Can a Happy Family and Successful Business Live Together?

You can have it all—but you’re going to have to negotiate for it. Whenever there’s conflicting needs, working out the parameters ahead of time so everyone involved is getting what they need is the key to success.

Family needs and business needs often conflict. Spouses or partners make demands, children don’t understand, aging parents need help. How do you make it all work?
Sitting down with everyone involved and having a genuine open discussion about the reality of managing home life and the office is the first step. Explain business doesn’t come first and talk about how you’ve worked to create a successful company. Ask for co-operation so that family members feel involved and respected.

A man should never neglect his family for business.
– Walt Disney

Use the problem solving skills you’ve honed through coaching and at work to get and keep a happy family, while growing your business. Strike an agreement that works for everyone and then respect your part of the bargain. As in business, poor execution and lack of accountability can cause a crisis. Make sure your behaviour mirrors your intentions.
Related Search: Family Business Consulting
Real growth occurs when you communicate on an authentic level, seeking to understand, not just be understood.


Failure—it’s a word that strikes fear into most hearts. Failure is a country we don’t ever want to visit. We’ve been socialized to avoid failure at all costs. Our reputation, our self-esteem, our careers, our personal relationships—we believe they are all at risk if we fail. But what if there’s another kind of failure?
What if avoiding failure is failing in itself? If we aren’t willing to take the risk, to put ourselves in the path of potential defeat, is that not another kind of failing? Avoidance can give us the perception of safety and create a shield to hold tight to that we view as dear. Is that how we want to live—hiding, grasping onto what we have for fear of losing it?
Difficult conversations are often perceived as a minefield to be avoided at all costs. But could evading the conversation be considered a failure? Typically, we steer clear of potentially troublesome conversations in the hopes of not having a ‘failed’ conversation.
We’re not designed to handle crucial conversations effectively. Our bodies prepare for fight or flight when we feel threatened by sending blood and adrenaline to our extremities, away from our brains; we don’t think as clearly.
Recognizing the risks and the price of failing to have these conversations is essential to growth on a personal and leadership level. Working through conversations and developing better communications skills ahead of time with a coach or mentor can mean a more genuine, authentic style of approaching these difficult discussions. Even failed conversations can be stepping stones to creating deeper relationships and future success at home and at the office.
Related Search: Communication & Team Facilitation
What conversations have you been failing to have?

When Silence isn’t Golden

What’s the cost to remaining quiet?
Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, carrying the burden of missed or failed conversations takes a toll, causing stress and physical as well as emotional pain. Contrast those discussions (or non-discussions) with conversations we go into feeling powerful or which end on a strong and positive note.
Most of us are familiar with the term ‘the elephant in the room’. It refers to an important as well as obvious topic which everyone is aware of, but which is not discussed because having the discussion would be uncomfortable for some or all of the parties—in other words, a topic which is  ‘undiscussable.’
Here’s a story a colleague told me about at a course I was at in 2010—‘ a man with a drinking problem drove his Oldsmobile into the dining room late one night.  In the morning, his family got up, ate breakfast; all the while no one said a word about the Oldsmobile sitting in the dining room.’
This is what I mean by an undiscussable. When our work or personal relationships are littered with these, we pay a high price. People disengage, productivity decreases, stress-related illness appears and the whole organization or family is affected. As time goes on and we compromise ourselves by not speaking up, resentment grows; people resign, families face a crisis and the damage can be lasting.
Related Search: Communication & Team Facilitation
How do we move past this kind of situation?
To move forward, we need to find the courage to be honest with others and ourselves. By working with an executive coach or communication consultant, we can bring emotional awareness to conversations leading to more successful relationships where respect, creative problem-solving and collaboration reside. Everyone involved will experience more authenticity and passion, when they can act with integrity and honour themselves.

The Big C – Change

Why is change so hard?
Most of us resist change, holding tight to old ways of doing things and wanting our worlds to remain the same. Resistance to change can be so strong, often in spite of overwhelming evidence it would improve our lives significantly, we still dig our heels in. In fact, research indicates only one in nine people who have had a heart attack alter their lifestyles.
Similarly, business leaders can get stuck in a rut, using traditional ways of leadership, which are no longer effective.

22From”Quiet Leadership” by David Rock

As a leader, your role is to effect change. In Magazine, Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings have made significant contributions to modern business practices, says ‘….change is the norm. To be sure, it is painful and risky, and above all, it requires a great deal of very hard work. But unless an organization sees that its task is to lead change, that organization–whether a business, a university, or a hospital–will not survive. In a period of rapid structural change the only organizations that survive are the “change leaders.” ‘.
How do you break out of old habits and transform your own leadership skills?
Related Search: Leadership Workshops
Excellent leaders are always looking to improve performance. Training, mentoring, and coaching workshops and programs offer the opportunity for leaders to increase awareness, reduce their own resistance to change and transform leadership behaviors. By improving your skills and understanding your issues with change, you can understand the challenges your teams face and be more empathetic in your approach.
Related Search: Leadership Transformational Process
Leaders need to be willing to stretch and change, giving them the skills to understand how to inspire their teams to follow them on the journey.

