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Alignment vs. agreement. Merging expectations inherent in generational wealth can be tricky if an agreement is the only option. Conflict often happens when family members argue for agreement and one person has to capitulate or “lose” resulting in hurt feelings and/or resentment. Instead, we suggest having conversations to reach alignment. In other words, search for a common goal, and accept there may be more than one way to get there. In a recent family meeting, a son and daughter could not “agree” on how the foundation funds should be used, causing increasing tension in their relationship. We helped them first reach an understanding of what was important to each other and align on purpose. They were then able to co-design alternative ways of accomplishing their goal. Although the venues they wanted to serve were different, they shared a commitment to be a force for good locally.

To find alignment, first check your understanding of the other person’s “why”, what is important to him or her? Then explore the intersection of what is important to both of you. Contact us if you would like to learn more about putting relationships first and preserving family harmony.