Edwin Hoover

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Image courtesy of Edwin Hoover.

Edwin Hoover helps family businesses manage family conflict using the tools and strategies first outlined in Getting Along in Family Business: The Relationship Intelligence Handbook, a book he co-authored with his wife in 1999. He is also the author of Getting Along: Making Significant Relationship Work, published in 2015.

The Hoovers’ collaborative involvement in the world of family business came as the logical next step in their respective careers. As a psychologist, Edwin Hoover worked extensively with couples and families. Colette Hoover came from a business-owning family before earning her Master of Science.

When they began in the 1980s, few consultants worked specifically with family businesses. Family firms that sought outside counselling could either work with behaviourally oriented consultants, who would focus on family relationships, or business specialists, whose work would concentrate on the organisational features of a company.

The Hoovers realised they could make a significant contribution to the field if they leveraged their collective expertise to combine these disciplines. They started from scratch, building the systems and processes they would later outline in Getting Along in Family Business.

Their work asserts that healthy family dynamics are intentional; developing Relationship Intelligence, or RQ, requires hard work. When families successfully increase their collective RQ, however, they are better equipped to manage potentially divisive situations – sibling rivalry is one such example.