Don has not been on speaking terms with his dad for a month now. They had a spat about their family business. But he knows the cause of the tiff is his dad’s dislike of his choice of girlfriend. Don says he is at a loss on what to do to reconcile with his dad. First, swallow your pride and go speak with your dad. Make the first move. There is no point in prolonging the silence when talking to each other will resolve the issues. Maybe there is no need for reconciliation but only communication. Don’t wait. Tomorrow might be too late. DJ:
A family business has certain peculiarities that make it fertile ground for intense emotions, given all the ways in which their lives, business goals, interests and ideologies intersect. In that context, Don’s situation is not unusual. He should not be too hard on himself. But conflicts like what he and his dad are going through can fester and grow when ignored over an extended period of time.
I learned that we should always make family our priority because no one in his deathbed asked for more time to spend at the office or at work, but with family and loved ones. Don might think that his dad does not favor his girlfriend, but it might be more than that. It might have something to do more with Don’s life decisions in general. Being in a family business is a challenging balance of working together, overcoming differences in preferences and essentials. It is best to listen to our parents because they have wisdom that comes with experience and age. Parents should also listen to their children because there are many things that the young can teach them.
Don is torn between his desire for happiness and his love for his dad. There is no easy solution for now, but they both can start with communication. He can calmly and respectfully ask what it is that he doesn’t like about his girlfriend. And it’s worth clicking the pause button on his emotions and consider whether his dad may be right. They both can start by discussing this family matter before moving on to stuff concerning the business. The difference between a cool or a stressful family business is not the lack of conflict but in how they manage conflict differently. Communication is of utmost importance as all families experience problems with relationships at some point or another.
Don should not take it against his father if they do not see eye to eye on all things. That is normal, expected even. But Don should not forget that his father may only have his best interests at heart. Respecting one’s elders is important. When Don becomes a parent, he will understand his father more and might even think the same way. Girlfriends can come and go. But a father is forever.
Throughout Don’s life, he will come across many difficult choices. As a strong man, he can rise above these dilemmas by not getting drawn into pointless dramas or battles of will.
If his girlfriend is right for him, leading with emotional intelligence will make him even the leader she can look up to and fall even deeply in love with.
MICHELLE DARWIN PALMARES • MOISES firstname.lastname@example.org