Conflict undermines business potential and can arise from:
- Claims arising from shareholder or partnership disputes.
- Claims arising, because of complicated family issues, as to succession within the company.
Conflict is often seen as part and parcel of how things are carried out – in our courts, disputes are examined and judged under an adversarial system; in our business and private lives, we are often involved in situations where completely opposing positions are taken and contested over until one “winner” emerges.
It is win/lose, black/white. But win/lose contests of this kind are rarely productive for any of the parties, or those associated with them.
Whilst board members bicker your business may:
- lose its direction, or
- lose significant turnover,
- lose control of costs.
Individuals’ performance may fall off, they may not be able to contribute to the business as it requires because of the strain they are feeling and indeed that stress may reverberate more widely and affect their home life for example.
If you, as an advisor to a partnership or shareholder (family or otherwise), or a member of the partnership or company feel that issues are beginning to affect the performance of the entity, either speak to your advisors, be it solicitor or accountant, and suggest that an independent person, a mediator be appointed to help bring everyone together and facilitate an agreement so that the entity can return to an even keel.
Mediation can have a transformative effect on relationships and business.