Family Businesses – Fertile Ground for Conflict

In any company, there’s going to be conflict; it’s a normal part of everyday business. When the business is a family business or some employees are family, the potential for disagreement increases. Dealing with the issue(s) can be more challenging in a family-run business because the stakes are higher. Personal relationships can be threatened, and keeping the problem at the office becomes a problem in itself.

Related Search: How to deal with Conflict in a Family Business
Issues can snowball in a family business situation because three areas of interest come into play– family issues, business issues, and ownership issues says Don Schwerzler, a U.S. family business expert in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business. Swcherzler recommends seeking out a mediator or consultant to help with family feuds.
A business coach with expertise in working with families can help with those difficult conversations and teach skills to family members so they can collaborate and work together.
Here are some helpful tips on avoiding havoc in family-owned businesses. Some of them are quite obvious, but it’s surprising how often people make these mistakes leading to problems with family members and non-family employees.

  1. Don’t put a family member on the payroll who isn’t contributing to the business. Make sure everyone has a role and responsibilities are spelled out and are very clear, says Jane Hilburt-Davis, president of Cambridge-based Key Resources and co-author of Consulting to Family Businesses in 7 Rules for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in a Family Business .
  2. Keep strict boundaries between family matters and business matters.
  3. Be honest with your employees – don’t keep it a secret that family members are involved in the company.
  4. Don’t play favorites with family employees over non-family employees.

Related Search: Effective Business Communication
In any relationship–work or personal—genuine and authentic communication helps to resolve issues or to prevent them in the first place. Having someone with the experience to teach or guide family members in a business to communicate in ways that solve problems, not create them, can be the key to having a successful family-run company.
Photo Credit “David Castillo Dominici” Free Digital Photos.

Presentation and Speaking Skills for Leaders

For business leaders, the ability to speak and present ideas effectively is crucial for success. As a leader, your role is to persuade others and to create change. Moving others to fully buy-in to the ideas and changes you are proposing takes skill, and being able to present your message in a way that creates lasting change, will make your job easier.
Related Search: Public Speaking Skills
Most of us are uncomfortable with public speaking and would rather face a root canal. Even if you have developed some level of skill, here are some tips for being more comfortable, and for presenting your ideas in a way that will engage your audience.
Related Search: Executive Coaching

  1. Knowing your audience is crucial to a successful presentation. You know what you want and need, but are you clear on the needs and wants of your audience?  Before you begin to develop your presentation or speech, do your research—it will pay off.
  2. Be conversational in your delivery—by practicing your material and knowing it inside and out, you don’t have to worry about missing points and you can relax. A conversational tone will appeal more to your audience. Practice, practice, practice.
  3. Tell a true story about yourself that relates to your material. People want to know who you are, not how much you know. By telling an authentic story about your life and yes, even about some failures you have experienced, you will come across as genuine and likeable.
  4. Don’t rush through your talk and don’t stand in one place with your arms at your side. Use energy and silence to deliver your message. Move around and use your hands. Stop and take a few seconds before moving onto the next point.

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. ~ Mark Twain (1835-1910, American author and humorist)
For most people, becoming a skilled speaker and presenter takes time and practice. It’s an essential skill for success and using these tips will help to make you a more effective leader.

How do you show up when you don't know what to do?

Most of us do more of what we know to do when we don’t know what to do! Why? It is human nature to resist change.
One expert, Robert Quinn speaks to the #1 reason why 90% of corporate change initiatives fail.  He says it is because the senior leaders are unwilling to take on and go through the deep personal change that is required.
“Real Leadership” requires us to face the risks to reinvent ourselves.  Quinn calls it “Getting Lost with Confidence” that is; to learn in a way that helps us forget what we know and discover the pathways including what we and others need.  Leaders who learn their way into a new and emerging world are master change agents which demand an ongoing conversation and exploration.
Executive Coaching — Business and Performance
Coaching impacts business results — it improves every dimension of leadership and performance for individuals, teams and organizations.  Coaching facilitates a dialogue that causes a person to think differently and from multiple perspectives.  Coaching is an inquiry exposing the things we don’t see or don’t know and don’t even know that we don’t know it.  This improves understanding, expands options, enhances decision making and ignites the ability to take action. Coaching is a potent communication process that clarifies current reality and expands capabilities to increased levels of effectiveness, accountability and problem-solving.  Coaching is a client-driven approach to change, learning and growth which accelerates the ability to improve performance results.
Statistics show…
Coaching provides an average return on investment of 5.7 times.
Training increases productivity by 22.4% — productivity increases to 88% when combined with coaching.
“One cannot teach a man anything.  One can only enable him to learn from within himself.”



