Archive for March, 2013

Use 1 sentence to strengthen/repair family relationships this weekend

The most successful family businesses I work with have strong, healthy relationships as a foundation of their family.

One of the fundamental skills we coach to maintain healthy relationships is the ability to show genuine appreciation for others even in the face of disagreement and turmoil.

Many clients tell me they are reluctant to say something nice about someone they’re angry with because they think they will be acting insincere or phony.

I believe you can be legitimately angry or disappointed and still be able to hold genuine appreciation.  Showing appreciation is like “making a deposit“ in your relationship account with someone.  Building positive energy in a relationship gives you more room to work on tough issues when they arise.

Practice this skill this weekend!  Are you ready?  You can do this!

Do this with as many people as you can in your family.  The stretch goal is to do it with the person you have either the weakest relationship or a strained relationship.

Here we go…

Say “I wanted to let you know what I really appreciate about you is…(fill in the blank)”

Examples:

  • …how dedicated you are to our family/our parents /your children/my children
  • …how much you care about everybody
  • …how hard you work at being a good _______(their profession)
  • …how you were always there for me

You get the idea?

Some clients tell me, “I would if I could think of one coach!”  And when I push and challenge them. they always come up with  something they appreciate and I’m often surprised how touching it is when they do.

So rack your brain – and come up with one.

Being able to observe and articulate redeeming qualities of someone is a skill in and of itself.  The sooner you build that muscle the sooner  you’ll have healthy strong relationships!

If you want free, full access to all of our deliberate practices, sign up here!

 

Deliberate Practice – Competitive mindset essential for long-term success

One of the patterns that threaten many family businesses is a waning sense of urgency and competitive fire in future generations.

It’s human nature.  The founders fought for their survival in the early years of the business.  Successive generations are raised with a certain amount of affluence and financial security.  They’ve never experienced the feeling of “fighting for your life” in business.  While this is a wonderful byproduct of great founders it can also rob future generations of an important business mindset.

I was really fortunate to have found some of my grandfather’s letters from the 1920s that chronicle the trials and tribulations of Walsh Bros., our 89-year-old family business.  Reading about how my grandfather was watching every penny helped me appreciate what it took to get past the survival phase in a successful business.

It’s the current generation’s job as leaders to foster and maintain a competitive mindset in the upcoming generations.  Why?  Because business is highly a competitive sport and today’s champions can quickly become tomorrow’s “has-beens”.

So how do you create that competitive mindset?  How do you make sure family members keep a healthy level of urgency?

I keep going back to Major league baseball and spring training.  Even the most successful, highly talented professionals go back to the basics every March.  As a family you need to create rituals and exercises that build a competitive mindset.  Like everything else it’s a muscle that needs to be trained.

We have a deliberate practice that makes the family reflect upon its own competitive mindset, as well as the competitive landscape of the business.  They have to identify a few new activities to keep building the muscle.  For free full access to the detailed instructions in our deliberate practice click here.

There are many different ways to foster a competitive mindset.  As a leader in the family business, keep getting creative and inventive about how you keep the competitive fire alive in the up and comers!

 

Deliberate Practice – How to Conduct a Great Family Meeting

One of my greatest joys coaching families is to see a whole family come together around a table and talk about the family business.  You can see all of the hopes, dreams and history of the family in one room.  You hear about what came before and get glimpses of what is to come in the future for the business.

Surprisingly though, most families aren’t quite sure where to start and how to conduct a successful family meeting.  Due to this apprehension, many families just don’t conduct the meeting, thus robbing the family of a real opportunity for collaboration and building the future of the family  business.

Many families have discomfort trying to “please all of the people all of the time” so the thought of a family meeting is filled with anxiety about how to successfully conduct the meeting.

In coaching, one of the fundamental tenets we teach is about what we call generous listening.  A great family meeting happens when you can get everyone in the room and ask a few of the right questions and then simply sit back and listen.  Okay, some times a facilitator or coach can bring out the shy people in the room and gently manage the people who won’t be quiet and find the right balance of talking and listening.

In our deliberate practice, How to Conduct a Great Family Meeting, we give you some simple step by step instructions that will enable you to not only have a successful family meeting, but also have a greater sense of hope and optimism for the future of the family and the business.

To gain free access to this and all of our other deliberate practices click here.

 

Deliberate Practice – Get Real by Getting Feedback

One of the greatest disservices you can do to yourself and your team is to not be honest with yourself about how others perceive you. I know how frightening it can be to put yourself out there and ask for straight, unfiltered feedback. Top performers are relentless about obtaining feedback.

I ask every client and team member to give me feedback on a regular basis. It still scares me a bit but I know not staying tuned in could have far more damaging consequences – like not having clients or teammates!

I know in my family business when I started getting feedback from others, it took the focus away from me just trying to win my family’s acceptance as a leader and challenged me to learn how to be effective with broader audiences.

In our Get Real by Getting Feedback deliberate practice we give you step by step instructions to getting feedback from others and most importantly doing something with it. Don’t ask for feedback and not be prepared to act upon it!

If you would like to get real and build some new muscle then I encourage you to get access to all of our deliberate practices here.