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Managing Conflict in the Family Business


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Table of Contents

Introduction: A Primer to Managing Conflict in Family Business Chapter 1: Managing Conflict: The Balance of Family and Business The Three Domains of Family Business Eliminating Conflicts or Managing Conflicts: What's Realistic? Chapter 2: Common Dilemmas That Can Lead to Conflict Compensation and Ownership Avoiding Conflict Triangulation Bullying and Scapegoating Sibling Rivalry Opportunity and Privilege Chapter 3: Guidelines for Dealing with Dilemmas that Lead to Conflict Check Your Assumptions Practice Active Listening Ensure Clear and Fair Processes Utilize Structure Are You Business First or Family First? Small Shifts that Make A Difference o Stay Calm o Regulate Your Own Tension o Strive to Be Inclusive o Understand and Accept Differences and Diversity o Manage Meetings Effectively Chapter 4: Create a Legacy for Future Generations: Keeping Dilemmas, Tensions, and Conflict in Check Alignment Around Shared Mission, Vision, and Values Minimizing Destructive Entitlement Be Aware of How History Repeats Itself Don't Hand Down Bad Habits Reconcile Past Injustices and Cutoffs Final Thoughts: Some Dilemmas Simply Remain Dilemmas Further References

About the Author

DR. Kent Rhodes is core faculty at the Pepperdine University, USA Doctoral Programs in Organization Leadership and Organizational Change, the Master of Science in Organization Development program, and the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, the world's number one ranked program in Conflict Management. He served as an ombudsman for the University for more than 15 years. Rhodes founded and served as chief executive officer of OnCourse Network, Inc., an Internet Education Company. He also is an entrepreneur who maintains a successful coaching and consulting practice for a variety of privately held businesses, family owned enterprises and non-profit organizations. As an associate with the Family Business Consulting Group, he brings first hand experience, equipping executives and management teams with leadership skills that build value and personal capacity for success.

David Lansky, Ph.D., a principal consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. has played a key role in the growth and transformation of many enterprising families, and in the business interests which they share. A clinical psychologist and family therapist by training, David spent over 15 years as a managing partner in a clinical psychology practice. A graduate of Montreal's McGill University, David obtained his Master's and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Rutgers University. He has served as clinical faculty member and supervisor at Northwestern University's Family Institute and taught marital and family therapy at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago.


"Kent Rhodes and David Lansky show a deep understanding of what it's like to be involved in family business. They present the problem of conflict as normal and understandable and the process they propose for handling conflicts will help you manage continuing problems better and provide hope for solving problems you may have thought were unsolvable. Reading this book and implementing this process will be a blessing to both your family and your business." - Steve Stewart, CEO, Stewart Brothers Drilling Company

"This book is a valuable resource to combat conflict in the family business forum. The steps of conflict resolution, reconciliation, and prevention of conflict provided by Rhodes and Lansky are essential to a successful family business. They provide concrete tools and guidelines to manage and prevent conflict in a family business. Even more importantly, the concepts in this book will help the family involved in the business to flourish. This material is well worth the time for leaders of family businesses!" - Peter Robinson, Managing Director, Professor of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law

"I loved Managing Conflict in the Family Business! It is easy to read and understand how to apply the lessons of communication. I want everyone in our family to read this book in the hopes of having less combative conflict in the future." - Kathy Douglass, CEO, The Greensheet

"I am always looking for new insights to bring a fresh perspective to our current transition effort. This book has done a marvelous job of identifying and providing guidance to overcome some of the greatest hurdles we face in our challenges as family business leaders. I only wish we had had this book a generation ago. Anyone dealing in the field of family business will find valuable guidance in it." - Dave Juday, Chairman of the Board, IDEAL Industries, Inc.

"This book is a concise manual listing the common conflict issues in family businesses. The exhibits provide specific checkpoints and step to illuminate and address these common family business conflicts." - Fred R. Sasser, CEO, Sasser Family Holdings, Inc.

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