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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Strategies to survive Holiday dinners, family Events and other war zones

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No matter how well we may have weathered our basic training, nothing can fully prepare us for the front lines of family gatherings. We're in the thick of it, dodging live ammunition, and fighting the urge to return to our old, reliable patterns that helped us to survive while we were growing up. We may have mastered our relationship skills in one-on-one relationships. We may have improved our romantic relationships, our professional relationships and our friendships. And we may have even improved our family relationships--one family member at a time. But when we're sitting around the holiday dinner table or socializing at a wedding reception with our entire family, it's an entirely different experience.

For one thing, when we're with our entire family, we have to juggle a number of different relationships at the same time. Our attention is divided at best, and for many of us, our awareness deserts us completely after the first major skirmish. We feel like we're surrounded and have to defend ourselves from sneak attacks. We often feel that retreat is not an option. When we are cornered, we often believe that the only way that we can survive is to fight our way out, new relationship skills be damned.

While most people assume that General Sherman was referring to the Civil War when he stated, "War is hell," in fact, he was referring to a particularly memorable Thanksgiving dinner with his family. This also explains why he could send his troops into battle without a second thought, but that the very mention of cranberry sauce would reduce him to tears.

Bearing this in mind, here are some essential tips for surviving your next family gathering.

TIP #1: Go Easy On Yourself!

The first, and most important survival tip is to remember that navigating and surviving family gatherings takes exceptional skill and often quite a bit of practice. We will not be able to transform our entire family dynamic between the salad course and the pumpkin pie. In fact, we may not be able to change our family dynamic at all--and it's important that we accept that we don't need to. It's not our responsibility to help our family members resolve their issues. We're only responsible for resolving our responses to their issues. Our objective is to maintain our own safety and validation accounts, focus our awareness, and survive the family event reasonably unscathed.

However, maintaining our awareness while we're relating to our families takes practice! We must go easy on ourselves. We may react when we would rather respond. We may be drawn into old arguments. Whatever happens, we need to accept that it is perfect. We are doing our best, and that's all we can ever ask of ourselves. And remember that our awareness that we're acting out an old pattern is, in itself, a change in that pattern! As we develop our awareness, we will spend less time caught in our old patterns. Over time, our awareness will help us to make lasting and permanent changes in those patterns.

Tip #2: Go Easy On Your Family

This piece of advice is equally as important as going easy on ourselves, but it's often a bit more challenging to follow. Essentially, we must be willing to forgive our relatives for everything. We must be able to accept that they only ever did the best they could at any given time. We need to begin to recognize and relate to our families as people instead of as family members. We need to begin to know them for who they are, and not simply for who they are to us.

When we embrace the truth that even our family members are individualized aspects of All That Is, our relationships with our families will shift dramatically. Our family members are some of the most powerful teachers we will ever encounter in our lives. They also tend to be the most accurate and powerful mirrors for us, which, of course, is why we often find it so difficult to love and accept our family members unconditionally. In order to love our family members, we would also need to be able to love and accept ourselves.

Even so, we can love our family members unconditionally and still only choose to sit down to eat with them once a year.

Tip #3: Use The Bathroom As A Sanctuary When Needed

In our other relationships, we can usually recognize when we feel unsafe and move to a safe space so we can disengage our egos. Once we restore the balance in our safety account, we can return to the discussion and explore it without feeling threatened--and without threatening our partner in return. When we feel unsafe in our family relationships, however, many of us feel that we're obligated to stay and fight. This is simply not the case.

When we are aware that we feel triggered by a family member, we can simply choose to excuse ourselves and visit the bathroom. The bathroom is the one place that we can be assured of our privacy, and we can stay there as long as we need to. We can use the bathroom as a sanctuary where we can regain our composure and gather our strength so that we feel safe enough to return to the battle. If any of our family members are indelicate enough to comment on how much time we seem to be spending in the bathroom, we can always plead an upset stomach or a weak bladder.

Tip #4: Lose The Battle To Win The War

We have to be very clear about our objectives in terms of our family relationships. If our ultimate goal is to improve our family relationships, we have to be willing to stay focused on the big picture. The most difficult lesson for most of us to accept is that in order to win the war, we have to be willing to lose the battle. Our long-term objective is to feel more safe and more validated in our family relationships. To reach this goal, we must help our family members to feel safe and validated. In order to do this, we must be absolutely clear that we are capable of meeting our own safety and validation needs.

We often experience our families as competitive environments. Our old blueprints tell us that there's a limited amount of safety and validation available, and that we must compete with the other members of our family to meet our needs. We insult and snipe at each other because we can only feel safe and validated if the balance in our accounts is greater than the balance in everyone else's accounts. The more we care about earning other people's approval and validation, the more vulnerable we are. When one of our family members makes a comment designed to make us feel less valid, we do not need to defend ourselves. We can recognize that this person is asking to be validated, and we can validate them. Sometimes, this means letting them think that we are less successful, accomplished, and generally wonderful than we truly are.

We must be willing to lose every single family argument we encounter. Letting our family members win the argument allows them to feel safe and validated. As long as we remember that we create our own safety and validation, and we do not need to compete with our family members, we can lose the argument because it will help us to win the war. We must let our family members believe that they are right about whatever the issue is, no matter how blatantly wrong they actually are.

We know the truth. That will have to be enough for us.

Tip #5: Always, Ever, Never

If we want to relate to our family members as they are now and not as we remember them being in the past, we must eliminate three words from our vocabulary: always, ever and never. In the lexicon of family "discussions," always, ever and never are relationship air-raid sirens. They signal that an attack has been launched and it's time to duck and cover. Specifically, we must avoid some of our favorite statements in our family relationships such as, "You always behave this way," "When have you ever supported me?" and "You never give me any credit." If we find ourselves using any of these words in a similar context, it's a red flag that we're focused on the past and not on the present. Likewise, when our family members use these words about us, they're relating to us as we were, not as we are.

As soon as we become aware that we are using these words, we must stop. It's likely that our use of these words has made our family member feel unsafe and invalid. We can apologize for having used one of these words, and acknowledge that we have been unfair. Something about the current discussion has triggered an unpleasant association for us. If appropriate, we can rephrase the statement, keeping it specific to the present.

If we're on the receiving end of always, ever, never statements, we can choose to respond, rather than to react. In the middle of a family get-together, the wisest choice is often to deflect the statement, perhaps even acknowledge that the statement may have some validity when applied to the past, and then change the subject. If the discussion has uncovered an old wound, the wound will still be there for us to heal at a more appropriate time and in a more appropriate environment.

Kevin B. Burk is the author of The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve [ index.html]Every Relationship in Your Life []. Visit for a FREE Report on creating Amazing Relationships.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Numerologis family code-how to treat your friends and family

Do you want to know how you typically interact with friends and family? Numerology can show you how you tend to interact with family and friends. We just have to calculate your family numbers.

Calculate your family number

Service number family come from a specific branch of Numerology I call Yantra or Magic Square Numerology.It consists of construct a magic square with your birth date, number, and then interpret the values in the Special dialog boxes in the square.

Your family number found by your life Path number, add the (2), and then reduce the result by fadic. We reduce not master numbers (11, 22) if they will.

For example, the actor Johnny Depp was born on 9th June 1963, so his family number would be calculated as follows:

Life Path number = (1 + 9 + 1963) = (1978) = (25) = (7)

Family Number = (path to Life + 2) = (7 + 2) = (9)

Below are listed the values family numbers and their meanings.

Family number (1)

You put your own wishes and needs ahead of desires and needs of your family; you are self-sufficient in terms of family and will comply with your own wishes.People tend to find you, selfish and demanding in your relationships with them.This is a blind spot for you, because you cannot see these qualities in yourself.

Family number (2)

You have a great need to be surrounded by loving friends and family. You draw security and inner peace from the harmonic band of many friends and love those around you; your success is linked to their happiness, as you can out of your way to make the other happy; you can never have too many friends.

Family number (3)

You tend to take on the role of the organiser in dealing with family and friends; to coordinate parties, gatherings and other group tours; you prefer informal conversation and relationships with most of the people, and try to avoid deeply involved substances.You also tend to avoid doing the dirty work.responsible for the Group's operations.

Family number (4)

You tend to take on the work in relation to family and friends, volunteer work to keep all contact, maintain the directory of addresses and email for your family, and community organizations.Staying at the praise for your efforts, and tend to irritate people by telling all the work you do.You fulfill an important role to play with your friends and relatives, but it is not always the love you for.

Family number (5)

Do you want to surprise your family and friends with your actions.You can organize a surprise party for a friend or call them at odd hours, you can suggest a road trip to some exotic languages or shopping on the spur of the moment; in fact stop your ideas can be expensive or impractical rarely you.You create a lively atmosphere for the group.

Family number (6)

You are very caring and supportive of family and friends, you are so devoted to their well-being that you will make great sacrifices, do what it takes to protect them; This can be taken to an error, you tend to be over-protective of second and suspend their attempt at independence.

