Dialogue: the secret for a healthy Family Business

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Dialogue is the secret art of healthy family businesses.


From whatever angle we analyze the family businesses' challenges, we realize that everything depends on the quality of the dialogue between the people involved in the family and in the company.


Easy to say, less easy to achieve.


When interests are high, feelings and emotions are alive, there is more risk of frustrations and misunderstandings, which undermines the ability to face the problems in the family and in the company. This situation usually comes from the lack of quality time in which to give attention and listening without the daily emergencies.


We do not mean that good skills in dialogue are enough to be excellent entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial families; if there is no vision, courage to risk, skills, ability to create value and ensure stability, the family business will not reach great results. At the same time, if you succeed in making all these elements coexist without knowing how to dialogue, you can hardly build a successful business and a happy family.


These are the reasons why, when we present our Model of intervention, we always start from the people, even before the organization, the strategy and the numbers.


So let's start with WHO


Let's start with people because it is essential to know how to manage their moods and relationships with others to be effective as entrepreneurs. Managing moods and relationships means knowing how to put oneself in the conditions to listen, to explain oneself, to dialogue in a healthy and effective way.


Let's go on with HOW


An organization is made of hardware and software, of structure and process: this means that it is necessary to define who does what, who has the responsibility of what, how information rotates, how decisions are made.


Let's go on with WHAT


We define the vision or the value we want to create and for who we want to create it. We define the activities fundamental to pursue that vision. We define the operational project and the strategy to realize that value.


Let's finish with HOW MUCH and WHEN


We complete the picture with the numbers that indicate all the goals along the road, the milestones that mark the path. The numbers are used to make the comparison explicit, to clarify expectations, to monitor efforts and their effectiveness.



The FBU Model is a map to guide confrontations and to clarify objectives. But this Model is not enough on its own: it must be developed in a process that touches Personal, Family and Business levels. The first step of the process consists in starting the dialogue and implementing choices and tools; the second step consists in monitoring the progresses with periodic verification meetings.


We want to be honest right away: no process will ever be useful if you are not willing to get involved personally. Often there is a tendency to postpone confrontations when the problems do not appear on the horizon, but then it becomes challenging to face the dialogue when the knots come to a head.


In this sense, FBU has developed a kit of free tools that helps to increase awareness on the activities to get results and harmony.

Download the FBU Tools

Luca Marcolin

Author: Luca Marcolin