The reality of working with family

The thought of working alongside family members is, for some people, terrifying. I’ve spoken with numerous individuals who positively refute the concept of working with family, their reluctance to do so typically being a result of their fear of clashing with their loved ones.

If I’m being realistic, working with your family can get a little hairy at times. But, in the agricultural industry, working with family is often inevitable, and in fact, 98 per cent of farms in Canada are family owned and operated.

While I haven’t been working with my own family for nearly as long as my dad and uncle have, I have a few years experience under my belt already. I work alongside my dad most of the time, and I would be lying if I said we haven’t had our fair share of or squabbles, some worse than others. And, as angry as we can be with one another, we always reconcile our differences and attempt to determine how to better handle our emotions when things don’t go as planned on the farm.

One thing I’ve learned from working with my family is the importance of compromise, cooperation, patience and understanding. When you’re working with your loved ones, it’s easy to allow things to become personal when conflicts arise. Maintaining the a cool, neutral mindset can work wonders when you’re working with your own kin, and being level-headed is an effective way to avoid stinging arguments. As tempting as it may be to allow an issue to become personal between yourself and a family member in a work environment, it typically leads to even bigger problems.

At the end of the day, working with family is a rewarding experience. It can strengthen relationships and encourage memories to form, and depending on how your work dynamic with a loved one is, it may even enhance your overall relationship.


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