Family number (7)

You are loving but detached from family and friends; to express your deepest feelings is very difficult for you; you need time on your own, away from friends and family, in order to manage your personal thoughts. you also tend to be a perfectionist around your close friends, they find it annoying, but they put up with it.

Family number (8)

You are driven to succeed in business and finance with friends and family, a family-owned company or a partnership with close friends is an ideal place for you; you may tend to be a workaholic in these situations; pull back and spend a couple of pure leisure time with friends and family when the time arises, you are also the person in the family are likely to inherit money.

Family number (9)

If you love your family and friends, are you more likely to help a perfect stranger than a family member, you are called to many humanitarian causes, churches, charities and the like, you will tend to ignore the needs of the family or friends until they cry out for help, Then do you come charging for rescuing. When the crisis is over, you will be taken back to your old habits; you have a tendency to make friends easily, most often with those who will call if you are using.

Family number (11)

You beautify family life and friendship to the point where reality never measures to your dreams, you are constantly with disappointment when reality and human nature,. you like to help the people you care about, and see the amazing intuition when it comes to remote sensing when something is wrong with your loved ones.

Keith Abbott is the developer and owner of "Numerology 4 You" where you can order your own Numerology reading, including your personal Lucky number. visit him on the Web today on

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)

Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10)The #1 New York Times bestselling Sookie Stackhouse series- the basis for HBO(r)'s True Blood-continues!

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she's angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he's under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie's connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry...

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Health, Wealth And The Pursuit Of Family

Where has our families?

Family Unit

What are the grounds for the search for health and wealth without including family? Man was supposed to find a family atmosphere, the son, daughter, spouse. The spirit of the family depends on collaboration and learning, that prepares people for social equality.

Family begins in love, marriage, and establishes a as old as humanity itself, consisting of the husband, wife and children social order; it is within this structure, in which children learn responsibility, values, standards, work ethics, love and the meaning of life, Mum and dad also teach some values that are contained in their education decision-making, perseverance, praise and correction as they raise their children. It is important for the parent to learn as a child.

It is an example of a life sentence

The true meaning of life and the reason for that is derived from the family nucleus.It is within the family structure which connects to other people is learned, practiced and most appreciated. Children learn to deal with that decision, the true meaning of respect and the consequences of wrong doing.

Although there has been much written about family attributes very little has been discussed on the value of the family in society, it is within.Society as a whole, imitates the values, beliefs and feelings for the families that it contains. When the family is the crime, the society also the crime.But let us save the correlation between the family and society for another article.

By raising offspring

The family has the most influence on the total life experience, Children learn habits he will continue throughout the life of their contact with the family; Granted takes outside peer pressure sometimes child astray from the family structure. A well structured family shows unity, love, commitment, dedication, a United peace of mind against each other as a model for the whole world to see. face headships Families and submissions as they develop and design the obvious perimeters for characterization as a result We train children; their faith and manage outside persuasive pressure.

Family relationships adopt meaningful and Honorable communications within and without. When members of one family are agreed that an idea, they are prepared to defend their principles.They are also more willing to engage in lengthy discussions in order to solve important issues.

Provides a good basis

The family provides greater security and stability of each of its members.Both parents and children to find solace in the fact that they have a willingness to be defined and a firm foundation.Uncertainty is kept to a minimum and children an equal number of worrying surprises in the discipline.

Family atmosphere provides constant reminders of the importance of values and the need for rules makes it possible to prioritize what is most important.The rules must be followed, as clear standards lead to misunderstood obedience. Authority and order, play an important part of the structure and success of the family as a unit.

It is in the caring atmosphere in the family where members will be able to express and show a greater love and comfort against each other in times of sorrow upon them; they come together as one in harmony and support; this experience will teach how to be subjected to stress and still retain the power of adversity.A good family also understands the value of spending meaningful time together and caring practices.

Through the wisdom years

Fathers and mothers bring wisdom to their children when it comes to the economy, health, and commitment to the goal.They learn to seek understanding when meaningful goals and prioritize against defined goals.They acknowledge the individually by each Member, while still maintaining the integrity of the groups balance. Discover the differences between each Member and accept these differences provides a lesson in life, simplicity and worldly expressions; Also understand and make a determination to take care of each other in an invitation to tender and affectionate way-by disease and health-death and untold accident-as well as moments of joy and triumph.They are linked to another by band and date of birth, is the recognition that no two are alike in their relationship clear and respected.

There is glory of family relationships that extends only to the family, and then to the other of this glory can be found in their obedience, understanding, respect, responsibility, praise and, above all, love for each other; People confirm glory by how they look at others, possessions, and God's creation, for other than themselves.

Will the strength of personality

Family based personality forces as they experience the differences between men and women in their commitment to each other and how they actively strive to keep this commitment alive; A deeper understand the value in another person's point of view and the thought process becomes apparent when the individual family member grows and matures; this is a natural reaction to increasing the understanding and appreciation of other conceptions by their own family influences.

Family atmosphere will teach how to handle anger as they encounter unhealthy anger with respect and love for each other; they learn if they are slow to speak, and quick to listen, anger slows; A family is a support unit, ready to fend off any outside attack. internal dynamics of a family are dictating the set values in turn take views of external stimuli. How a family believe is also how the individual Member thinks.

Why is the modern family in decline?

Modern families seem to be in decline and also civilization itself is in decline; When the backbone of civilization becomes broken becomes civilization crippled and non functional; We must protect the family and the creation of this important institution as an example of our national values and commitment to our own culture.

Next, wealth, health, and the quest for Finance.

Happy Trails.

Donald Yates, Former head of the Business and LeaderSHIP Development for Imperial, is now retired but continues to help young people to engage life through self discovery, Life course planning, intuitiveness and execution; learn how to build a strong organization of your own; for more information, visit


Specify the target as a family-succeed as a family

Set family financial goals, that allows each Member to participate, can be a powerful force. Personal goals that only changed lives and when you have each Member of the family work together it will improve your results.

More family members who are working towards a common objective, the faster you will achieve results; When the whole family working against financial goals can be a bonding experience that everyone can understand.

Work towards the family financial objectives for families closer together.You will find that your family will begin to function as a unit with a view to achieving the financial objectives; Many top companies, sports teams, charities and sororities share common financial goals which all involved closer together; it works for them, let the power of family financial objectives of the work for you.

What family destination setting.

A family targets should be set for all areas of your life including: health, personal growth, spiritual/religious and life goals; This article will focus on the family financial goals, but you can easily set up a mechanism to cover the remaining areas of your life, every single person in the family should once again put their own personal goals and have the full support of the family.

By entering the family financial goals and work as a family to achieve financial freedom, all involved a sense of purpose and a good thing to work against. Children, parents and other members of the extended family will all benefit from aid to pursue the family destination.

How to set up the family financial objectives.

Set family financial goals begins with identifying the destination as your family want to do. Take some time to figure out what motivates all. Perhaps a family member to have a vacation home on the beach, another person to retire next year and another Member to have sufficient financial security, to take a month off each year of the family's holiday; find out what everyone dreams about, because this will help you understand each other's goals and are you more because of it.

When you have an understanding of what each family member to it's time to adjust your goals.Perhaps you'd like to learn more about investing, to increase your savings, shareasale, as new car or just want more money for a rainy day. The bottom line is that everyone in your family has to do its part; When all work with a common goal to achieve financial freedom, and then everyone's lives are improving. The ability to put family financial goals and reach family destination will improve all aspects of you personally and your family as a whole.

Family financial targets that works.

Effective goal setting techniques available that makes it possible for your family to maximize the effectiveness of your financial goals.A good technology as a means to accomplish your goals is to create them using S.M.A.R.T method.

-S "significant & special. For more detailed, you can make your family targets the closer you are to achieve them; This gives you a clear goal to shoot and when you can see what you are aiming to have a much better chance to hit the bull's-eye.

Make sure that your family financial targets significant. they must mean something for your family so that they are motivated to achieve them.Set a goal to save for a gallon of gas is probably not motivate people but if it was to save gas for a weekend trip now is another story.Remember, children, adolescents and young adults is justified on the grounds of Lifestyle not money.So don't forget to relate money to be able to provide the type of Lifestyle your family want to live.

-M-silent screams & Social risks.Create measurable objectives will allow your family to celebrate when you achieve them, do target setting, fun and a real bonding experience.

Family financial goals you establish should be inspiring for the whole family; Create motivational aims to move the family to participate.

-A huge and Dream achieved. be realistic.You can be anything you order; however, a growing Gill's so you can swim underwter probably won't happen.

-R-results-oriented, recital & nearby; a way to maximize the effectiveness of your family financial objectives are to phrase your goals in positive.Using the results-oriented words such as "Completed", will be "I received" or "I have," control your mind to focus on the result.Focus on results is one of the most important steps to becoming financially free.

Your family financial objectives should include the reasons for "are you sure you want to money for College, a pleasant holidays, etc., those are the reasons behind the goals we want to accomplish them.Money doesn't matter is what money for us that matters.

