Periods of conflict between family members will make or break a family farm. That’s why it’s important to address conflict like any other risk to a farm business, says a well-known farm family coach from Boissevain, Manitoba.
Elaine Froese described the three C’s for managing conflict as part of her presentation at the Ag Excellence Conference in Winnipeg last week — clarity, certainty and commitment.
“What are you doing on your farm to get clarity around expectations and roles? How are you getting certainty around timelines and agreements? And the third C — how are you committed to act?” explains Froese in the video above.
She notes most farm families go to great lengths to avoid conflict, especially when it comes to farm transition.
“It’s not embracing the fact that we have to get this solved,” says Froese. “Farmers are fiercely independent, and so the pride factor does come into it, which is really too bad.”
Not having the confidence to ask for help can also lead to conflict, she notes.
“If you don’t have the skills to do what you know needs to be done, then bring a facilitator, a coach, an accountant, somebody in to help you get clarity about what is really on everybody’s mind, and what their goal and vision is going forward,” says Froese.