Why emotional intelligence is the key to intergenerational succession

Intergenerational succession represents a significant challenge to family business. Though a common problem, misalignment between generations needs to be addressed for businesses to thrive into the future. Emotional intelligence could well be the key to bridging the gap. We take a look at how mentorship – and increasingly mindfulness – are helping family businesses to cross the chasm.
Intergenerational Succession
Next Generation Updated on October 21, 2022

There have always been significant challenges associated with inter-generational succession, with the majority of family businesses not being able to succeed into the next generation. The challenge has escalated in recent times due to the growing mindset differential between the older, experienced community of business owners, who hold decades of institutional knowledge, and the new, up and coming pipeline of young leaders.

Research indicates that up to 75 percent of potential next-generation successors are not wanting to join the family business, a statistic that points to the fact that the next generation is not being adequately engaged, embraced, and understood. This is a challenge that is not just relevant to succession but indicates a general misalignment between generations that needs to be addressed for businesses to thrive into the future.

It is therefore not surprising that emotional intelligence is becoming an increasingly important engagement tool in its ability to recognize our own and others’ emotions and discern between certain emotions. Individuals are able to shape behaviour once armed with this knowledge and create the optimal conditions for group consensus.

Emotional intelligence is essential to strengthening interpersonal skills and is a toolbox people use to conduct business, negotiate difficult situations, and interact with friends, family, colleagues, and strangers on a daily basis. Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management represent the four key traits of emotional intelligence – we explore how this can be achieved through mentorship programs and mindfulness practice.

About the Authors

Francois Botha

Francois Botha

Founder & CEO

Francois believes that the next generation of family leaders need new, simple tools and trusted experts with a fresh outlook.

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