Family financial objective must relate to each other so the family serves as a single entity; set up powerful family financial goals begins with ensuring that everyone's goal is in the same direction and do not contradict each other; for example, if a family targets taking a family trip to the beach next weekend and another goal is to work as a weekend to save more money "conflict exists.

-T-Time; your family financial objectives should be allowed a period; decide on a certain period of time as you push each other to perform them by a certain date.

Take an evening and sit down together for dinner with no interruption. Get all dreams, goals and ambitions; Find a way to adjust your goals to create a dynamic family in need of objective along each of the objectives you set, and perform together will give all the details.

Vince Shorb, America's young adults money coach, specializing in providing real financial lessons. After examination of the personal, more than 10,000 personal accounts and after advice thousand of client's way of improving their economic future, he provides practical financial advice for your home in its latest course "Economic freedom" 30. Visit for more information and free money tips.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Seven tips for creating WIN-win for the family and owners and non-family managers

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As family owned companies grow and prosper from one generation to another, it is not uncommon for them to bring in non-family executives to round out the expertise of family members. When family businesses survive well into the third and fourth generations, there are generally more non-family executives than there are family executives involved in the company. Consequently, there are hundreds of thousands of non-family executives working in family businesses across the country. While the role of this executive is one of the most critical roles in growing family enterprises, it is often considered one of the most confusing and complex.

It has been my good fortune to learn what non-family executives want, directly from the nearly 100 of these business executives that I've coached, interviewed, and surveyed over the past decade. Additionally, I have personally served as a non-family executive, and have reported directly to four different non-family chief executive officers. I have also had the opportunity to talk to many family owners as well, and it is my conclusion that in order for families to successfully pass from one generation to the next and for businesses to flourish, there must be a win-win for family owners and for non-family executives.

To create a win-win for family owners and for non-family executives, family owners must:

1. Find the right person for the job

Due diligence is critical when looking for someone with the right fit to be a non-family business associate for your company. Successful non-family associates should have all of the following characteristics:

A. Be competent and have a proven track record of success in your industry or a similar one.

B. Have the ability to stand up to the family when needed, and the judgment to know when it is not, because although a healthy ego is good, arrogance is not.

C. Have empathy for the family owners because the owners' names are on the door, not the name of the non-family executive.

D. Understand that a family firm is different from a public company with regard to goals, dreams and hopes for both the family and the business.

2. Speak with one voice

If 10 different family members tell a non-family executive to do 10 different things 10 different ways, the executive cannot possibly win and neither can the family. That's why it is critical for the family to get together and decide who will be their official "voice". It could be the chairman of the board of directors or the chairman of the family council, but it is imperative that this leader solicit feedback from all relatives involved in the business and for the family to reach consensus, if possible, before directing non-family executives. If the family owners do not have an owners council or a family council, that should be the very first order of business. The saying: "United we stand, divided we fall" has great relevance for families who want their businesses to prosper. There are many books on how to start a council, as well as consultants who can help you.

3. Be able to share your vision for the family and the business

You should be able to clearly articulate your vision for both the family and the business to the potential non-family executive early in the interview process. In order for executives to be able to move your company in the direction you want to go, they need to know your vision for the family. Do you want the business to last from one generation to the next, or do you want to get the business ready to sell? They also need to know your vision for the business. Do you want the business to grow incrementally over time, taking few risks, or are you comfortable growing quickly while taking lots of risks? Again, the key is having an active council comprised of family members so that the family and ownership group can come to a clear understanding around their vision, and then share this with all stakeholders in the system including the non-family executives.

4. Reward non-family executives fairly

While making a healthy profit is the motive for most businesses, it might be equally important for some business owners to make sure that any family member who wants to work in the business can. While that can be an acceptable priority, if the result is the company has to keep a low-functioning relative employed and this affects profitability, this could be experienced as unfair to a non-family execs if their bonus is based on profitability. If having family members employed in the business is important to the owners, the family should make it a goal for the non-family associate, and the bonus should have a mechanism to reflect meeting that goal in addition to profitability. In addition, my research indicates that while non-family executives appreciate financial rewards, they also value non-financial rewards, such as being invited to family functions and being given creative gifts or acknowledgements. One very enterprising family had a proclamation signed by the entire family board to congratulate the non-family chief executive for meeting his goals.

5. Give your non-family associates the opportunity to hear what you want

Many successful non-family associates claim family owners are their greatest resource. By taking the opportunity to truly listen to the family, non-family business managers and leaders have been able to give the family exactly what they wanted. It is up to you to invite the non-family executives to meet with you formally and informally so you can talk to them and get to know them. Formally, the non-family associates should be invited to family council meetings both to speak and to listen. Informally, you could invite the them to dinner the opening night of your assembly meeting or to lunch just prior to a board meeting. The main point is for you to understand them and for them to understand you. As Stephen Covey says, "The deepest need of the human soul is to be understood."

6. Do not gossip

As tempting as it might be to tell your executives not to be concerned about the "piddling issues" of your "little sister" when you are frustrated with her, you do your sister and your non-family executives a great disservice if you do. If the non-family managers see you downplaying her importance to the business, they might start doing the same thing, or worse yet, they might feel as if they have to take sides. The same goes for talking behind the backs of your fellow non-family executives.

7. Respect your non-family business members

Famous psychologist Dr. Murray Bowen has been credited with saying: "We cannot respect another person enough." This is particularly true of non-family business members. While the family that owns the business is extremely important, so are the families of the non-family business members. Do not forget that these executives, while involved with your family, have families of their own, and a range of interests and priorities outside the company. You are correct that the executives should earn your respect, but again the burden of finding the right executive is on you. Be sure to follow the criteria above and bring respectable non-family executives into your family business, so that you can respect them, and they can respect you.


Some non-family executives have said that joining a family business feels more like being adopted or marrying in than being hired because they realize they are playing influential roles in the family as well as the business. There is no doubt that non-family executives are crucial to the success of your family business, and a win for your non-family executives is a win for you. In the end, success is always about having great relationships. My experience has taught me that the relationship between family owners and non-family executives is one of the most precious in any thriving family business. To borrow from an old saying: "Take care of your non-family executives, and they'll take care of you."

Dr. JoAnne Norton, an associate with the Family Business Consulting Group, specializes in advising large, multi-generational family businesses. She works with families to improve communication, to develop the next generation of leaders, and to coach non-family executives.

A former non-family executive herself, JoAnne understands the unique challenges faced by executives who are not owners but are working in someone else's family business. For more than a decade, she was the vice president of shareholder relations for Freedom Communications, a family-owned media company, where she worked with the 65 family owners and served on the leadership teams of four different non-family CEOs. Few professionals share JoAnne's unique experience establishing a shareholder relations department dedicated to family governance, leadership training and coaching.

JoAnne is the author of several articles on how to improve relations between non-family CEOs of family businesses and family owners. She also has written "Bringing Bowen Theory to Family Business," which will appear in the forthcoming book, Bringing Systems Thinking to Life. A frequent speaker at university family business centers across the country and national industry conferences, JoAnne has presented at the Family Business Network meeting in Cannes, France, and the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

As an adjunct professor for seven years at California State University, Fullerton, JoAnne created the family business dynamics course for the College of Business and Economics. She earned a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University and did post-graduate work at the Georgetown Family Center. JoAnne grew up in a successful second-generation family business in the Midwest, where she learned the complexities of maintaining harmonious relationships, as well as the importance of maintaining good communication, by observing her father, mother and two uncles.

Family Movie-find DVD Movie Club for your family

Are you looking for a good online family film Club or family review?

Family movies sell lots of tickets at the box office and each year there are one or several blockbuster movies, family movies.

But with the high price of movie tickets and concessions, watching movies on the DVD as a family movie night in the comfort of your home, quickly became very popular.

Online DVD Movie Clubs

Are online there are a number of DVD movie clubs with family movies in their rental library, but only a few actually specialise in providing quality family fare.

While other companies produce some family pictures, no one has come close to the huge library of movies that Disney has given us.

Walt Disney brought us at Steamboat Willie in 1928 with Mickey Mouse and 1973, Disney Studios gave us snow white, the first feature-length animated film.

Disney Movie Club

Disney Movie Club offers online their signature classic movies, the latest releases, for school videos, sing a long video and other popular family basis.

The film Clubs

Other online family movie clubs include family pass (formerly known as Mentura) which bills itself as "your ticket to the family entertainment."Family Passport carries a wide selection of movies, TV shows, educational, and home school videos and spiritual fare. All addressed to a family audience.

Edited film

Another popular source of films suitable for family viewing will come from companies that specialize in editing videos remove profanity, excessive force and more adult situations.

Club members can rent the edited version of the popular films, which can otherwise be much smaller than the family-friendly.

Online clubs to edit movies include CleanFilms, Flick's Club, family edited DVD and CleanFlix to name a few.

