Conflict in the Family Business
Bill played by Shaan
Ann played by Pawan and than Shaan
Sara played by Ksenia
Will played by Max
Connie played by Daniella
Peacekeeper played by Pawan
Narrator played by Shaan
Bill walks into the house, slamming the door shut- sits down at the table
' Ann, where the hell is my food; I slave all day, all i expect is a decent
Ann places food on table
'How was your day Bill?'
Bill sees the food, smells it and throws it off the table-
' You call this food? I wouldn't even feed the dogs this stuff.
My day, you ask about my day! Those good for nothing kids of yours, What
use are all those degrees if they can't do anything right! Where are they
anyway! I told them to be here by 7!! God they can't do anything right!'
Will, Sara and Connie walk into the room
All in unison,
'Hey mum, hey dad!'
Bill- ' Can't any of you three do anything right? I gave you all jobs to do and
you still mess it up! How can I leave the business to any of you three!!
You're good for nothing! All you do is fight amongst yourselves, at this rate
I'm not leaving anything to any of you!'
Will- 'Dad, calm down, it was all Sara, she went behind my back, both of
them do it all the time! I can't trust them'
Sara- 'What you mean you can't trust us! you're the idiot, you think just
because you;re the only son you can do whatever you want! we're here
too, we're part of the family aswell'
Connie- 'Both of you be quiet! I cant think over all your screeching! Dad,
I'm the oldest, you should give the business to me, I've been working there
the longest! I know it inside out! '
Before Bill can answer he clutches his heart and collapses- dead from a
Will kicks him to make sure he is dead!
End of Scene
Narrator- ' Bill leaves the company to his wife as he has not changed the
will, the fighting amongst the three siblings becomes worse as the months
3 months after he passes away:
Connie- 'Can everyone shut up please!!! Look at this! Look at what we've
Sara- 'Tell that brother of ours that he is an idiot and can't do anything
Will-' Why dont you tell me yourself! Are you still angry I went behind your
back to sign those clients?'
Connie- 'Look at this, because of you two, we might have to go into
administration! your squabbling has ruined this family! you've turned the
employees against each other for your own vendetta! Will, all you want is
money to feed your gambling habit and all your mistresses! Sara, you're a
shopaholic and an alocholic! we need to sort something out before it
Sara - 'its your fault as well!'
Will- 'Yeah, mum said we all have equal share! Who died and made you
boss! So what if I gamble, its my company too, So what if I have
mistresses, polygamy is not a big deal! You have problems to!'
Sara- 'Yeah, the amount of bills you rack up because of your
hypochondriacism! Lets get this straight! YOU ARE NOT SICK!!! stop
wasting our money!'
Ana Enters the room!
Ana- ' Are you three fighting again! this has got to stop or I'm selling the
All three in unison- 'NOOOOO'
Ana- 'I'm giving you one more chance, Will, isn't your friend that consultant
fellow! Can he help?'
Will- 'I'll ask him, I'm sure he wouldn't mind!'
Ana- ' Okay! call him and ask him! remember, this is your last chance'
End of Scene 2
Narrator-' Will calls the consultant who agrees to help'
The consultant is sitting at a table with Sarah, Will and Connie discussing
various issues that they face.
Consultant- 'From what Will has told me, I understand that you all seem to
be having issues regarding the business, what exactly is the problem?'
Connie- 'Will, be quiet, I'm the oldest, I should speak first.'
Will- ' See what I mean, this is ridiculous! I never get a chance to speak, I
just keep getting interrupted! No-one ever listens to me!'
Will walks out and slams the door shut!
Sara- ' He is so immature, if he acts like that, how does he expect us to
listen to him or respect him!'
Sara throws the chair against the wall and walks out aswell!
Connie- 'This is what I have to put up with everyday now that dads gone, I
just wish he would have told us what he wanted, all this commotion is
giving me a migraine, would you by any chance have some ibuprofen?'
Consultant- ' Sure here!' and hands her the medicine-
' Okay, let me hear your side of the story!'
