There are a lot of people who take the family relative conflict approach to a lot of their business dealings."If I just leave it alone, it will go away."

I wish that were the case sometimes. It would be easier in the short run, but in the long run it just gets worse. Before you know it you have trench foot or gangrene and you're yelling out "MEDIC!". There are ways around having to get your foot amputated. Here are just a few:

1. Deal with it Head On Don't shy away. When dealing with clients, don't hide from them. Go straight to them. Show them that even though there is conflict, you are mature enough and strong enough to handle it. Let them know you're willing to deal with it.

2. Be Open and Honest Nothing worse than having an aunt come to your house and she asks you how she looks. I know how she looks, you know how she looks just tell her... okay maybe that doesn't apply here, but we do need to be open and honest. I learned very quickly that if you drop the ball on a project you are far better off fessing up and dealing with it right away. Share with your client what happened, be honest (don't make excuses - that's not the name of this point, nor any other point on this post) and...

3. Have a Plan Always have a plan. Make the A-Team proud. When you meet with the client to go over project details, lay everything out. Give them some direction when everything will be completed (the client most likely doesn't care HOW, but WHEN) and then make it happen.

Those are just few ideas I have for dealing with the family relative conflict situation. Most of those I've learned from experience in business AND with family. You'd be amazed how for those three little points can go.

What have you done to deal with conflict positively?

Cheers, Matthew A. Hawkins

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