Working with family members and friends in the course of work or business seems like one of the easiest thing to do, after all, we have known them all our life but this is actually not true. It is one of the most difficult things ever. It is easy to let emotions sip into business when we work with family and friends. Giving our logical, accurate or rational decisions on certain issues could also be difficult. It can not always be predicted, sometimes it might bring out the best in your working-personal relationship and sometimes it might just be a different ball game. Its a two sided thing.

Leave favoritism at the door. It never works when you treat family like family in a professional setting. Treat work as work.

If you are going to break the family-work code, then this is what you must do;

Legal documentation is golden

Ensure to have every details and contracts in black and white. No matter how well said conversations are made, there is a tendency for it to be altered. No matter how well-intentioned both parties are, operating on a handshake is far too risky a thing to do. Whatever the circumstances of a business relationship, and however much you may trust the party involved, a written contract is a far better safeguard to your business’ interests than a handshake. Having agreements, terms and details documented would not entirely write off the ability of a dispute occurring but it will help to put things in check. So be it with family members or not, legal documentation is golden.

Merit system 

It is normal to want to favour a family member or friend over another worker, thats because we are attached to sentiments and emotions. We don’t want to strain our personal relationships but remember, business is business and work is work. If there is a need for promotion, appraisal or hiring, let it be on a merit basis. That is one thing that will keep your business healthy.

Attack without delay

In as much as you need to apply emotional intelligence, you have to be very observant of the body language of your workers including your family members and those who are not. This will help you to identify conflicts as soon as they arise and deal with them before they get out of hand.

Don’t hide relationships 

Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean you need to love them or worship them, especially on the job. A positive quality of interpersonal relationships is ideal. If there is need, be open about family members who are in your work force. Be open about it, you don’t want to start what you might not want to finish by hiding their identity.

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