By Grant Gordon
Read or Download Family Wars: Classic Conflicts in Family Business and How to Deal with Them PDF
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Additional info for Family Wars: Classic Conflicts in Family Business and How to Deal with Them
The mere coexistence of two strong personalities in a family does not condemn them to a life of ceaseless conflict. Personality, like any psychological force, can be controlled and disciplined. The control can come from within. If we are wise, we learn what our danger traits are and try to master them, to take control of the triggers that we know set us off down some unproductive pathway. Therapeutic counselling with troubled individuals tends to focus on these habits. In family business some of the most powerful and helpful interventions come from advisers with a background in family therapy who are able to help families develop healthy communications and emotional self-discipline.
What is their ‘thinking style’? What is their preferred pattern of relationships, in terms of closeness, variety and power? Personality, as measured by psychologists, is considered to be a person’s ‘enduring dispositions’: qualities of thought, feeling and action, that remain with us for most of our adult lives. It is a collection of filters, biases and instincts that lead us to prefer one situation over another or one person over another. But personality is only part of the story of how individuals in a family differ from one another.
Against this supremacy, all is not lost for later-borns. They have a different adjustment strategy in the family system. The realization dawns on them that the cosy arrangement that has been established by their parents and the firstborn must be overthrown for them to compete on even terms. At first they are the recipients of all the love and care that a new-born attracts, but in time they begin to see their disadvantage relative to their older siblings who are securely in place. For each successive The ideas: the roots of family warfare l 21 sibling, as the family size grows, this potential for oppression and diminished share of resources becomes more and more apparent.