Thursday, 3 September 2009

Is Working with Family Members a Good Idea?

“Don’t Look Back in Anger, I Heard You Say”, don’t worry I’m not going to write all the lyrics but I am singing away to myself as I write. When I was reading about the Oasis spilt it got me thinking about the possible stress and added problems that arise when you work with family members.

Noel Gallagher has said intolerable "violent and verbal intimidation" and a "lack of support" from management and bandmates forced him to quit Oasis the BBC reported.

In a statement, on his blog at, he said: "The details are not important and of too great a number to list."

He went on to thank fans after his decision to leave Oasis brought an "amazing" 18 years to an end.
Noel left after relations with brother and band mate Liam hit an all-time low.

Oasis was named the UK’s most successful act of the 1990's by the Guinness Book of World Records and right up to this day have a huge following.

It’s sad and I know that I would have liked to see them continue as they are an amazing group of musicians; I’ve seen them live only once but grew up blasting their music. Obviously the inns and outs will never fully be public and it seems there wasn’t one incident that resulted in the split but the much publicised feuding Gallagher brothers seem to no longer be able to work together.

It’s a shame and unlikely that they are going to be close again according to the media but the question is, is it just too much pressure to work with family?

I honestly don’t know having never really been in that situation but I do know that it’s hard to be with any family member for long periods of time and can imagine that in the music industry that problem is magnified ten fold with long periods of time being spent travelling, touring or being trapped in studios.

Whilst doing some research online I read an article about an American woman who worked with her husband and described the trials and tribulations they had encountered as partners in their family firm. I know that it’s slightly different working with a spouse and a sibling but all the same boundaries and issues can arise in the workplace when you have someone who is close to you personally working along side you.

First and foremost, each family member must have clearly defined roles so that there is never room for blaming the other for not doing something. Respect and professionalism are also very important when at work as although in the house shouting or moaning about something not being done may be common practice – in a workplace with other colleagues it can frustrate or belittle the other person and blow up a tiny disagreement into a feud like the Oasis spilt has become.

This would mean, if you have a meeting with one another, show up. If you have a deadline or target, then deliver and that should alleviate some of the pressure. Also important, be prepared to deal with the consequences of not delivering and on the other side of things, be prepared to follow the same procedures with family members as you would if another employee did the same thing.

I think most importantly there do have to be boundaries where a decision is made not to talk about work when you are not there as if lines of communication become tangled then it’s hard to recover as the Gallagher brother’s situation has shown.

Does anyone out there have their own opinion or experience they can share?

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