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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.