Category Archives: Relationship

Your Relationships – In Balance

Here we are not just talking about romantic relationships, but all of our relationships, family, friends and lovers! To live in harmony with others, we have to have balance of openness and understanding within our selves first!

We can love someone with all of our heart, but if there is no reciprocal balance of openly giving and receiving, it will never be in harmony.

Our Reflections.

We attract people who match us, whether that is a love relationship, or friends, they will mirror us, which is why we come together in the first place! When we first meet, we are happy to find someone with the same ideas and similar goals, and we tend to stick like glue for a while.

Then we may start to see things within this person that we don’t like, but these are also elements of ourselves, it is interesting to study the people close to us with these facts in mind. What you love about them, are qualities that either you have, or would like to have within your self, what you don’t like, is usually what you don’t like, or hide within your self. (hard fact to swallow).

So you see, for us to have a wonderful blissful relationship, first we must become real about ourselves, because if we struggle with certain things, then we will attract someone with the same problems, but if we accept our self, we will then accept others.

Romantic Relationships Are Tough.

Unfortunately we don’t choose who we fall in love with, it would be a lot easier if we could get some sort of forecast or prediction, right? But once we are in love, then we would not listen anyway! As the Saying goes – “love is blind!”

We should take notice of the first signs that hit the bottom of the stomach with a thud, we usually end up saying ‘I knew that all along’!

For any relationship to work, both parties have to be open and willing from the heart, not just when we feel like it, or when we can put in some sort of effort in to saying the right words, but always. True love feelings, whether they be for a family member, friend or a lover, is when you feel emotion, and when you project this emotion to them, they are able receive it, because they are equally connected to you! Emotion simply means, energy in motion!

Open Heart.

Most of us have experienced this at some point. When we meet someone new, and we are besotted with each other, nothing else matters, and we are in tune with each other. Unfortunately that intimacy, and heart-felt love seems to get swept away somewhere, it is not because it has died, but life gets in the way and we forget to feel!

If we have a great feeling and want to share it, but our partner or friend does not receive it because of a barrier they have, they are not open, they are closed to us and our feelings! Now we reel backwards, and our feelings are rejected! It will never work! A relationship must feel alive in your heart, you must be able to feel each other! Without this deep connection, it’s like a sad agreement you have both made, just to share space!

Work On You!

Learn to become the real you, get to know who you really are. Be willing to open your heart and be real with your feelings, then you will attract to you, people with the same qualities. Your family and friends will be affected by your new open lightness, and they will either grow too, or they will move away for a while, but your growth will trigger them to acknowledge things within themselves, share your growth and understanding where you can.

Teenagers and Boundaries in Relationships

Today’s teenagers are generally considered as being egoistic, uncaring, and insolent spoilt brats who do not own any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Contrary to the sceptics amongst us, this perception of teenagers is completely wrong in the majority of instances. Talk to your teen, on his or her level, about sensitive issues or family feud questions that need to be talked about within the family, and you will see that your son or daughter does rely on you, as a parent for guidance, and to ensure domestic tranquility. It is never too soon to start talking about sensitive topics, however, it can regrettably be far too late.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that your teen really wants you to establish boundaries within the family. They may chew at the bit for a short time, but they’re really just trying you out to see how serious you really are about the boundaries you’ve set to ensure domestic tranquility. So whatever you do, stick to your guns!

Our children need to know, and they deserve to know where their parents stand on matters such as sex, drugs, alcohol, dating, and other topics. At the same time, they also need to know that you care about their concerns and thoughts. You ought to talk about matters with your teenagers, not just give them a list of rules they must follow to the letter, because we say so! Kids of all ages need some freedom to explore and grow, and all the while parents need to make sure that their teenage children can approach them to discuss anything whatsoever. If you cannot do that, there are enough outside influences just waiting to take your place.

* Tell your kids what you require of them both at home and in public.

* Respect them as the independent, young adults that they are and they will be a lot more respectful of you.

* If they need to unload on you or confide in you, be positive when they do approach you with problems or concerns.

It’s natural your teen will have queries about topics that they are interested in, and it is important that you never make your teen feel like their comments are stupid or their thoughts immature and don’t ignore these matters. Always be up front and be completely honest with them and express your concerns and share your experience with the subjects at hand. This is parent and teenager bonding at its best.

