Why Are Family Business Disputes Among the Toughest to Mediate?

Why Are Family Business Disputes Among the Toughest to Mediate?


Mediation is an effective form of alternative dispute resolution that uses a neutral third-party mediator who facilitates communication between the parties involved in a legal dispute. The Corpus Christi TX business mediator uses conflict resolution skills to help the parties better understand each other’s positions, the repercussions of not resolving the dispute and the possible ways to amicably settle the matter. Family business disputes are often mediated, but they do represent their challenges, including:

Family Dynamics
Family businesses may have multiple members of a family working in the same business. There may be complicated family dynamics involved. A recent disagreement may simply be the last in a long line of problems that may even stem from childhood. In cases involving other types of businesses, these issues are not usually involved. Family relationships may be the primary cause of the underlying conflict. Parents and children may have different ideas about how to resolve a problem or operate the business in the future. Siblings may not stick to their assigned roles and may interfere with each other’s work.

Complicated History
Some of the members of the business may have a sordid history with each other. The problems may be long-held grievances or issues with sibling rivalry that interfere with a positive business relationship. When the family is considering strategies for the future, this may dredge up long-held beliefs about not feeling like an integral part of the business or not feeling respected. A good mediator will try to understand the backstory involved to understand the potential sources of conflict.

Heightened Emotions
Because the business involves various family members, heightened emotions may be involved that probably would not be in a situation involving business partners who are not related. There may be issues related to children. For example, the parent owners of the company may give a larger role to one of their children. The other children may feel disrespected or invisible because of this uneven treatment.

Why Mediate?
The very reasons why family business cases are difficult to mediate are the very reasons why they should be mediated. A conscientious Corpus Christi TX business mediator like Tony Pletcher will be sensitive to the family dynamics and passionate feelings the various members of the family have. Working with a mediator can help resolve conflict before the family relationship deteriorates. By talking to the members of the family privately and collectively, the mediator can help get to the root of the problem and motivate mutual understanding before the conflict derails the business.

A Corpus Christi TX business mediator can help the family realize the strengths they each bring to the table and encourage them to brainstorm ways to resolve the current conflict. At the same time, the mediator will encourage the parties to confront some of the emotional issues that are interfering with the business management. This can ultimately result in the family understanding each other better and being sensitive of their needs.

Tony Pletcher
Corpus Christi TX Business Mediator

Why Are Family Business Disputes Among the Toughest to Mediate?