Why Is It So Difficult to Work with the Ones You Love?

Business Leader Post, April 4, 2013

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

Everybody knows the answer to that question, but we are not allowed to talk about it. Who are you going to go to confide in? Who can you trust, and who will be willing to listen to such personal topics and issues?

And yet, even though we don’t talk about it—certainly not with our employees—everybody knows about it. And everybody complains. But they aren’t willing to and/or don’t know how to discuss it constructively. Communication about such matters is always difficult. When family and business matters are involved, there’s an additional level of tension and difficulty.

I firmly believe that the difference between difficulty and success in a family business depends heavily on the ability of family members to communicate with each other and in the quality of their communication.