A great way to address your teenager’s problems, even before they rise to the surface is to practice with your partner asking questions your teen might ask you. Then discuss and find the answers that will cover their fears or concerns. By doing this, you will be prepared and will be better equipped to enter into a dialogue with your teenager when the situation arises. For obvious reasons, you don’t want your child to think his, or her, parents are making fun of them, so only indulge in role play when you are alone with your partner.

Now and again teens will ask questions at the most inappropriate time, much like a toddler will. Try not to be caught off guard too much. Be forthright with them rather than pushing the question to the side. Take the matter up at the time, rather than being forced to contradict any information they get from their friends, at a later date, or anyone else who are more than happy to talk with them about it.

Let your teenager know if you don’t feel comfortable discussing a particular topic, but emphasize that your relationship is more important than a little bit of discomfort. They may be uncomfortable bringing the subject up as well. Remember, you don’t have to spell out every single detail of your own puberty to your child, but using examples and lessons you have learned along the way should confirm that you wasn’t born the other side of the dark ages!

Teenagers may think they know everything, but they don’t. They need to learn as they develop into adulthood. Bear in mind, your responsibility as a parent doesn’t just stop when your child crosses the threshold into adulthood. On the contrary. In actual fact you graduate to a whole new level in your relationship. Take every chance to talk with your teenager about sensitive issues, puberty, boundaries in relationships, family feud questions and establish boundaries. Do it now while they are still at home, and before it’s too late to have an influence on them.

Relationships Matter Most

Healthy relationships equal hope filled futures.

The CEO of a California mega firm PIMCO, a $2 trillion investment fund, resigned upon receiving a note from his daughter listing 22 milestones he had missed in her life. His most recently reported annual income was $100 million. His 10 year old daughter’s compelling list of the special moments where he was absent in her life was the turning point to bring a new balance in his work and family relationships. It was the teachable moment for Mr El-Erian.

El-Erian’s said his wake up call was, “My daughter compiled a list of her important events and activities that I had missed due to work commitments. The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. I felt awful and got defensive: I had a good excuse for each missed event! Travel, important meetings, an urgent phone call, sudden to-do, but it dawned on me that I was missing an infinitely more important point… I was not making nearly enough time for her.”

El-Erian’s decision has brought better balance in his work/family relationships. He is now chief economic adviser with financial services company, Allianz, where he told Reuters he spends “50 percent of my time and I love it.”

He surrendered the good life for a much better life with less stress and more fulfillment in what matters most—right relationships. El-Erian has upgraded his “investment portfolio” which now prominently includes his daughter. This priceless investment will go on long after El-Rrian is gone to yield dividends for generations to come as well as fulfillment to serve all of them well.

Most young people today are among the majority who do not have a mother and father regularly in their life. Most do not have a mature adult relationship in their life. Their preoccupation is in their impersonal digital and game relationships which is void of personal nurturing relationships.

Family disintegration, absenteeism and the digital pseudo substitute fillers are taking an incalculable and generational toll on the health and well-being of this generation and those to follow. The economic, social, emotional, health, behavioral and addiction costs are having a tsunami impact on the well-being of our culture and nation.What threshold of “pain” and cost will it take for our wake up call?

C.S Lewis, a world class novelist said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain; it is His megaphone that rouses a deaf world.” What it will take for the “deaf” to hear. As a fish desires what’s on the hook, we have no idea what is to come but feel more and more uncertain and aware of the fragility of life.

We are hooked suckers who take the bait. If we are still breathing it is not too late to spit out the hook. Ironically, we change our ways, not when we see the bait, but more often when we feel the “hook.” Not one of us picked our place of birth, nor do we control the variables that shape our future. Fulfillment comes from personal relationships which determine our significance and legacy. If we settle for anything less we are our own thief.

The priceless value of our worth was assigned by God from the beginning of time. When all is said and done, personal relationships with God and others matter most. We can be the difference we want to see in our communities. Seize today to show the better way in personal relationships that matter most.

Improved Confidence in Relationships

A fulfilling relationship can enrich your life, provide security, contentment, happiness and joy.

But what defines a good relationship? Well a relationship based on equality, in which you feel free to be yourself at all times and which also makes you feel good, is a start! Rewarding relationships are not about point scoring, you freely do things for the other person and they do the same for you. They should provide support thought the bad times and fun at all other times.

Obviously there are many different types of relationships; family, friends, colleagues and romantic relationships, and the dynamics are all slightly different. However the following 3 steps can help all relationships become stronger.

