Family Business Mediation Video No 38: Sibling Rivalry. By Jon Kenfield.

Common Causes of Family Business Conflict & What to Do About Them.

Family Business Mediation Video No 38. Sibling Rivalry.

By Jon Kenfield. Solutionist.

• Often caused by family circumstances and parenting styles, exacerbated by distractions of family business.

• Perceived or actual parental favouritism.

• Differences in temperament and personality.

• Jealousy over parental love.

• Parental modelling of conflict styles – normalising / reinforcing aggression and lack of conflict resolution skills – parents ignore conflict and teasing.

• Viewing the sibling as a competitor rather than a collaborator.

• Protection of weaker family members – bird with broken wing.

• Preferring and advancing one child over the other in business.


• Psychometric testing – science of personality differences.

• Establish objective and commercial objectivity in the business – performance, merit and contribution, rather than bloodline.

• Separate business support (performance-based) from family support (personal needs based).

• Have family members supervised and mentored by non-family staff / directors etc.

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