This week, we’ll follow up on this, looking more closely at how to best support a family member whose life and career aspirations lie outside your business. While this topic is mostly about improving your familial relationships, your business acumen can and will come in handy, so keep reading.
Not Your Business? You Can Still Help
Rather than letting them sink or swim entirely on their own, this is a great opportunity to build and reinforce your love and connection to your family member by imparting wisdom, advice, and support. As a business operator, you likely have some experience employing people outside your immediate family, or at least a sense of what you like to see in an employee. If your family member, for example, has never had to go through a formal interview process, help them craft a great resume, understand what employers are looking for in a candidate, and best showcase their unique skills as an employee. If this family member has never worked in an office without their family around, guide them through understanding office culture, bonding with coworkers, and working with others that may not have the same intuitive connection as family members tend to. Don’t hesitate to encourage your family member to work with a coach to develop a career and leadership plan. A system in any way you can to help them mature and be successful in their careers. This is how your keen business sense can help support your family members’ aspirations, even if they lie outside the family business!
Help Your Family Feel At Home
In the past, we’ve discussed at-length the importance of creating a family vision in order to balance the emotional needs of your family with the professional needs of your business, and it’s important to remember that this vision can and should reflect the needs of family members outside your business so they feel welcome and supported. Without proper boundaries in place, it’s easy for the business-involved members of a family to inadvertently form cliques, as the common touch-point of the family business can make it a tempting topic of discussion at family meals and family gatherings in a way that can exclude those not immediately involved. Setting up boundaries for family rituals (like the always-common “no shop talk at the table” rule) can help family members outside the business feel more at home within their family and more comfortable connecting emotionally. Alternatively, if business talk is simply too omnipresent to avoid, consider ways to include other family members in the discussion. A simple “we were discussing how a vendor over-charged us the other day… have you had any experience with that at your office?” can go a long way towards more inclusivity.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our businesses that we forget that people live entirely outside of them, even if those people are our family! For advice on supporting, loving, and bonding meaningfully with family members who choose not to work at your family business, contact Hubler for Business Families today to set up a free orientation meeting with Thomas Hubler, the expert on family business planning.