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Kathy Marshack News

How Family Businesses Benefit from Working with a Psychologist

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Maintaining a delicate balance between business and family is absolutely necessary when running a family business. This is not an easy thing to do. There are differences in work ethics and personalities, along with different strengths and weaknesses. When problems arise at work, it is not only going to affect the business, but also the family arrangement. If you are part of a family business, you may want to consider working with a psychologist who specializes in family businesses.

A family business psychologist works to understand the “soft side” of families who work together. They help the family members to recognize interpersonal problems that will affect the business and the family. I’ve been working as a family business psychologist for a number of years and have seen firsthand the benefits of this approach.

I had the pleasure of working with Camille Eber who is a second generation owner of Roth & Miller Autobody Inc. in Portland. Camille recently wrote an article entitled, "Working with family member is a blessing, challenge" about her personal struggles working with family. She had difficulty getting along with her nephew, William, who is currently the operations manager. They decided to make an appointment with me to help improve their relationship.

Here is what she said about their therapy sessions, "Dr. Marshack, author of "Entrepreneurial Couples: Making it Work at Work and at Home," helped us set individual and business goals and define our responsibilities within the business more carefully, which is a key to success in a family business. The personality testing we worked through was particularly eye-opening. Once my nephew and I acknowledged we're nearly polar opposites, it helped us realize better how we could use that to benefit the business. We were able to return to work on the business as a team rather than working against each other." Click here to read the rest of the article.

If you are experiencing challenges within your family business, I highly recommend making an appointment with a family business psychologist. Like Camille's experience, you will be able to better understand yourself and one another which will help make your business and your family a success.



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