I’ll be writing more on this down the road, but recently heard of yet another family that split apart for all the wrong reasons. This is a family I would have NEVER expected to splinter or to allow greed or desperation or any unresolved other issues to trump family love, commitment and loyalty.
Far too many business and law firm partnerships go the same route unfortunately. We must never underestimate the dark side of the greenback (e.g. greed and/or desperation) or longstanding unresolved disputes both of which seem to raise their devastatingly destructive heads even more often in the midst of tough economic times. It is indeed tragedy over tragedy when partners or families experience the ugliness and wide-ranging “costs” (financial and otherwise) generated by plain ol’ greed or the failure to timely and civilly settle our disagreements or misunderstandings.
Listed below are a few tips regarding family or partner disputes that are on my mind as I write this late night blog:
(1) if you have an “issue” or disagreement with a partner or family member, talk it over sooner rather than later AND with your imaginary “thick skin” on so as to minimize emotional eruptions and progress stoppers. In other words, go directly to the source vs. depending on often malicious rumors or incorrect/false information. Give these discussions your undivided attention and commit to acting with class and respect as you work through the painful issues that must be addressed.
(2) if you don’t have the emotional stability or necessary communication skills to work toward resolution with all concerned parties then hire a third party neutral such as a mediator to help you navigate through the waters of awkwardness, miscommunications, false impressions, the pain of conflict and/or points of strong disagreement; and
(3)if you choose to handle family or partner conflicts disrespectfully, hastily or harshly (without first trying to do really get to the truth of the matter or to resolve things in a fair and respectful manner) then brace yourself. There will be consequences and fallout for there WILL be long lasting consequences as a result of your choices and actions. many of which you may never have anticipated.
I address this subject from my perspective as a mediator, former practicing attorney, and southern gal who has seen firsthand what runaway greed and unresolved conflicts can do to a law firm, family or business. It’s never pretty, always costly and there are no winners.
All the Best,