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7 Holiday Conversation Starters For Family Businesses

By Kyle Danner

Holidays mean more time with family. That can feel a bit much if your family members are your co-workers. It’s easy to talk shop because it’s what everyone knows.

Resist the urge to turn holiday gatherings into business meetings with these random and simple conversation starters:

1. What's your big thing for the new year? This doesn’t have to be a resolution. It can be a trip, a new project or a new relationship. Whatever it is, the question is wide-open for the other person to respond however they’d like. 

2. What are you reading for fun? I’m a reader but if you or the other person aren’t, ask who they’re following on social media.

3. What's something you want to learn for yourself in the new year? Emphasize “for yourself.” When it comes to family business, so much effort is put into doing for others that loved ones forget to do something for themselves.

4. Tell me about a problem you solved recently. You may have to stress something that’s not work-related, but do stress how they solved the problem. It’s a good reminder for them of a recent success and their ability to overcome an obstacle.

5. What's the first picture on your phone? Or What’s your favorite selfie? It’s an easy way to share a memory.

6. What's the title of your biography? If you’re feeling brave ask them the title of your, or the family’s, biography.

7. What had the biggest impact on your life this year? Their answer might involve the business, but ask how it impacted them or what they learned from the experience.

If you work in a family business, spending time with your family/coworkers over the holidays can be challenging. However, it should be a time of joy and fun. My blog, How To Do More Than Survive The Holidays, also includes easy, yet effective tips on how to make the most of the holiday season.

On a personal note, I wish you, your family and your business the very best this time of year. I hope you enjoy some quiet time for yourself to rest and recharge for the new year.