1. Never become dependent.

Have you ever fallen into the trap of ‘putting all your eggs in one basket?’ This often happens with first loves – the whole world now revolves around your new love, the feelings are immense, overwhelming and even a little scary. You want to spend every waking moment with that person, nothing else matters. It is easy to lose contact with friends, see your family less and then if the relationship ends or sours you are left vulnerable, alone and a little lonely. You then need to go back to the drawing board and put in the effort to resurrect the old friendships and develop new ones, to provide much needed support.

This can happen at any time, in any relationship and it is essential for your confidence, and for strong relationships, to maintain some outside interests. See your friends regularly, make time for family, pursue hobbies without your partner. Of course I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to develop mutual interests, but just don’t lose your own identity. After all that is what attracted your partner or friends in the first place!!

2. Stand up for what you believe in – never be afraid of a disagreement.

There are times when you want to avoid confrontation, disagreements or full blown arguments, so you keep your opinions to yourself and simply agree with the other person. This is not necessarily wrong – if you can’t be bothered to argue over what to watch on telly, then fine!

But when it comes to the more fundamental aspects of your beliefs, desires and opinions, always express what you think. A good debate or even argument can stimulate a relationship, keep it fresh, and open channels of communication..Put your opinions across in a non confrontational way – being assertive is very, very different to being arrogant or aggressive. Always listen carefully to the other persons views and never resort to personal insults. Where appropriate, try to find compromise, not win the argument.

Stay focused on the issue. Arguing about one topic or event is fine but do not bring in old disagreements. The fact your boyfriend came home late and drunk last year is not relevant to today’s disagreement about where to go on holiday!

3. Don’t become complacent.

A relationship can become stale, boring and seem like more of a chore that a pleasure if you don’t put in the effort to keep it vibrant. Endeavour to do something nice for the other person at least once a week, and without expecting anything in return. Run a hot bath for your partner, cook your friends or family a delicious lunch or help a colleague use that new system.

Be inventive and don’t throw money at it. While gifts are great occasionally, small thoughtful gestures are much more effective in improving relationships.

Taking a time out now and again can bring new depths to a relationship – take a short break without your partner, don’t contact colleagues or friends when you are on holiday, and always make some time out just for yourself.

The Significance Of Family Law

The ever famous quote, “The only permanent thing in the world is change,” may be over used but it is true. Two people who may be very much in love today and so determined to get married and have a family can never be sure of how they are going to be in a few years time. They may be on very good terms today but they could also be the greatest enemies at some point of their lives. Because of this, family law is very important in today’s society. It may not be able to keep a family intact when their individual differences are tearing them apart but it is can help in giving them a civil and responsible end to the relationship.

Family law covers the legal concerns in a couple’s marriage especially when they find it necessary to divorce. A family lawyer will educate both parties about the consequences of divorce and their responsibilities. Family law covers the legal partition of conjugal properties in a way so that the separating parties do not have to fight over it and have an even more intense misunderstanding.

In case the separating parties have children, family law also gives their children security for their future. It defines to parents their responsibilities, like child support and child custody. It gives them the obligation to perform their responsibilities as parents and not to let their children live in a tormented “broken family” type of situation. It obliges parents to secure their children’s future by still providing for their necessities and other family needs. In case one of the parents decide to marry again, family law also covers prenuptial agreements which gives protection to his or her assets and makes sure that they are rightfully given to the children when the right time comes. It guarantees the security of the children’s future.

Even after divorce, the children should have the right to meet the family that they came from. They deserve to know who their relatives are or who their grandparents are. Family law covers grandparents’ rights, as well. If you have a good family lawyer, despite having gone through a divorce you will be guaranteed that you and your ex-partner are still be able to enjoy a peaceful civil relationship. Your children will not be as deeply affected by your marital fate.

Domestic violent is a common problem. Because of this, family law ensures protection for every member of the family – especially the children. It serves as a shield against emotional and physical abuse. It gives restraining orders to those who threaten you and your children. It gives PFA, or Protection for Abuse, orders to those who are being threatened.

Family law is very significant in protecting families; a wife, a husband and their children can never be certain about what their lives will be like in the future. Whether you have a good family relationship right now or not, it is best to get family law advice to guarantee yourself and your family security for your future.

Family Marriage Counseling

Family marriage counseling is based on the premise that individual symptoms can be cured by improving communication skills and conflict-resolution patterns within the overall household. There are many initial reasons why a family may seek out a family marriage counselor. Perhaps an unruly teen is acting out violently in school, abusing drugs, self-harming or binge eating.

