If communication can save heart-breaks and wars in the family, the family constitution lays a sound groundwork for the effectiveness of communication.

By SOCH Business Mentors LLP Posted May 2, 2023 in Family business

If communication can save heart-breaks and wars in the family, the family constitution lays a sound groundwork for the effectiveness of communication.

Did it occur to you why communication in business-owning families is so widely felt unsettling? Did it occur to you why – Even when it is pulsating and unsettling to the core of almost every multigenerational family, people hardly take conscious steps to level up their game? Why do they instead decide to live with it only to see it deteriorating from below the surface in every relationship needlessly?

Does it not make sense in general in life that we seek help for things that don’t work? Then why do families silently suffer and decide to take no decision concretely to turn the issue of poor communication on its head and change the game for good?

You may not be surprised to know that it is evident that Indian family businesses take ginormous time in acknowledging problems in the family. No acknowledgement for years pushes away concrete steps to be taken to fix it and create a long-term plan for mitigating all risks that poor communication can cause in family and business.

It is also commonly seen that families hate to accept their inefficiencies and lack of skills wholeheartedly in any matter of heart and emotional well-being.

This non-acceptance pushes the solution from once the problem was easy to fix until when the problem is so alarming that time and resources are spent on the fires to be fixed, which left once again the root cause of poor communication unattended.

Remember, not acknowledging the situation and its causes and further not accepting the deterioration possibility until the risk surfaces are avoidance patterns of families.

This avoidance gives instant relief.

Gaining this temporary relief from not starting the process for acknowledgement and acceptance pushes families away from gaining control of the situation. This control is a must to gain in time, or else it gets harder than it should be allowed. Their avoidance invites no planning for a solution or no committed plan of action for driving them until they are out of danger completely.

Taking control consciously with full awareness of the present and future will give them the winning edge. Keeping it unaddressed slowly creates more doubt & fear in individuals for improving the situation and taking control of the solution responsibly.

One of the most long-term and root-level healing approaches is building a cultural architecture of the family. A structured and systemic way of modelling the most effective and invisible force in the family is their culture. Culture is an extremely powerful habit builder and keeper for every age member of the family. It cannot be written per se but only felt and followed.

But, I encourage you to design the culture such that all the pitfalls that could harm and hurt a family’s prosperity and harmony as they go forward – are addressed wholly. One such pitfall is ineffective communication.

The surest way to ensure the family business DNA and its aspirations of identity with conduct among each other and stakeholders are revealed in depth in the family constitution and several policies.

Once the constitution is developed with details captured, it will need to be lived through by indoctrinating across the family and core business leaders. The idea is that once the constitutional policies and procedures are understood, accepted, and implemented via effective governance, it provides a trusted platform for all members for shared expectations, a sense of consistency and fairness.

This creates an indoctrination in all members and will reset all what to communicate, why to communicate, how to communicate, when to communicate and why not to communicate – all necessary for picking the game for realising effective communication results.

I hope this gives you a perspective on communication and its impact in a family business.