Winning: Family Business Dad Learning to Give Direct and Productive Feedback to Family Members!

file231263245813Yesterday was one of those days that gave me great joy as a family business coach!  Part of our process is to teach families how to have quarterly reviews of goals and business results.

At yesterday’s session, Dad was courageously giving feedback to the team.  There are a few things about this that are really exciting.

First of all, this father, like many others, found himself reluctant, uncomfortable and somewhat ineffective at giving feedback to his offspring.  What happens in most cases like this is that little or no feedback is given and results many times aren’t on track, and therefore resentment builds on both sides of the equation.

The second great point was, not only was dad putting himself out there giving feedback, the feedback he was giving was pretty darn good! (We still have some work to do J.)  In the past when he tried to give feedback, it often missed the mark or caused unhealthy reactions from the recipients.

The third thing that was exciting was to see his son taking the feedback like a professional getting feedback from the chairman of the board (vs. getting scolded by Dad).  That hasn’t always been the case.  In the past when dad tried to give feedback, the sons, in many cases, had emotional reactions and found themselves defending and justifying their behaviors.

In this particular session, the son took the feedback head on and head held high.  No shriveling, shrinking or walking away hurt and upset.  In fact, this son did the beautiful job of saying, “Thank you for that feedback.  Can you be more specific about what you saw exactly?”

I have to admit there was a certain amount of heat and discomfort as the discussion moved forward but it’s my job as a family business coach to remind the team that the discomfort represents building new muscle and makes them stronger as a team.

This all came as a result of this family’s dedication to practice, practice, practice!  It’s how all great teams become great teams, and stay great teams.

Afterwards I called mom and let her know about the great progress.  The reason I did that was mom, with her new found courage, pulled me aside last month and told me to be tougher on dad!  I absolutely love that we are all pushing each other to help this family business achieve greatness and long-term success! 

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