Wawra Dispute Resolution

Steven Wawra

Restore Communication > Family Business Conflicts

Family Business Conflicts

When a business is owned and/or operated by a family, very complex family dynamics emerge. Highly charged areas can become difficult to navigate when there are family ties and interests involved.The family members need to agree on the ways and means to achieve business success. However, where there are strained or no communications between family members who are part of the staff, management team or directors on the board, this can negatively affect business decision-making and implementation.

To move the business into a positive operation again, it is first necessary to address the family-related aspects of the communication breakdown. As relationships between family members have developed over a lifetime, they often can become strained as a result of not talking out issues along the way. These discussions need to take place in a safe, non- blaming way, where a family member can say how something that was said or an action or non-action by the father, older brother, sister or other member affected him or her. These are feelings that are described as a result of what was said or done and it is not to attack the other person. As the family members all engage in this facilitated discussion, an airing takes place and understanding of the reasons for deeply-felt but buried feelings comes out, which leads to a changing of perceptions, improving of communications and rebuilding of trust. A procedure can be set in place to address communication issues in the future.

Once discussed, attention can be turned to the business issues facing the company. Issues such as compensation of family members involved in running the business and those not involved, generational issues related to running the company or buy-out of the parents who founded the company, can be addressed. The staff, management and directors can again act in a positive decision-making environment.

Steve can facilitate the discussions of both the family and business aspects if desired. Based on years of dealing with conflict-related discussions in numerous mediations, he can help with the family communication breakdown. As he has worked in the business sector with three corporations, and a community mediation business, in addition to acting as an industrial real estate broker,  he understands business issues and can help with a facilitation of business discussions. Please click on the tab "About Steve" or "Professional Resume" to see a more detailed background related to communication counseling or his business background.

The result of working through the communication issues will lead to a cooperative, productive spirit  emerging, which will strengthen family and working relationships and benefit the family business.  



430 Vista Grande
Newport Beach, CA 92660-4004
Phone: (949) 640-4500