Nature vs Nurture – Parents as Bosses

Observations The debate about whether Nature (genetics: innate qualities you were born with), or Nurture (environmental conditioning: learned behaviours and abilities), has the greatest influence on personality development, is one of the oldest in psychology, dating back to the ancient Greeks. It may even predate the invention of Souvlaki! Current thinking is that it’s not […]

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Family Systems & Skills (5): Teamwork

Observations Strong and harmonious family teams are good indicators of a healthy business family culture.  The absence of good teamwork in a family is a common cause of conflict when family members are involved in a family business. Most families want to believe that their “familyness” means that family members naturally work well together as […]

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Family Systems & Skills (4): Respect & Trust

Observations Healthy levels of mutual respect and trust are key indicators of a good family business culture.  Their absence is a common cause of conflict. “Trust” is a combination of thoughts and feelings that give confidence you can rely on the character, ability, strength, or integrity of someone, or something, to meet your expectation that […]

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Family Systems & Skills (3): Decision Making

Observations Cause #17: Problem-Solving – described how and why poor problem-solving systems and skills are a common cause of conflict in family business, and in business families. Problem-solving is the front end, mechanical part of a process.  For a problem to be solved, there needs to be a decision (agreement about what will be done), […]

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Family Systems & Skills (2): Problem Solving

Observations When left to fester: issues become problems; problems become tensions, and tensions become conflicts.  Inadequate attention to issues, as a result of inadequate problem-solving systems and skills, are a common cause of conflict in family businesses and in the business families that lie behind them. Families may be: (a) inclusively engaged as collaborative problem-solvers; […]

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Family Systems & Skills (1): Communication

Observations Communication is both a key builder, and an ultimate destroyer, of relationships. Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages, between two or more people.  Its quantitative, tangible elements (words used) convey information.  Its qualitative, non-verbal elements (tone, gestures, choice of word) convey how a person feels about another.  In any given situation, […]

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Emotional Baggage (not given as a medical opinion)

Observations “Emotional Baggage” refers to unresolved emotional issues that have a detrimental effect on individuals, groups, or organisations.  The baggage metaphor suggests carrying around past disappointments, wrongs, and trauma that hold current relationships hostage to negative expectations – based on experiences of long ago. In Article #14: “Parenting Styles” – I observed that the root cause […]

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Parenting Styles & Practices

Observations (not given as medical opinions) Many of the root causes of current family business conflicts can be sheeted back to the parenting styles and practices – behaviours and emotional contexts – of the family’s home life, from many years ago. Whether or not there’s any validity to the analysis, in dispute resolution practice it’s […]

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Broken Wing Syndrome #3 (Family Business)

Observations Article 11: “Broken Wing Syndrome #1 (Individuals)”, described Emotional Resilience as a person’s ability to cope with, and adapt to, challenging situations.  Resilient individuals minimise their anxiety, consciously and unconsciously, to remain personally, socially and vocationally effective. A non-resilient individual is less able to handle challenges and stress, hence their “broken wing”. They require […]

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Broken Wing Syndrome #2 (Parents & Family)

Observations Article #11: “Broken Wing Syndrome #1 (Individuals)”, posited that Emotional Resilience is the personal ability to cope with, and adapt to, challenging situations.  Hence resilient individuals, both consciously and unconsciously, tend to minimise their anxiety to remain personally, socially and vocationally effective. Broken Wing Syndrome (“BWS”) refers to non-resilient individuals, and specifically to those […]

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