Work conflicts can and do occur between family members.

However, that doesn't mean you can't have a good working relationship; but it does take effort, points out Jolene Brown, a relationship consultant from West Branch, Iowa.

Brown offers these ideas for building strong working relationships with family members:

  • Problems and conflicts are normal. Discussion to solve those problems is healthy and good for the business.
  • Compromising independence is a choice. When family members join forces to run an operation, everyone loses a little independence in order to build a strong team.
  • It is unrealistic to ask others to change, and then not expect to change yourself.
  • Change does not occur overnight. Change is an on-going process.
  • Fair does not always mean equal.
  • Cattle production can always be a way of life for those who treat it like a business. Remember it takes bottom-line oriented business decisions, and a continuous commitment to productive communication to keep any operation productive and profitable today.

For more information, check out Brown's Web site at, or contact her by e-mail at: