Tongue firmly in cheek, someone famous once said, When all other means of communication fail, try words.
Humorous yes, but there’s a kernel of truth. Consider the times you assumed family members and business colleagues just knew what you were thinking. But they didn’t. And the times you failed to raise an important concern because you were afraid having that difficult conversation might be emotionally charged and uncomfortable, or even make things worse.
That fear of putting your concerns into words – of actually communicating them – is how difficult conversations became undiscussable ones. And how the result of such avoidance can damage family and business relationships and even put an otherwise successful family business in jeopardy.
Deb Houden, Ph.D. and Wendy Sage-Hayward have written a terrific article on this subject entitled Undiscussables: Dealing with the Elephants in Family Business. It describes how undiscussable topics manifest themselves, the cost of not addressing them, and how you begin to discuss the previously undiscussable.
Click here to read the text of the article on the Family Business Consulting Group’s website.
Discussing the elephants in Family Business is difficult.