Other times, a couple may be locked into a destructive pattern of domestic violence, unable to resolve differences or encountering disputes over child rearing. Regardless of the initial reason, certified counselors will give each member of the family a fresh perspective on how their words and actions influence others.

A professional who is licensed in marriage and family counseling is someone who is trained in psychotherapy and family systems, as well as someone who is licensed to diagnose and treat mental disorders. On average, family and marriage therapists will have thirteen years or more of clinical practice in their field and hold a Master’s or Doctoral degree in marriage therapy and family counseling. Since 1970, the number of marriage family counselors has burgeoned from 237 to 23,000, who are licensed in 48 states and are actively treating more than 1.8 million people.

Studies show that clients of family marriage counseling are extremely satisfied with these services, with 98% citing their sessions as either “good” or “excellent” (Doherty & Simmons). They report improvement in work productivity, coworker relationships, family relationships, spousal relationships, as well as improved community social lives.

Almost 90% of those receiving treatment reported an improvement in emotional health and two-thirds reported an improvement in their overall physical health. In cases of child deviance, 73.7% of the cases resulted in improvement in parent-child relationships, improved child behavior and improved school performance. In cases of physical or mental illness, substance abuse and disruptive behavior, certified counselors can be a huge asset.

Kids and teens often act out in strange ways; taking drugs, falling sullen, expressing anxiety, eating too much or too little, engaging in premature sexual activity, acting out in school or acting disobediently towards their parents. Often, their parent’s reaction to this sort of behavior can exacerbate the situation, even though most parents just want what is best for their child. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, family marriage counseling has demonstrated profound effectiveness in the areas of conduct disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and understanding attention problems.

Interracial Relationships

A White Guy’s Experience

You either approve of it or you don’t. But when the rubber meets the road it really doesn’t matter what you think. It’s each person’s job to mind their own business. It’s not the place for anyone to tell another person who they should love or date.

Black and white couples make the most beautiful kids and they know no prejudice. They have the best of both worlds. Look at the Rock the former wrestling champion turned actor and Mariah Carey. Both of these mixed race people are good looking people. But despite all of the positives we still get negative feed back and smart Alec remarks and reaction from the public.

If you really want to see what kind of prejudice is in a persons heart, just get seen dating a black person. As soon as they see it and open their mouth all that hate will come rolling out. Now for most people it’s not a matter of hating the other race, it’s just a matter of hating seeing the other race mixing with our own. But if its not happening to them then they need to keep quiet and if they don’t like what they see then they need to look in the other direction and there won’t be a problem.

White guys get a lot crap from dating black girls, but white girls get a whole lot more crap. You get a lot of crap from family and friends and some people get disowned. It’s like if you’re not doing what they approve of and you’re not doing things their way then they don’t want anything to do with you.

To them they are right and you are wrong, even though you may have a beautiful sexy black girlfriend and they have a fat ugly wife with a figure like an egg with legs. Their ugly wife is shaped like the planet Jupiter and is about the same size, but they still have to nerve to bad mouth you for having a pretty girlfriend with a tan.

How do I know this you ask because I’ve done been their and done that many times. It’s happened to me over and over again.I was dating a black girl and every friend I had but two evaporated instantly.

That was in the early 80s and they haven’t spoken to me since. These were friends that would spend the night and go out and party all the time and we would drive each others cars. We’ll I learned they weren’t my friends and they found out that I wasn’t their puppet. My other two friends moved away, so all these years I just stayed to myself and said to heck with friends.

It is hard to date or marry interracial when you take into account the problems that family and friends will give you. It’s harder in some communities than in others. It’s tough if you live in an all white neighborhood because there are some really prejudiced people there.

Don’t get me wrong, they are good people, but when it comes to black and white mixing they are your enemies, because you are not doing things their way. But it’s a lot easier in a mixed community if you’re a mixed couple; it’s not as noticeable there.

Interracial relationships are not for the faint hearted or wuss bags, or people that worry what everyone else is thinking. Now, other people will put on their friendly hey how you doing face in front of you and then tear you apart behind your back.

But some will just tell you to your face what they think. I say yeah like their paying some your bill of something. It’s much simpler to stay with your own race and much less strife. You won’t be dealing with crap from your family or friends, and no back stabbing or gossip.