DVD Software filter

A company called ClearPlay offers DVD software which removes the graphic violence, profanity and more adult situations.Movie filter used for specific movies and ClearPlays list continues to grow.

Family movie reviews

Online is also a great place to discover family movie review sites that help parents to decide what movie to see in theatres or on DVD.

Foundation Dove, long a family movie fan, provides online film and video reviews, And if you are out shopping for movies or videos in your favorite store, you can look for Foundation Dove seal of approval and (much like the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval"); Foundation Dove Seal is shared only to the films and videos that meet certain standards for family viewing and has screened and reviewed by the Dove Foundation reviewer.

Other movie reviews available online includes The Family Style Movie Guide, Movie MOM, screen it!, family Cow, grading movies, Kids In Mind and Ted Baehr MovieGuide which examines and interest rates for movies from a Christian value tripods.

Family Movie Night

Watching movies at home on DVD as a special night for the whole family has been very popular.

Why spend a small fortune with your family to see a movie in a theatre where you can have quality fun time in your own home? you are controlling the films your family looks with a particular movie night; No more nasty surprises!, and you are guaranteed the best seat in the House.

DVD Movie Club

It is easy to join an online film Club that offers films for the family, or even better "compete" in family films and video.

So take a look at what is available on the Internet and join a club that family film; most offer a variety of special benefits to Club members that make online club membership is very convenient and affordable.

Then pick up some delicious popcorn and some other goodies and start the wonderful tradition of family movie night in your home, a tradition that you and your children will remember fondly for years to come.

And remember that some of the best and most popular videos all time have been the family movies.

If you want to know more visit right now

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to create a family tree software and website reviews

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"Darling! Where is my grandfather's certificate of birth?"

"You think it was on my writing table? It isn't there anymore!"

"Well, if it was there the other week, love, where it is now? I'm looking there, and it's not there."

"Belinda! Where did that sheet of paper go with my Mom's information, you know the one with my great, great Granny's name scrawled across the top?"

When I began my family tree research, conversation between me and my wife went something like the above. It was wild. I had a pile of indispensable facts that sat on my desk in no particular order. It consisted of every document and photocopy I could find or buy about our family's history, cocktail napkins with bits of the past on them, and assorted tablets filled with data. In next to no time, I was losing track of vital pieces of information, some of which I couldn't remember I'd lost until weeks later. It was an expensive lesson and hopefully one you can avoid. Information and birth certificates needed to be reordered and once again attempts were made to organize it. I began to wonder if I'd taken on too much. It was then that I discovered the wonders of family tree software to help a build a tree but organize all my thoughts, bits and random errata into a coherent, usable form

With that said, I would like to share with you my experience with family tree software and the different websites out there on the Net to help you produce your family tree. First, there is a difference between websites that have research tools and information, and websites that offer ways to document your findings.. Initially I want to talk about those software and websites which keep track of the information you will collect and organize it into a usable form. I will also attempt to clarify what is, at times, a blurring of the two types of sites and software available.

What I won't do is bore you with a lengthy list of software and websites. I will only list the sites I know, the ones that are most well-liked.

- - - - PAF from LDS - Family Tree Maker - Roots Magic

Why bother? It seems bizarre I know, but why would you want software for making family trees? Well, first for most folks, you want a single place where you can store the mass of data you are going to detect. Let's be honest. That's not exactly what the software is about! When most folks start learning how to make a family tree, they are pretty much interested in seeing one of those big diagrams with all their names listed. You want a framed version on your wall with your whole history in front of you, right?

Okay, so what we have figured out is that you will need somewhere to put all your info. Unless you are thinking to keep thousands of napkins strewn about or if you are super-organized and keep paper records in a neat system, you will want to be able to keep everything in one place. When you start doing your family tree, you will want to record all the facts you come to, like birthdates, addresses where your family lived, occupations, etc.

As you get more into looking into your family tree, I propose that you keep all the source numbers you use for research. I will explain this in another article, but keeping links on how you got the facts, means that if you need to check it, you can get to it easy.

You will want to be able to develop full charts with your software . It is great if you can develop other reports, such as story boards, which give a semi-automated story for your family depending on what details you fill in.

Software and websites to consider include:

Let's take a closer look one of the new sites on the Internet. It has built its reputation on a very simple marketing model - appeal to young people and non-techie types. The basic premise of this site is different than other genealogy software offerings. You fill in your details, fill in your family's details and invite your family via email to expand on what you know. has one of the simpler interfaces of any of applications I've seen so far. You can add whole family members in an instant! A great working plan, too, why do all the filling in of forms manually?

On the downside, this site does have a few serious design and processing flaws which would give one pause for thought when filling in personal info. After all, you are putting in very personal stuff like mother's maiden name, family names, dates of birth and the like. Another flaw, although not confirmed is that when you add your relatives' email addresses Geni will send emails directly to family members. As a result, they've gotten a reputation of being a bit spammy for their tactics. To date, they have denied this, but it is a well known rumor.

Another area that needs improvement is in the reports and graphs produced by They are limited as it only allows you to input a limited data set. That is sufficient for some users; however, if you want to do an in-depth tracking of your relatives over their lives or from census to census, it is less feasible. You will wind up having to log one data set for each person while a viable workaround, it is time consuming and extra work.

Other things that make this website less than ideal:

- There is the inability to share information across trees, even if you have the exact same names and email addresses.

- With the addition of many software packages for family tree building, it was decided that there needed to be a standard file format. This standard is called GEDCOM, and utilizes the extension *.ged. It is also a way to allow you to import data from other programs or family trees. doesn't support this format. is, however, free! And while some may say that you get what you pay for, I find some things about this site that is worth considering. I can tell you that I am not entirely convinced that this is the most appropriate tool for all but the very beginners.. It doesn't present you with credible tracking tools or reports and your data is potentially unsafe if the company is sold.

Ancestry is the next website we will review. In actuality, it is pretty similar to in conception; you enter your details online, store and retrieve your saved information from a single location. in essence, serves as a hub for all of your family genealogy info There are, however, some very significant differences between them. has been around for a while and their attention to security is top-notch. When you put your personal, family details out there on the Internet, security is a real issue. You want to know who is reading your material. has some definite variations:

- Ease of retrieval: Retrieve your information directly from Ancestry. - Cross family trees: Make crossovers to other people's family trees. - Add extra information to genealogy: Add extra information like occupations, addresses, christenings, and the like.

You are, of course, relying on the company to secure and store details about you and your family, so you may want to be careful what you publish; however, has a strong encryption algorithm which can give you some piece of mind.

On the upside, it is directly linked to Ancestry, so when you add a new family member it will check its database for details and offer you what it thinks might be relevant information about other portions of your family. You can check it and directly add any information you find useful from Ancestry to your family tree. There are many advantages to this including speed and ease of use. Ancestry will match you to other people in your family who might be building family trees of their own, because as they build, the database is updated.

The ancestry online tool allows you to add multiple entries for addresses, occupations, and the like which, once you start to use the census information, will become increasingly significant.

On the downside, it still has limited print functions and exports and imports aren't possible, so should you ever want to move your material to another area, you will need to retype everything you've collected.

See the video here:

While Tribal is very similar to the other two online based systems, it does take steps in the import/export area by introducing GEDCOM and it also sports some really fine reports. The interface, unfortunately, isn't very user friendly and at points is downright hard to understand. It also seems to continually mix up family trees making it an altogether frustrating journey.

Personal Ancestral File (PAF)

This free piece of software is provided by the Latter Day Saints as from their website. While the software has an easy to understand interface and you can add details as you like, it isn't linked to any of the online databases and there are some entries for the LDS that can't be disabled. There is a reporting tool from the same site that enables you to print your family tree viewing up to 3 generations and there is an extra addon for $6.75 which will allow you to produce 10 generation printouts with posters. While the free software is good, there are some reasons one would want a full fledged piece of software that has complete reporting capabilities and a better user interface. It does, however, do GEDCOM imports and exports.

Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic

In base functionality Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic are very comparable and both are similar to PAF. The major difference comes in user input of the free version and in their reporting capabilities. The reports from the paid for software are very customizable, and as a result produce some great storyboard type reports.

Roots Magic and FTM2008 allow you to produce standalone versions of your family tree on a CD (or share via email), so that you can give it to family members. You can also make a website that you can show relatives and friends.

Roots Magic comes in two variations for the UK and one for the United States. The US version is comparable to the basic UK version, and it might be all you will ever need. At a price of only $30 or £15, and you can buy and immediately download it online. You can also download a demo version (15 days) from the Roots Magic website. In my video tutorials, I will use the Roots Magic software, but will show also you how to do the same things in PAF.

Family Tree Maker 2008 will cost you $10 more at $40, but it does have the advantage that you can link directly into Ancestry. While you will have to wait for the CDs to arrive, it is a very nice piece of software. I have never personally been all that thrilled with its link to Ancestry, but that and the wait is its only downside. The link is indiscriminate at best and at times returns all sorts of nonsense.

