Kin-Coworker Conflict: How to Manage Working with Family

Tips to help ensure business doesn't get personal

Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell of singing duo Mary Mary has found major success with family part of their business. (Image: File)

Between unexpected pregnancies, tour dates and family matters, Mary Mary’s Erica Campbell and Tina Campbell are experiencing the busiest time of their careers. In two seasons of their WEtv show, we’ve witnessed them blowing crowds away with their amazing vocal skills, raising their children and managing family who work with them. With both husbands in the music industry and their younger sister, Goo Goo, as their stylist, Erica and Tina definitely have their hands full.

While working with family members can seem like a good idea, it has the potential to be a very trying, sticky and challenging situation. It can bring out the best in you and your relatives—and the worst. Here are three tips for successfully working with your next of kin:

Establish distinct roles: Defining roles from the start keeps you from stepping on eachother’s toes when it’s not necessary, and it keeps everyone focused on what they need to get done in order to make the business a success. A written job description and contract can go a long way to ensure everyone is aware of their duties and what’s expected of them as an employee.

Manage expectations: Be transparent about expectations and goals with your family members. Clarify the specific goals each of you agrees to meet to keep everyone in check. Family members takes issues a lot less personally if they can clearly see they didn’t perform well. Make sure the goals created are specific, can be measured and can be successfully achieved.

Separate work from personal: No work during family gatherings and no family drama during business hours. Keep business confined to your workspace and handle the personal on your own time.

When it comes to working together, do you think that blood is thicker than water or just a recipe for disaster? #SoundOff and follow Jamie Harrison on Twitter @JayNHarrison.

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