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Speaking honestly about draft picks for the NFL is one thing. Speaking honestly about inheritance is another thing entirely. Family communication styles are developed over time and passed down through generations. One pattern we see frequently is cordial hypocrisy. This is characterized by ugly thoughts behind the well-rehearsed warm smile. Most people can sense this dichotomy but have only unfulfilling practices to cope with it.

Unspoken expectations or fear of judgment squash authenticity and put family harmony at serious risk. Necessary conversations are delayed, increasing the dissonance among family members, often leading to competing factions. Power struggles replace congruence and cooperation. And the cordial hypocrisy spreads since that is the principal way the family communicates about delicate matters.

Notice when you hear yourself saying “yes” when you really mean “no.” This is an affront not only to your integrity but the listener’s integrity as well. Well-designed practices can and do make a big difference in putting relationships first during wealth transition.