Managing Team Dynamics in a Family Business

As a family business leader, creating and leading a high-performing team is perhaps the most important thing you do.

And just like every leader is different, every team is different.

It takes curiosity, patience, and flexibility to determine what your team needs to be its best – and to create that kind of environment.

At Ferguson Alliance, we’ve identified the following steps as good practice when thoughtfully engaging a team.

Let’s take a look.

Use Behavioral Assessments to Assess Strengths and Weaknesses

We like to kickstart the journey of team management with a behavioral assessment.

This tool can shed light on what makes each team member unique and can give you a holistic view of individual strengths and weaknesses.

For example – who emerges as your go-to person for negotiation, and who will you turn to for facilitating a meeting?

And how can you provide more opportunities for people on your team to use their greatest strengths?

By combining these kinds of individual insights with the overall team makeup, you can strategically address gaps and build a more robust, well-rounded team.

Solicit Feedback and Encourage Open Communication

Effective team management means directly engaging with, and listening to, your team members – even if you don’t love what they have to say.

One powerful tool for unbiased evaluation is seeking feedback directly from your team members.

Open communication is key – ask your team about their strengths, weaknesses, what they enjoy and the tasks they find challenging.

This direct approach not only provides valuable insights but also encourages transparency within the team.

When you encourage open communication, you can gain new information and perspective, create strategies to leverage strengths, and address weaknesses.

This commitment to transparency lays the foundation for a collaborative and thriving work environment.

Proactively Navigate Dysfunction – Don’t Assume Problems Will Resolve Themselves!

It’s not uncommon for teams to operate with some level of dysfunction.

And addressing dysfunction within a team requires a proactive mindset – and a strong sense of fortitude.

Tackling issues when they’re small and manageable is key to preventing larger problems from developing.

After all, it’s much easier to solve small problems than major, disruptive ones – even if you feel uncomfortable at first.

Don’t assume that problems will resolve themselves.

That rarely happens.

Instead, face challenges head-on and involve the team in finding solutions.

Actively seek input from team members on how they perceive and approach problem-solving.

You, as leader, acting as a facilitator instead of a mediator, can help team members develop essential problem-solving skills – and this approach ultimately makes for a more resilient and cohesive unit.

And pro tip: you acting as chief problem-solver probably won’t work as well, anyway.

This is your opportunity to lean into open communication and trust-building – and to show your team you have confidence in their ability to work through challenges.

By empowering team members to resolve their own issues, you encourage a culture of self-sufficiency and teamwork.

Have a tricky team situation?

Our team of trusted family business advisors at Ferguson Alliance would love to help.

We offer assessments, team management training, and leadership coaching services.

Your first step is a free consultation call. Book a Call

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