Family Tree Maker 2008, as a result, has been less than well received by most people because of some of the aforementioned issues.. The 2006 version seems to work much better and is on the whole considered a much more stable product. Go figure..

Roots Magic video here:

I would initially look into PAF: it is cheap, easy to use and has everything you would need for a simple setup. Meanwhile, I would download a trial version of Roots Magic to consider. At $30 dollars, it isn't a huge outlay and will give you a lot for your money. Although FTM2008 links direct into Ancestry and has some more fancy bells and whistles, it's not all that useful and can be downright frustrating according to many users. PAF will give you the ability to export GEDCOM files which you can then import into something like Roots Magic later anyway. It is excellent preliminary step if you don't want to spend anything or not that much.

Simon is a writer in the field of genealogy, and has a blog on free genealogy research at How to Make A Family Tree for Free

Screening of family Crucible

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The Family Crucible, by Napier and Whitaker (1978), reads like a novel while at the same time laying down some of the fundamental concepts of family systems therapy. It is a case study of one family's experience in family therapy. While the therapy shifts from daughter to son and then to parent interaction to daughters and son, it is finally the couple's marriage that must be treated if issues are to be resolved. Even the grandparents are brought into therapy to get at the family of origin issues.

The book opens with a quote from James Agee and Walker Evans: "The family must take care of itself; it has no mother or father; there is no shelter, nor resource, nor any love, interest, sustaining strength or comfort, so near, nor can anything happy or sorrowful that comes to anyone in this family possibly mean to those outside it what it means to those within it; but it is, as I have told, inconceivably lonely, drawn upon itself as tramps are drawn round a fire in the cruelest weather; and thus and in such loneliness it exists among other families, each of which is no less lonely, nor any less without help or comfort, and is likewise drawn in upon itself."

Through the telling of the Brice family's story, Napier and Whitaker illustrate underlying dynamics such as structural imbalances in the system and how child focus is a typical method used by unhappy couples to avoid dealing with their own marital and family of origin issues. Fusion, triangles, individual and family life cycle stages, family-of-origin themes, polarization, reciprocity, blaming, and the hierarchy and characteristics of living systems are among the concepts that are explained and illustrated through this family's therapy experience. David and Carolyn, an unhappily married couple, are the parents of Claudia (the IP), Laura, and Don. The book is well written and hard to put down once you start reading it.

Whitaker has been criticized in the field, because many people believe that he does not really have a theory. It is believed that it is only his charismatic personality that drives his treatment. I disagree. I believe that one has only to read his chapter in The Handbook of Family Therapy (1981) and see these concepts illustrated in The Family Crucible to realize the depth and breadth of his theory.

In the service of reviewing the book, it is useful to consider Whitaker's background and key theoretical concepts. He began as an OB/GYN and had no formal psychiatric training. He became involved in treating schizophrenics after World War II. Whitaker was interested in understanding disturbed relationships in a familial context and in determining whether serious symptoms such as those in psychotics might be reinforced by dysfunctional family patterns and beliefs.

From 1946 to 1955, Whitaker (1981) became involved in treating schizophrenia with a type of aggressive play therapy. In fact, Whitaker's most formative training was in a child guidance clinic where he learned play therapy (Whitaker, 1981). Whitaker used some outrageous methods, including learning to talk "crazy," arm wrestling, use of a baby bottle, and rocking, all of which were rooted in his training experience.

At the same time that he developed these techniques, he developed a kind of pyknolepsy, wherein he would fall asleep in the middle of a session. He would dream about his relationship with the patient being treated, and then make his associations to the dream a part of the therapy session (Whitaker, 1981). In justifying his unique techniques, Whitaker emphasized that "Each technique is a process whereby the therapist is developing himself and using the patient as an intermediary, that is the therapist is interacting in a primary process model" (p. 188).

In 1946, Whitaker (1981) moved to Emory, where he became chair of the Department of Psychiatry. It was here that he developed dual co-therapy with Dr. Thomas Malone. In 1964, Whitaker worked with David Keith to develop a postgraduate specialty in MFT at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. The development of symbolic-experiential methodology required students to ". . . take everything said by the patient as symbolically important as well as realistically factual" (Whitaker, 1981, p. 189).

Whitaker (1981) defined health as ". . . a process of perpetual becoming" (p. 190). He emphasized that what is most important in a healthy family is ". . . the sense of an integrated whole. . . The healthy family is not a fragmented group nor a congealed group. . . The healthy family will utilize constructive input and handle negative feedback with power and comfort. The group is also therapist to the individuals" (p. 190). Whitaker also defines the healthy family as ". . . a three to four generational whole that is longitudinally integrated. . . maintaining a separation of the generations. Mother and father are not children and the children are not parents" (p. 190). Whitaker also looked at the degree of volitional access parents and children have to outside support and interests. The families of origin in healthy families are on friendly terms.

Importantly, Whitaker looked to spontaneity as a marker of healthy communication in families. The healthy family allows each member to admit to problems and to identify competencies. Thus, it is emphasized that healthy families allow great freedom for the individual to be himself. Whitaker (1981) states that ". . . normal families do no reify stress" (p. 190).

Whitaker (1981) emphasized that a basic characteristic of all healthy families is the availability of an "as if" structure, which permits different family members to take on different roles at different times. Roles result from interaction instead of being rigidly defined. They are defined by various conditions, including the past, present, future, culture, and demands of the family at a given time. On the other hand, Whitaker defined the dysfunctional family as ". . . characterized by a very limited sense of the whole" (p. 194). Lack of flexibility at times of change, covert communication, intolerance of conflict, lack of spontaneity, lack of empathy, blaming and scapegoating, a lack of playfulness, and little sense of humor are all markers of unhealthy families from Whitaker's perspective.

Whitaker placed heavy emphasis on the technique of co-therapy. In The Family Crucible, for example, the reader constantly witnesses Whitaker and Napier turn up the power. Whitaker and Napier's process techniques illustrated in the book are designed to disorganize rigid patterns of behavior directly in session. The exposure of covert behaviors is considered to be the family's misguided effort to stay in tact by submerging real feelings. There is a decisive here-and-now quality to symbolic-experiential interventions used in The Family Crucible, with a focus upon creating and then addressing en vivo emotional dynamics in therapy session.

Napier and Whitaker insisted that the entire Brice family be present in therapy. Indeed, Whitaker's symbolic-experiential treatment model considered it crucial to begin the treatment process with the entire family (Napier and Whitaker, 1978). Whitaker (1981) has emphasized that "Our demand to have the whole family in is the beginning of our 'battle for structure.' It begins with the first phone call" (p. 204). He asserts that it is ". . . difficult to do process-focused family therapy without the children" and the ". . . experiential quality of family therapy requires the children's presence" (p. 205). In the book, Napier and Whitaker (1978) frequently attempt change through playing and teasing, especially with Laura, Don, and Claudia. Members from David and Carolyn's families of origin are invited to session. Whitaker (1981) states that in arranging for four generations to come to interviews as consultants that he is ". . . helping to evolve a large system anxiety" (p. 204). Experience is privileged over cognitive engagement throughout the treatment with the Brice family, as it is conceptualized that experience trumps cognitive growth in this theory.

Napier and Whitaker (1978) describe their co-therapy as symbolic of a professional marriage. Early treatment of the Brice family involved the co-therapists making decisions. Symbolically, they viewed the family as a baby taking its first steps. As such, the family required structure, so it follows that the therapists made unilateral decisions. Once Napier and Whitaker had won the battle for control, the therapists, like parents raising children, soften considerably. In the middle phase of the Brice family's treatment, decisions about treatment were made more collaboratively. Again, the model for this process is increasing differentiation of the family. As therapy proceeded, the therapists took increasingly smaller roles, watching like proud parents as the Brice family became more integrated into changing themselves independent of the therapists. Whitaker (1981) clarifies that the therapy process ". . . begins with infancy and goes to late adolescence, where the initiative is with the kids, who then bear responsibility for their own living" (p. 107).

Throughout the book, it is implicitly and explicitly emphasized that the self-development of the therapists is the most important variable in the success of therapy. Napier and Whitaker (1978) acted as coaches or surrogate grandparents to the Brice family as therapy progressed. They were active and considered themselves to be the forces for change. Rather than a blank screen, they acted as allies of the family system. Especially in the beginning, Napier and Whitaker were directive. They used silence, confrontation and other anxiety-building techniques to unbalance the system. They acted as catalysts, who picked up on the unspoken and discovered the undercurrents represented by the family's symbolic communication patterns. The co-therapists privileged their subjective impressions.

More than anything else, Napier and Whitaker (1978) had the courage to be themselves. They knew how to meet the absurdities of life and how to bring out people's primary impulses. They believed strongly in the healing power of the human being, and, even more, of the family. They insisted that the family be in contact with its own craziness, play, and honor the spontaneous through their own modeling and directing.