Listening vs. Hearing

Listening is giving your focused attention and presence on the other – that is a rare gift.  It is an action that demonstrates you care.  We live in a busy world where most of us are stretched thin with many balls in the air.  We have high brain noise distracting us from our goals and depleting our energy.  We juggle between the endless list of things to do and time for the people we love and often the joy that is present in every moment is overshadowed with pressure of competing items on our plates.
There is a real distinction between hearing the words and listening for the message.  Listening involves a more sophisticated mental process than hearing; it demands energy and discipline.
Listening to someone whole heartedly allows other people to be heard, to be seen and to express themselves in a way that builds self-esteem.  Listening permits others to resolve their own problems which cultivate a “True” confidence in themselves.  Being heard reduces stress, eliminates conflict, and fosters respect and loyalty.  True listening is a basic human need that promotes a sense of belonging, collaboration and cooperation.
Did you know?
– 45% of people’s time is spent listening in business; however as you up the corporate ladder, the time spent listening increases to 55%.
– 70% of waking hours are spent in verbal communication
– Organizations operating at a low level of listening efficiency usually have high turnover
– Most people will not really listen to your point of view until they become convinced you have heard and appreciate theirs
– We listen at 125-250 words per minute, but think at 1000-3000 words per minute
Filters influencing how we listen:

         Values          Beliefs          Memories
         Expectations          Interests          Assumptions
         Attitude          Past Experience          Perceptions
         Emotional State          Physical Environment          Prejudices

Strategies to expand your presence and listening skills:
Be Present
Listen with purpose
Suspend all other activities from mind
Paraphrase: “Here’s what I heard…” or “What I got from what you said is….” or “What I understand you are saying is…”
Listen to understand — not to respond
Make eye contact
Ask questions
The “Voice Mirror” was introduced by Sue Walden of Improv Works at a CAPC (Calgary Association of Professional Coaches) meeting I attended:  It is a transition tool to shut your brain off and bring yourself to being fully present with someone.  It can be used when you find yourself drifting.  The “Voice Mirror” technique: Silently in your head repeat the words the person is saying as quickly as they are saying them”.  I’ve played with the technique and did experience success in being more present with people.
Have fun taking on your wondering mind and enjoy the rich conversations available to you from your listening in a new way!

Meet Trudy

Like all of you, I have been at several crossroads where I made significant decisions about me, others, love, money, success and many other things, including life itself. Those decisions evolve into our beliefs, principles and values, all of which become the foundation of our actions. It wasn’t long before I discovered in my own life, that the foundation I was operating from, was limiting my opportunities, potential and results. This created a deep desire within me, to understand myself and human nature — the why we do what we do.
As a result, I developed a “people smart” ability with some key skills, such as listening for potential and seeing strengths in others, both the hidden and obvious. I facilitate people to “take a walk inside themselves™” to discover and claim their authentic personal power.

Hello world! – – A Big Hairy Audacious Goal

WELCOME  — thank you for choosing to spend your time on my blog.  My name is Trudy Pelletier.
You and I have some common ground; we have dreams and challenges, strengths and limitations, we think we have a past and a future and we have a natural yearning for more.  That “something more” may be named differently for each of us, but I believe, the essence of it is the same.  It’s fulfillment, an inner balance and peace, joy and love, a desire to matter and to have meaning.  My big hairy audacious goal is to make a difference to you in the game we call life and to invite you to make a difference for me in ways that inspires and nourishes our desire for “something more”.
It’s my desire to create a meaningful connection with you that serves and enables you to have a new view of yourself and your life, which includes everyone and eveything in it.  It’s our view, the position from which we experience ourselves and others, that gives us authentic power or disables us.  I’ve used the tag line “connecting people to greater possbilities” to describe what I love to do most.  That is to engage in meaningful dialogue™ to facilitate transformation so you can live a life you love.
Just like you and every other person on the planet, out of a few defining moments in my life, I made some significant decisions that have shaped me and my experiences in life.  The magnitude of influence those decisions have had on my career and now my chosen work have astounded me. It’s my personal journey that cultivated and inspired me to discover my talents and develop my gifts to serve others to Understand the Function of Dysfunction™.
I’m going to share my story and my passion for using the dysfunction, to whatever degree it’s present in your life to inspire you to Be More, Do More and Have More.  Shifting our view of the dysfunction will liberate you and give you freedom to live a life that in this moment may be beyond your imagination.  If that’s the case, I’m asking that you trust me, because from my own experience, I know what’s possible.  I stand for what’s possible for you and I will hold the space in this dialogue as you stretch your mind and your heart, if you decide to play a bigger game in life.  And I’d love it if you would play that game with me!