How to Defuse and Recover From Family Business Conflict

How to Defuse and Recover From Family Business Conflict
Category: Interviews
Published: February 17, 2024
Views: 26131
Downloads: Full Article PDF


The emotional conflicts that beset family businesses can be difficult to weather. Heidi Vermeer-Quist, a clinical psychologist, family business consultant, and third-generation shareholder of her family firm (Vermeer Corp.), has helped her own family and others develop a healthier approach to conflict. She shares her advice for families in this interview with 

Vermeer-Quist says that families in the throes of conflict should first figure out whether the turmoil is over the business of the business or the business of the family. In other words, is this about performance on the job, or who is loved more? She also suggests that people follow the golden rule of treating others like they'd want to be treated; write down their feelings when they get upset so they can clear their heads and approach a problem more reasonably; and overcome feelings of victimhood by seeing unfair incidents as a chance for growth and resilience.

And to grow resilience in the next generation of family business leaders, parents should resist the urge to rescue their children.


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
View Profile

Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/1029-65d0bde78b9c2
Eddleston, Kimberly. "How to Defuse and Recover From Family Business Conflict." 17 Feb. 2024. Web 15 Jul. 2024 <>.
Eddleston, K. (2024, February 17). How to defuse and recover from family business conflict. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from