Many family business disputes could be mitigated with a better understanding of what causes initially minor disagreements to escalate into all out war. This article from the Harvard Business Review raises 7 escalation points which should be looked out for, and suggests some steps for families to get back on to the right path.
If family members want to avoid the disastrous spiral of conflict, they should keep an eye open for the seven escalation points. When people disagree, they often think that the best way to address their interests is to leap into action. And the tricky thing is that this reaction is often rational. If someone in the family is not honoring a written deal, the logical step is to turn to a lawyer. It’s also reasonable that the other party will hire his own lawyer. Taken individually, all these steps make sense. Ironically, it’s rational actions provoking rational reactions that send business families down the devastation spiral.