peer friendship to a manager-subordinate relationship rarely goes smoothly. Why? Because people don’t create new contracts upfront.
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BCB Communicator: Managing in Tough Times

Chris Obst’s article Managing in Tough Times, published by BCB Communicator magazine is posted here with the permission of the publisher.

In the article Chris explains how relationships, creative connections and dialogue stimulate opportunities.

Get past mistakes

We’ve just about made it through 2009. So…? How did you do?

If you are like most people I know, you got tossed around a bit, lost some business, made some cuts and learned a few lessons.

We knew going into this year that we would need to buckle up and hold on.

Now, here we are at the end of it, the roller-coaster is slowing down (for a little while), and we have an opportunity to open our eyes see where we are and where we’ve been. Continue reading…

The biggest mistake managers make

The biggest mistake I see managers make is that they repeatedly bail on one-on-ones with direct reports. They set up the meetings, then a big clients comes in from out of town, or someone from head office calls, or the project is behind schedule and… I’ve heard all the excuses. They don’t fly.

It’s a mistake to ditch one-on-ones because:

1. When you bail on one-on-ones you send a message.You inadvertently tell people that they are unimportant, unseen, and unappreciated. 

Don’t think it’s all that bad? Think about how you feel when your boss sets up a meeting with you to talk about your progress and then pushes it because something else came up. That feeling right there is the same feeling that your team members feel every time you bail on them. 

And if you repeat the mistakes of your managers, your employees will repeat them too. Now we are talking about more than one disappointed employee, we are talking about a corporate culture that disrespects employees and stifles potential. It’s serious. Continue reading…

No More Workarounds

Recently, a very good client asked me “does everyone know about workarounds?”

Workarounds are the extra steps you, or your staff, take because something, or more likely someone, is getting in the way of the ideal work flow in your department.

Here are some examples:

The report should go to Ned for review, but he holds everything up. Everybody knows the report will sit on his desk forever and when he Workaroundsfinally gets to it, he’ll miss things. You give it to your superstar to check over, even though it isn’t her job. WORKAROUND

My secret recipe for managing in mayhem

Serves you and everyone at your table.

ingredients.jpgGather your ingredients
Gather your data. When instability becomes tangible, it can be really tempting to go searching through volumes and volumes of data – data that will change everything. But your goal is to do more than collect data, your goal is to manage in mayhem. This is only the first step, so don’t get stuck here.

sift.jpgSift
Keep Moving. Make sure you understand the data. Share it with your team. Get their input. Make some decisions. You’ve got more to do though so don’t get paralyzed here either. Continue reading…

Face Conflict Head On

Conflict is a constant in management, so get used to it.

Last month we started to look at Patrick Lenconi’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team model. My article Build From Trust tackled the first dysfunction that comes up in the model – absence of trust.

The second dysfunction is fear of conflict.

According to Lenconi, fear of conflict inhibits teams from engaging in “unfiltered, passionate debate about key issues.” Continue reading…

Build from trust

I’m a big fan of Patrick Lencioni’s book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. Its dysfuctions model is very strong. At the base level, team dysfunction comes  down to trust. “And when it comes to teams,” says Lencioni, “trust is all about vulnerability.”

It’s kind of obvious right? Logic says:

Trust is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Your team needs to have a good working relationship to work effectively. They can’t do that if they can’t trust each other. Simple. Continue reading…

When they have to go

“His numbers are horrible but the staff love him. So I’m worried that letting him go could cause a revolt.”

Sound familiar?

“She’s really not performing but they have kids and they just bought a new house…”

Ever said that one? Or how about,

“This person can’t keep up but we can’t be short staffed, and there is no way I can take the time to hire someone now.
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