A founder or entrepreneur especially in the early days of a business might well be making all the decisions and doing all the work. So consensual decision-making is not something that might come onto their radar.
However for G2, a consensual way of behaving in the 'boardroom' maybe something entirely new. For many siblings, serious business discussions or decisions might never have taken place before. There might also be some perceived 'hierarchy' or 'rank order' with the eldest sibling self-appointed leader or boss of G2. So consensual decisions might be something completely new.
So how do you prepare them for this new democratic environment?
Over the years, we have run a lot of team decision-making and team behaviour sessions to highlight the blind spots and have coached new techniques and behaviours to achieve consensual decision-making.
We have seen improvements in decision-making from a group by up to 52%.
So I am going to summarise how this is achieved briefly.
Rationalising the Issue
1. What's going on? Have they analysed the situation? What are the facts?
2. What do we want to achieve? Set the objective. What is important to everyone?
3. Are there any sub-objectives? Can they simplify the problem? Identify what issues need to be address.
4. What can be done about it? Have they considered the alternatives?
5. What will we do? Have they discussed the consequences of each alternative?
6. How will we do it? How are they going to implement the solution? What resources do they need?
7. What are the results? They will need to evaluate how effective their decision was?
This is maybe where G2 might struggle. Being polite and business-like with their siblings might never have been top of your agenda. After all, they are 'family' and not necessarily 'friends'. So this could a new patch of turf that they are about to tread on.
1. Listening - let the person finish speaking. Do not interrupt them. Your brain processes faster than somebody talking.
2. Supporting - mention the specific elements that you find useful in what has been said and build on those using positive language. Do not start being passive-aggressive.
3. Differing - you might not agree with what has been said, but express your concerns in a way that does not suggest the other person is wrong. After all, it is an opinion.
4. Participation - ensure all your siblings are contributing and that the noisiest or eldest one are not dominating. Quite often the quiet person has the best solution.
5. Consensus - work towards to a solution that all your siblings accept as logical and feasible and that they can live with the plan. Do not go down the voting route.
You choose your friends; you do not choose your family! Using the above method should take some of the emotion, bullying and family politics out of a serious family discussion.
If you would like to know more or feel your family board, family council or team could benefit from learning more about this process, then do please get in touch.
"You leave the meeting frustrated. Once again, we reached a stalemate because of petty arguments, destructive conflicts and communication breakdowns. Nothing was resolved. Just once, you would like to accomplish something meaningful in one of our meetings."