The reader could observe how this symbolic-experiential therapy team moved through several stages. In the early part of treatment, the co-therapists battle for structure and they are all-powerful. In the mid-phase, the parental team functioned as stress activators, growth expanders, and creativity stimulators. Late in treatment, the co-therapists sat back and watched, respecting the independent functioning of the family. Whitaker (1981) holds that the "The sequence of joining and distancing is important. It is a lot like being with children. A father can get furious with his kids one minute, then be loving the next. We take the same stance with families" (p. 205). Thus, the role of the co-therapists was dynamic over the course of treatment with the Brice family.

Whether as a training therapist or a lay reader, it is inspirational to study the therapy offered by Napier and Whitaker (1978) in The Family Crucible. Self-disclosure, creative play, teaching stories, spontaneous interpersonal messages, the use of metaphor, and the sharing of parts of the therapists' lives that reflect a working through in their own living are used generously. Process techniques intended to activate confusion around Claudia, the identified patient, unbalance the system, and open up authentic dialogue between marital partners and between the generations of extended families are used. It is emphasized, however, that it is not technique, but personal involvement that enabled Whitaker and Napier (1978) to do their best. It is continually illustrated how symbolic (emotional) experiences are fundamentally formative in the treatment of families, illustrated poignantly with the Brice family. Therefore, such experience should be created in session. To expose the covert world beneath the surface world is the most curative factor for the Brice family, is it is for all families. By getting inside the Brice family's unique language and symbolic system, the therapists were able to move the family's awareness from the content level to the symbolic level.

In THE FAMILY CRUCIBLE, Napier (1978) describes the curative process of Whitaker's family therapy from the perspective of the co-therapist. The courage to embrace life's absurdities involves the courage to be oneself, to the point of even sharing your free associations and thoughts with families. Daring to participate in the lives of the families, or even inviting them to share in your own life in order to get them in contact with submerged associations, helps families to get to the primary process level. In fact, the book underlines that the force of the therapist is central to treatment, so that the family's encounter with the therapists is the primary curative agent. The goal of psychotherapy with the Brice family, as with all families, is to provide therapeutic experiences, and questions should be fired off in ways to unbalance the family. When Whitaker asks Carolyn, "When did you divorce your husband and marry the children?" he acts as an agent of change. He does not care whether the client likes him. And it is here that one realizes that the success of the psychotherapy depends on the emotional maturity of the therapist. The person of the therapist is at the heart of what good psychotherapy is all about. Since Whitaker states that therapy for the therapist is crucial, experiential training is essential for the therapist who would provide his/her clients with experiential treatment. In conclusion, this highly readable, inspirational, and useful book deserves a central place on every therapist's bookshelf.


Whitaker, C. A. (1981). Symbolic-experiential family therapy. In A. S. Gurman & D. P.

Knistern (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy (pp. 187-225). New York: Brunner/Mazel.

Napier, A. Y., & Whitaker, C. (1978). The family crucible: The intense experience of

therapy. New York: HarperCollins.

Dr. Barbara Cunningham, MFT

Family business is BIG Business: Not just a "MOM and POP"

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What is a Family Business?

Far too often, when people hear the phrase "Family Business," they immediately conjure up the image of a little Mom-and-Pop grocery, shoe repair shop, or news stand. Perhaps they think of family businesses as quaint reminders of an era passed, or see them as heroic little David's fighting the corporate Goliaths.

That's just not so.

According to a study by the 2003 study commissioned by the Raymond Institute and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, 89% of all business in the United States are family businesses, including some of the largest publicly traded companies in the country. In fact, family businesses represent 64% of the Gross National Product! Surprised? Do these companies sound familiar?

Take a look at these companies, and see if your perception of family business is changed:

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT). With over 1.25 million employees and 4000+ stores, Wal-Mart is the largest retailer and largest private business in the U.S. Founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and his descendants currently own 38% of the company. I wonder how tough it would be to get something done if the Walton family was against it? If that's not family control I don't know what is.

Ford Motor Company (NASDAQ: FORD). In the world of publicly traded companies, it is often the case that when a single person or entity owns 5 to 10% of the stock, they can control the company. The Ford family still owns 40% of the voting stock in the Ford Motor Company. Read their company story - some of the Ford's have left interesting legacies - remember the Edsell? Nevertheless, no matter what - the Ford family calls the shots.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT). Founded in 1928 by Paul Galvin, Motorola made the first car radios, later moving into television manufacturing, and is now arguably the most popular manufacturer of wireless communications and cellular phone equipment. As companies grow requiring outsiders in various leadership roles, the names on the letterhead and faces on TV change, but the family culture is always there.

Considering the family business in the 21st Century we can think about a family business in two ways:

Whether or not they are owned and/or controlled by a small group of people, or whether or not they act like a family in terms of how they handle each other, their employees, and their business.

The first scenario is obvious - the second, consider your workplace.

Invariably there are people who have taken on family-like positions that have nothing to do with their place on the organization chart. Someone is the person we turn to when we need help with a colleague, like our mom did when we had problems with our pesky brother or sister. Someone is the father figure, wise and thoughtful who pushes us to put aside our differences and get the job done. There are people like our favorite uncle - he doesn't seem to accomplish much, but he is such a great guy who could let him go? The parallels are endless.

And even large companies without the family component are operating with family systems. They exist in many business environments because its a well-known principle that family systems are successful at getting the most out of people.

Some Fortune 1000 sized companies are organized around a system of having no more than 150 people at one installation. They recognize the value of the family (teams) atmosphere and believe they are more important than the "economies" that could be achieved with larger business units.

Typically, when the experts consider the criteria that characterizes and organization as a "family" business, they look at these three characteristics:

A single family controls the company's ownership.

The controlling family's members are currently active in top-level management.

The family has been involved in the company for at least 2 generations, or it appears they will be.

Not all three must exist, but all typically do. The huge misperception remains, however, that all businesses run by families are mom-and-pop. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

Challenges for Privately Held Companies.

I've given examples of family businesses that have grown into giant, worldwide corporate entities. But what about the privately held family businesses who stay out of the public's hands, companies you couldn't buy stock in because it's not for sale? Can they compete against the Fortune 500?

Cargill Incorporated. Headquartered in Minnesota since 1865, Cargill is the world's largest privately held company. Its 95,000 employees buy and sell commodities with operations on six continents. Cargill and MacMillan descendants have run the company for five generations, with family members owning 85% of the company, and key employees owning the remaining 15%.

Koch Industries: This privately owned company with over 11,000 employees in Wichita, Kansas, owns a diverse group of companies engaged in trading, investment and operations around the world.

Clearly, these privately held companies are playing in the big leagues. No Mom-and-Pop shops here. With publicly traded companies making up such a tiny percentage of all businesses it should not be a surprise to us that this is the case. In fact there are over 30,000 privately held companies in the US with annual sales of over $25,000,000.

Typically however, since the family owned companies are not continually looking for investors money, and because they do not have a public information staff - to keep their name in the media and hold their per share value up - we never recognize their dominance.

Common Ground.

What do these privately held companies have in common with large, publicly traded businesses?

When it comes to the problems associated with getting along and working together, they have exactly the same issues that any large company has! And, focusing down through smaller and smaller companies, it becomes clear that the problems are the same at all levels of business.

And bigger companies don't necessarily mean bigger problems.

From a financial angle, smaller, privately held companies have exactly the same stumbling blocks as their megalithic counterparts, but the situations can be even more intense, and the consequences even more dire: After all, its one thing if you're losing stockholders´ money, its quite another when you're losing your own!

So, what's my point? Well if you are a member of a family owned company, you already know this stuff. I'm really preaching to the choir, aren't I? When I meet someone for the first time and they ask me what I do and I say "I work with family businesses" - many of them will launch immediately into their story - how their great grand father came to the US with only his clothes on his back and a carpet bag full of samples from the family business in the old country and on and on the story goes.

This article is actually for the rest of you. Those of you who thought (before you began reading here) that family business and mom/pop businesses are the same things. Those of you who wish to serve this huge audience, now that you are beginning to see the potential, but are not sure how your experiences with government agencies, the university, and big companies will translate to Main Street.

Business is Business.

Its not about Mom-and-Pop. Business is business. It's human nature to want to snag the huge multimillion dollar sale to the one giant company in your area, but the regular mainstream businesses in your neighborhood are the ones that will benefit the most from your experience and expertise (and vice-versa). With no committee meetings, board approval and endless request for proposal requirements.

For example, there are far more opportunities for conflict resolution professionals to build their client base and reputation in the family business arena than in the publicly traded arena. There are many more insurance prospects for $500,000 policies than $5,000,000 policies. And since 755 of all companies have fewer that 25 employees - there are many more opportunities among them.

Professionals of all kinds will find a greater number of opportunities among family businesses than the public companies - there are so many more of them. And when you don't get the appointment, or you don't make the sale, or a client drops you in favor of someone else, it won't be fatal - they'll be easier to replace than that single giant client you've spent your life looking for.

Fewer than 50,000 companies are listed on all the stock exchanges, but there literally millions of companies that are not. And "privately held" don't necessarily equate with small profits: Over 20,000 privately held family business in this country have over million dollars in annual sales!

