Did You Celebrate National Siblings Day in Your Family Business?

DiC-SiblingsYou may never have heard of it before, but National Siblings Day was on April 10th. I’m not sure that holiday will become Hallmark-worthy, but it was nice to see the old photos of friends with their brothers and sisters come across my Facebook newsfeed.

This may be one holiday that’s tailor-made for those of you who are working with your sisters, brothers, or both. It’s a good day to take the time to appreciate each other. And it’s particularly important if you’ve been frustrated by a sibling’s behavior at work. Judging from what I’m hearing from many daughters, that’s pretty common.

Perhaps your brother or sister has been playfully teasing you in business meetings, without realizing that the kidding around at work about what you were like when you were 10 is not funny. Or, perhaps you and your siblings have been arguing over who does what, because neither of you are clear about what your role should be.

Sibling rivalry, whether friendly or hurtful, doesn’t end when you’re eighteen. It can be a powerful force in a family business.

BUT…there are some wonderful examples of siblings who have learned to work very well together:

Wendy Yuengling Baker and her sister Jennifer Yuengling both enjoy working with each other and with their dad in their well-known craft beer business. Wendy works in an administrative role, Jennifer works in operations. Their relationship, like their family business, is thriving.

Karen Maier and her brother Craig are both committed to the success of their family’s businessFrisch’s Restaurants, Inc., the popular restaurant chain known for Big Boys, which their Dad led for many years. Craig is President and CEO, and Karen is VP of Marketing.

Laura and Lydia Rogers are the two sisters who make up The Secret Sisters, a country music duet. They grew up singing in their church, and now they harmonize beautifully. But they both agree that they still argue – a lot – about both the big and little things. It’s part of their relationship, and probably always will be.

Here’s a suggestion: Take out some old photos of you and your siblings when you were toddlers. Talk about what seemed important to you when you were kids, and what’s important now. You may find that these conversations about your past lead to a new appreciation of each other, and ease some of the conflicts that may be difficult to manage now.

So, Happy Belated Siblings Day! It might be worth celebrating more than once a year.

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