Connie-' Basically, the truth is, as the oldest I have felt that although I
should have received the company, dad never thought we were good
enough, I can understand what Will and Sara are going through but they
dont seem to understand that as the oldest I should be the one in charge.
Everytime I had an opinion about something or wanted to implement an
idea, Dad always shut me down. I never really understood why, maybe its
because this company was his baby, but sometimes its time to let
someone else take charge but dad never let us. I also thought he showed
favoritism towards Will because he's the only son! Sara and me tried our
hardest but it was never enough in his eyes.'
Consultant- 'Have you tried talking to them? Maybe they just feel the same
way and yet have trouble communicating their feelings'
Connie- ' I've tried countless times, however, both of them feel that I think
they're immature and childish, its not that they are but they sometimes act
it and it ruins the reputation that we have tried to uphold.'
Consultant- ' Hmm, okay, I can understand where you're coming from, I
would also need to speak to Sara and Will and see what they think. Would
it be possible for you to send them in?'
Sara walks into the room;
Consultant-' Hi again Sara, I just spoke to Connie and she told me some
very interesting things about your relationships with your father and with
each other. Would you like to tell me your side and what you think.?'
Sara-' Well to be honest, I think the main problem I have is with Connie
rather than my father. The fact of the matter is that Connie was always
jealous of me. She was always trying to beat me at everything I did in
order to gain my father's recognition. Dad might have been busy all the
time but Connie was the one who always made me feel smal, unwanted.
Even now, she will always try and beat me at work. If I sign a client, she
would sign a bigger one. Another thing is that although Will and I fight, I
have always felt closer to him than with Connie. We have our difference,
yes, but amongst the three of us, we are the closest.'
Consultant-' Hmm, interesting, could you please send Will in?
Narrator- Will enters
Consultant-' Will, could you please tell me about relationship with your
father and your sisters.'
Will-' Well, my relationship with my father was always turbulant. I guess his
relationship with the family was in itself a turbulant one. He was always
busy with work. Although when he came home he would be very
controlling. He kept us doing activities that we were not even interested in.
He dominated everyone, especially my mother. Their relationship
consisted of my dad always criticising my mum and I guess that criticism
was felt by all of us. We were either not good enough or in the way. That
continued on even when I joined the company. Everything my sisters or I
did was wrong and unappreciated.'
'My relationship with my sisters is fine. We dont agree on everything and
they can be a bit much sometimes but at least its better than it was with my
dad. The truth is, because we have never had any responsibility or
decision making role within the firm, we have no idea how everything is
done. Dad for one, never told us. So for us it is like starting a new business
from scratch. Every business has its ups and downs but its just the first 3
months so we have some teething problems. It will be fine soon.'
End of Scene 3
Start Scene 4
Narrator- ' Consultant and the three children are sitting around discussing
what they could do in order to save the business.'
Consultant- ' Okay everybody, I have read through your finances,
discussed possible points of conflict within the company with each of you
and have come up with a few potential solutions in order to fix your
problems. It is understandable that most companies experience a crisis at
some point of their life and after discussing with each of you I have come
to understand the importance of succeeding for you.
The first item on the agenda is ;Consider these simple communication tips:
• Create a formal, safe environment for regular discussion of serious
issues among the players.
• Clarify in your own mind what you consider the core issue to be before
• Don't bring up old "baggage" or irrelevant matters during these
discussions. That only takes focus away from the core issues.
• Be willing to negotiate. Hardline positions that you take can be the barrier
to reaching resolution.
• Be honest about your position. Hidden agendas often are the source of
issues. If you have a question or want to do something discuss it between
yourselves and understand each other perspectives.
For more serious matters you may want to get an independent outside
adviser - many family businesses benefit from having a non-executive
director or business adviser - to act as a mediator.
D a remuneration strategy
One way to successfully manage conflict in a family business is to have a
family-business constitution. When well drawn-up, such a document can
even prevent conflict occurring in the first place.The process of drawing
up a family constitution should be collaborative, involving everybody with
a stake in the business. The document should be regularly reviewed.
Structure your constitutionA typical family-business constitution
might include the following sections:
the business' strategy, objectives and values
I hope this helps in the future, and that you perceveire in this family crisis.'