As a therapist, my most frequent request is to “Improve Communication.” The family will express they, “don’t communicate well,” however, what I find is that they do communicate well; they just don’t use appropriate communication techniques. The following are common scenarios: - I think you are mad at me, so I withdraw and quit talking to you, the message is clear- I am going to avoid you. - I am angry with you and tell other coworkers and you find out; you confront me in anger or retaliate by saying things to others about me, the communication is clear- I [...]
How Do You Fill The Room?
There is an unconscious quality that some call “presence,” others call “attitude,” and all of which try to explain “what is it that you fill the room with?” We all have leaders and we usually judge them by asking “what kind of leader is he or she?” and “must I respect them?” This starts very early on. For example, in the movie Kindergarten Cop, tough man Arnold Schwarzenegger gets pushed around by a bunch of kindergarteners. By high school, however; we quickly ascertain whether this teacher is one you have to respect or one that let’s you slide by. As [...]
How to Deal With Addiction in the Family Business
Addiction is an unfortunate but common issue that many families have to deal with, and families in business together are no exception. When a family member has an addiction—be it drugs, sex, gambling, or alcohol—the issue must be addressed in order to have long-term family harmony and stability. This is especially critical if the addict is the anticipated successor. Un-addressed, addiction can wreak havoc on a succession plan. As a succession planner and family therapist, I've seen the results and consequences of addiction on families. The addict places a huge burden on the family; their erratic and irrational behavior takes [...]
Family Dynamics – The Different Child
What happens to the child who was different from the rest of the family and was ignored and neglected during childhood? This is a family dynamic that deserves attention. Children need to be noticed, comforted and nurtured to help them find their way in the world. Some children are an easy fit for their parents while other children are much harder for the parents to understand and manage. In some unfortunate situations, parents are unavailable (reasons may include having a demanding job, battling addiction, or personal issues) to provide the child with the needs mentioned above. In these cases, the [...]