So, I ask again, how are they different? We've seen that, from a business standpoint, they are alike; same regulations, same structures, same challenges, etc. But family business means that people are related. And you can't just choose, when the going gets rough, to stop being related.

People are often forced into situations where they must work cooperatively in an interdependent, long-term relationship with people they wouldn't have necessarily chosen to work with, and they can't (or won't) easily leave. People need to be able to get along with their family members at work, because they will need to get along with each other outside of work.

In addition to the standard business angles, people in a family business are in the unique situation of having to juggle family and personal dynamics with other on-the-job stresses. For example, a family member feels that the matriarch or patriarch loves their brother or sister more, and gives them preferential treatment at work.

Or a brother-in-law with an advanced business degree is passed over for president in favor of the son, who can barely add a column of figures! Mixed messages come from the senior generation often keep one group of people thinking they're entitled to something that they are not going to get.

So, if you're working in a family business, you've got all of the issues associated with managing a business, getting along with people you may not want to work with, a lifetime of the personal baggage that comes with any family, and the knowledge that one day, all of this will be yours.

And it might be yours sooner than you think! Not long ago The Wall Street Journal featured a survey on the transition plans of business owners. The great majority of owners of family-owned businesses see their businesses continuing in family hands.

In fact, 9 out of 10 family leaders said that the family will control the family in 5 years. These are significant figures when you consider that 39% of businesses will experience a leadership shift in the next 5 years, and 56% in 10 years, as today's leaders retire.

Family Businesses and Professional Solution Providers.

Emotional issues often overrule logic in the family business environment, and by learning about the advanced emotional challenges of family businesses, becoming knowledgeable in the techniques of conflict resolution can provide valuable assistance. And it will greatly enhance your reputation as someone who understands them (the most important element in any relationship).

All of the business issues; the management issues, the human resource issues transition planning issues-- are exacerbated by the fact that the entire process is highly emotionally charged.

Someone who understands simple conflict resolution techniques has a huge advantage over their competition, regardless of advanced degrees, professional designations, etc. They are recognized as the ones in the best position to help the company create an atmosphere where productive planning can take place.

Based on the principles found in the landmark self-help mediation text, "Managing Differences", each of us can learn the simple process of helping our clients manage their long-term family/business interdependent relationships. These are strategies that will help people work together in the long run. Integrating them into your work will allow you to help your customers develop the common goals required for an atmosphere where active planning for the future can take place.

Simple Idea, Unlimited Possibilities.

The idea is this: if you can combine your professional knowledge with conflict resolution skills and developmental coaching skills, the potential market for your services is huge. There are virtually unlimited possibilities to add to your business, your satisfaction, your client base, and your revenue by reaching out and going after the family-owned businesses in your area. they're easy to reach because they're everywhere. And once they understand how you can help them, they will reach out to you to help them.

Sure, everyone wants the big deal-- The government contract, the training contract with the megacompany. Typically, those organizations take weeks or months or years to make decisions. Numerous meetings, an unwieldy chain of command, and decision by committee all slow things down. You will have made a huge investment of your time and effort before you even get the green light, if you get the green light.

Smaller, family-owned or privately held companies can make snap decisions. They can determine whether they like you or not, whether they think you can help them or not, they can say yes, and they can write the check. They can make these decisions without having to ask permission.

They can be found at the Rotary club, chambers of commerce, and through tens of thousands of trade associations located in every corner of the country. And if they like how you operate they'll refer you to their friends whose family company is dealing with similar issues - a never-ending stream of contacts.

Wayne Messick is the author of dozens of articles for mainstream businesses, emerging professionals and association executives. If you are a small business advisor and want to maximize your potential, here is an outline of the resources we are using to generate all our consulting business. Resources that you can use too, to multiply your new business, your revenues, and your client's satisfaction.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, 9th Edition

Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, 9th Edition

Family Therapy: Concepts & Methods is the definitive, classic in the field and covers all the major schools and developments in Family Therapy.


Just some of the features that make this book so widely used -

  • Brief biographies and photos of some of the leading family therapists of the twentieth century 
  • Extensive coverage of professional ethics, reflecting the need for students to have increased awareness of professional issues in family therapy
  • Unique issues family therapists encounter when providing home-based services
    Latest research and data - often before that research is published in other forums
The Ninth Editon continues this tradition with many exciting revisions including:
  • several new case studies
  • a new summary of major theoretical concepts
  • a new section on working with common forms of family trianges
  • new sections on Sex and the Internet and Neuroscience and Relationships
  • and much more!
 From the Preface -

"One thing that tends to get lost in academic discussions of family therapy is the feeling of accomplishment that comes from sitting down with an unhappy family and being able to help them. Beginning therapists are understandably anxious and not sure they’ll know how to proceed. (“How do you get all of themto come in?”) Veterans often speak in abstractions. They have opinions and discuss big issues—postmodernism, narrative reconstructionism, second-order cybernetics. While it’s tempting to use this space to say Important Things, I prefer to be a little more personal. Treating troubled families has given me the greatest satisfaction imaginable, and I hope that the same is or will be true for you."

 - Michael P. Nichols


Price: $115.20

Click here to buy from Amazon

Career conflicts-Happiness of your family and your professional growth

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Happiness and success in life is all about choices that we make.

One thing is sure that you cannot keep everyone happy and at times you need to choose or prioritize whose happiness is most important to you. It is these decisions which set the pace of your life. It is these decisions which reflect your values and principles.

If you are not happy, you cannot make others happy, howsoever hard you may try. It is like, love yourself and respect yourself to be loved and respected by others.

We all have gone through this dilemma at one or another stage of our life, when we have to choose between the happiness of our family and our professional growth and have to sacrifice one for another. You need both love and support of your family and success and growth in your professional life (in your career). You cannot give your 100% to your family and 0% to your profession and you cannot give 0% to your family and 100% to your profession. It is like Game Theorem, wherein the actual size of market will remain same and loss of one will be gain of another and it is up to the individual to set the balance.

In this article we will learn about that conflict of our life.

Understanding the Family

You cannot have control on your birth. Once you are in this world and grown-up enough to understand, who you are, you start making choices. At that stage you should not bother about anyone except your parents. Once you complete your basic qualification, your schooling, you start making choices and here whatever choice you make or the decision that you take, will have long-lasting effect in your life. Then you choose area of your interest and followed by your decision about the type of career that you want. You choose to get married. You choose to have kids. Now, for you your family consists of your parents, your spouse and your kids. Sometimes, you can have "Conflict of Interest" in these family members as well.

Understanding the need to have profession / career

Love, care, understanding and togetherness, all these are required in life but along with these things, you need many other things in life and for that you need money. You don't need to be a billionaire or the wealthiest person in the world, but you need fair amount of money / wealth to get the basic necessities of life, which can be as basic as food, shelter and cloths.

1. You need money to buy a house

2. You need money to give good education and career to your kids

3. You need money to take care of the medical needs and healthcare issues of your family

4. You need "enough" money to take care of you (without being dependent on your kids) after your retirement

And this money needs to be earned.

Apart from financial security, you need professional growth to

1. Be Respected

2. Be Recognized

3. Be Rewarded

4. Satisfy your ego

5. Feel the power

6. Motivate your inner self

To grow professionally, you need the support of your family (mostly your spouse, if you are married) and you need professional growth to take care of your family in a better manner.

Professional Crisis - Relocation (Case Study)

If I get everything at my door-step, I do not need to go anywhere and my life will be so peaceful and satisfying. But, that is not the case. Sometimes, due to professional commitments, you need to move to a different place and that is a real crisis that most of us face in our professional life and it is here that you need the utmost support of your family. Here, there are three situations:

1) You are unmarried.

2) You are married and your spouse is not working.

3) You are married and both of you are working.

4) You are married but do not have kids. Or you have kids but they are less than five years of age.

5) You are married and have grown-up kids.

I asked one question in my training program to understand the thinking process of people. Question was: "You get an opportunity in a different city (might be in a different country), for a salary three-times your present salary and for a designation, which is four levels above your present designation. What will you do? Will you accept the offer?"

There is a clear difference in the thought process of male and female respondents.

87% of females are of the opinion that for them family is important. If they are working, they will not accept such job offer (career advancement) and they expect the similar decision from their male counterparts.

69% of males prefer togetherness with their family over such career advancement.

Here are some of the responses:

1. Abhinav Sahai (Business Analyst at Ernst & Young): "Personally, I feel that career is very important in life and one person from a family can make the entire family proud of his actions. As in armed forces, they work dedicatedly and whole-heartedly but still they go back to their families at least once a year. So the family ties are important, but the chance to make an impact on your professional life is also worth a lifetime of an effort"

2. Nauman Malik (Research & Development Director and Software Consultant): "Simple answer is, if family is supportive and has some good understanding then one can work at any place in the world. It totally depends on the understanding level.

3. Taruna Rao Madan (Project Manager at Amdocs Dev Ltd): "Its completely matter of priorities; and everyone has their own priority. Priorities differ from time to time; for a person starting the career, profession takes upper seat and as a married person family becomes more important. I also feel that if one side is family emotions / marriage and on the other side is your profession, both sides can complement each other and can restrict each other. It depends on how people involved in it deal with the situation. I guess it happens with nearly everyone and people involved have to choose; sometimes it's at a smaller scale and sometimes it's a major decision.

For sure one needs family support to pursue profession or a dream. For that matter one needs family support for almost everything. Sacrifice / moving out of comfort zones - yes is required for all and not just for the person in question".

4. Mohsin M (Manager Process & Strategies at YS Consulting): In Such cases and situations one should

a. Do a cost-benefit analysis...

b. Match non-quantifiable gains with non-quantifiable losses.

c. Develop alternatives and see if it is worth...

d. Discuss and Convince Family

e. Let the end decision be something which brings happiness for family since it's directly related to ones happiness.

5. Joseph Davis (Vice President at Hyperion Resources): "We all make choices in life, but I don't think it is nearly as black and white as your comments. First, starting out in a career, we all make choices. You choose not to be a doctor because you don't like to be around illness. You choose not to be a salesman because you know you are introverted. You choose not to be a farmer because you want to live in the city. You choose not to marry someone because she does/doesn't want a family, etc".

Personally, I wanted to be an oceanographer, until my first cruise, when I learned that all 3 of my mentors were divorced because of their constant travel. So I adjusted my career path. The important thing is not to get locked-in to one path, either in your own mind, your spouse's mind, or in your boss's/company's mind. Keep your options open and never say "never"

6. Sophia Dembling (Freelance writer): "I don't disagree at all that work and money are important and work in particular is in many ways emotionally fulfilling. I can't imagine not working. But I also think that to have healthy relationships as well (and this goes for both sides of the relationships), compromise is necessary. That may mean fitting your ambitions to the needs of one's family, if they are saying they feel neglected. Or it may mean that the family needs to up and move to support the breadwinner's career. That's something only husband and wife can work out. But to my mind, all the money in the world could not substitute for time with my husband, or time with a loving father. I would not want to reach old age with lots of money but starved relationships".

7. Liesl Leary (Sr. Localization Strategist--Enabler of Multilingual Communications and Solutions): "In the United States, 98% of Fortune 500 CEO's are male. Try to imagine the reasons why this must be. Is it because women are less ambitious than men? Is it because they are less intelligent? Is it because they are lazy? The book "Off-Ramps and On-Ramps" by Sylvia Ann Hewlett discusses the findings of a comprehensive survey done by the Hidden Brain Drain committee. They found that many women specifically choose to take lower level work and avoid promotions so they can balance work and life. What's interesting is that they point out that the age where you're supposed to catch your wave and get on the fast track coincides exactly with women's peak fertility and peak childcare demands. Up until the age of 30, men and women are on the same career path with equal status and pay.

Moreover, if you're not derailed by a toddler at 30, you'll be derailed by aging parents at 50--also a responsibility traditionally shouldered by women. Many women choose to simply stay home to deal with the pressure but 97% of women want to come back within 5 years of leaving the workforce. However, getting back is difficult when employers see the "time-out" as a question of dedication and ambition. In this light, it's obvious that marriage and children restrict professional growth if we keep playing with the rules that were established by men at the dawn of industry. However, if the rules were to change, e.g. if non-linear career paths were respected as much as linear career paths, or if flexible hours were not stigmatized, or if working-from home was seen as disaster-preparedness (especially in light of events like 9/11 or in my case, winter) and not as a mommy-privilege, beloved professions may not have to be sacrificed for marriage and family both for men and for women".

8. Yvonne Michele Anderson (Independent Film Producer / Internet Entrepreneur / Non-Profit and Media Consultant): "This is a question of priorities, and of personal preferences in respect of individual families. It is difficult to balance work and family, and often the choices which one must make are not ideal. There is no ideal must decide their priorities, and move on from there. One needs money, most certainly, but one should not sacrifice certain things for money. For me, work must be balanced with family, and family is more important, in the end. If I were married and had children, and my husband moved far away for work, I would not be happy with that situation.

9. Regina Yau: (Associate Director at RUSS Consulting)"Family ties in Asia being as strong as they are, for most Asians it would be contest when choosing between family and career - one should always put family first. At the same time, Asian families being as ambitious as they are as a family unit, most young people are encouraged to leave the family, go abroad and really go for all the opportunities to climb the career ladder. Wives often follow husbands when their husbands move to further their careers. When there is an offer too good to pass up, the whole family moves and the kids just have to roll with it. When one family member attains success, the whole family basks in the reflected glory.

10. Mohamed Taher (Information Coordinator at Ontario Multifaith Council): "The answer in short is, you need to be married at home (be homely and committed to the partner) and at work (be professional and committed to the passion); you can't be a bachelor at work, or vice versa. That means, you have to have two partners (in your mind you can have a divided personality)--human companionship for 8 hours at home, and business-partnership for 8 hours at @ work; Committed to each individually and wholly.

11. Anuja Rathi (Language Instructor at anilingual International School of Languages): "I've seen quite a few people turn down wonderful job offers either because their family is not open to the idea of moving, or because they themselves would feel guilty asking their families to pack their bags, relocate and start afresh at a completely unknown place. In spite of the fact that my direct answer to your Q would be "maybe", I'd like to elaborate upon it a bit.

If it is only about the spouse, I don't think the problem is too big, as the spouse can seek an opportunity at the new location. If you have small kids in tow, then finding a good school and other basics also need to be planned out. When all are willing, family does not restrict professional growth.

Changing cities/countries is more difficult when the kids grow up and feel they "belong" to one place and not the other. Hence, the sooner you move, the better it is. Once your family "takes root" at a particular location, its hard to uproot it, as the entire package of emotions and choices have to be dealt with. Most of us wouldn't leave our family, and go off someplace permanently. If its for a short while, then maybe the offer merits a thought.

In the end, it all depends on the individual's priorities, his cognitions, family values and mutual understanding. If all converge, then professional growth need not be restricted, and if they diverge, then subjective opinions and decisions prevail. Hope this helps".

12. Sujatha Das (Freelance Consultant): "I would look at it this way: It is our choice to do what we feel like depending on the priority that we give to our relationships. I am sure no one can force us to get married or have kids. It is a personal choice of the individual to do so and hence once they take this decision, they have to also abide to maintain their commitments.

We are committed to our spouse and kids by our own choice we made once, so are we not supposed to keep our commitments. Hence, feeling that personal commitments are coming in way to professional life is not the right thing according to me.

As human beings, when we are unable to take up some of these good opportunities, we feel sad and sometimes brood over it, but again here we are supposed to make the choice".

13. Seema Singh (Faculty in Design department at Pearl Academy of Fashion): "More than displacement issues, it is the non-understanding part of your family members about your job demands and your goals in life that create a bigger problem. Also, if your spouse is homely or lets say not so achievement oriented as you, that can be mega-reason for you not being a persona you could otherwise had become. I think for this reason, marriages are dysfunctional in actual only pretend to yourself and the world that it is ok with you. However, you know its not and is never going to be. You just do it for the sake that it does no harm to you than what it had already done".

My Opinion - I believe that

No war could have been won

No nation would have attained independence and

We would not have heard names like GE, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Oracle, EDS, Intel, Sun Microsystems et al, had everyone thought the way most of you have expressed themselves.

No one can dare to dream and no dream can ever become a reality...if everyone starts thinking in the similar manner.

We need to understand this from the perspective of Armed Forces. They move from one place to another place, after some years, at times with their family and sometimes without family; if they also start thinking in the same manner then who will take care of the boarders of your country. You can have any high-profile career, sports, entertainment etc, most of the time these people stay away from their family to keep their professional commitments.

Yes, you are working for your family and one of the responsibilities that you have on your shoulder is to give them a better career. You can give better career by giving them proper education and I order to get that education (that level), they not only need to be sharp and intelligent but you too should be financially strong to let them get that education. To be financially strong, one must have good must take good opportunities; one must sacrifice something, you cannot get everything and more so you cannot get "free things". There is no free-lunch.

You can grow professionally by moving up in your professional ladder and moving out of your comfort zone and by sacrificing some of your happiness and comforts. And to do all this, you need the support of your family. So, to my understanding, spouse and families should support you rather than restricting and/or limiting your growth.


Taking decisions such as relocation, no doubt is a question of setting priorities. Professional Growth and the happiness of your family are very important and you cannot have one at the cost of another but you need to understand the purpose of your living. You also need to consider your happiness. How can you spread happiness, if you yourself are not happy? A bit of compromise here and there and a little bit of adjustment is always required. Make a choice and then move on.

Always, remember you cannot make everyone happy.

Have a great day and take care.

Looking for your comments and feedback

Sanjeev Himachali

(BLOG: and

Sanjeev Himachali