A lot of people date another race for the wrong reasons, some just so they can brag about it and others just to find out what it’s like to have sex with them. This is lust not love. People like me already know what its like is so if I ever dated another back woman it wouldn’t be to see what its like, it would be for love.

But if you do ever meet a nice person of another race and fall in love, then what do you do? You follow your heart that’s what you do. They say love is blind and that is a true statement. The two parties involved in the relationship are blind to the interracial dilemma. But the butt holes of the world can still see and cast their opinions and insults right and left.

But the truth is outside of family and friends giving you a problem there is no problem with dating a person of another race. It’s the same as all other relationships. Family and friends are a deciding factor in whether you succeed or fail. It’s how you deal with it that counts and are you ready for the confrontations to come. Sure their will always be an exception to the rule and you will find that one in a million family that’s OK with it. But when it comes down to it its no body’s business but yours and your partners.

The Funny Face of Family

Remember the old shows Ozzie and Harriet, Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best? In their time, these TV series defined what family was for an entire nation: a family was white, middle class, had a dad and a mom and charming children. All problems were resolved in half an hour with a few commercial breaks — no one cussed, spat or got a tattoo. But family is dynamic and the face of family is constantly morphing these days. With half a million children in foster care, 200,000 a year being adopted, over one million interracial families, many two-mommy and two-daddy households, and one in three Americans reported as being members of step-families, our sense of family is shifting dramatically.  Nontraditional families are now the norm.

Taking all this in means we may have to make some internal adjustments. Recently a dear friend observed that I didn’t have a family, because in her mind family meant someone who’s raising children. It took me so much by surprise at the time that I had to take a day or two to prepare a comeback!

Our sense of family lives deep within us. It is a necessity, a drive that most of us never question. We simply make it happen, however we can and wherever we are. It is a compelling expression of self. That doesn’t mean, by the way, that we always do it well or that we thoroughly enjoy every minute of it! And it also doesn’t mean that our definition of what makes a family is always in step with reality. In fact many times our concept is at odds with reality, causing us to miss out on some of the most comforting aspects of this unique way of belonging.

These days, with relationships often in flux and evolving in variety, we may have to work hard to claim our sense of family. The language is changing as new families lay claim to more empowering words to describe themselves. Step families are now as likely to be called “blended families.”  Before you dismiss this as window dressing or political correctness, just think about what it was like for children to hear themselves being referred to as coming from a “broken home.” Broken things don’t work, broken things are not good things, and broken things get thrown away. The language we hear and use shapes how we see ourselves; it builds our identity. Children soak up the language they hear. Parents who know this and want the best for their children must choose wisely the words they embrace for their own. And they must find experiences and books and activities that underscore for their children that they, too, belong — that their kind of family, whatever it may be, is whole and worthy, and that they have a rightful place in society.

At my last birthday party, with many friends, family and extended family members in attendance, a friend came to me in tears saying she was concerned for her oldest child. She thought he might be gay and she was in a panic for how she could help him feel good about himself. “What can I give him to read?” she pleaded. “What’s out there for his age group that is appropriate?” If she hadn’t been in such distress I would have hugged her for not blaming herself or him, and for not caring in the least what the neighbors might think. Instead I tapped a book editor friend who quickly dredged up the goods on the right books. There aren’t tons out there, but they are getting better and better all the time. And I’m proud to have a friend who cares more about her son’s happiness than his sexual orientation.

For some time I was a volunteer teacher in a state prison and witnessed firsthand that, even in the absence of blood relationships, family happens. Not surprisingly the same dysfunctional patterns that prisoners experienced in their own homes is often replayed in the prison setting. But sometimes the experience of being locked up gives a person time for insight into her own history and she ends up consciously choosing to find better ways of being in relationship to others. I saw these inmates building true and lasting, though unconventional, familial ties. Allison*, serving a life sentence along with another family member, found she had to rely more on herself to define what it meant to be a whole person. She could not just accept what her blood relatives told her she should do or should be. She gradually became her own parent, in effect, at the same time cultivating a compassionate attitude toward her kin.

We need a sense of self; we need others. Finding our “others” can be the greatest joy and carries the biggest emotional price tag of our lives. It is fundamental to our well being and deserves our utmost attention. Doing it well, whatever our particular family mix, means a happier us, healthier family members, and very likely a safer planet. So if your family has a funny face, choose good words to describe it! Laugh at that funny face and be proud that you were able to create it. Teach your children, your parents and your siblings that what they put into family is what they will get out of it. And put good things into it yourself. I invite you to notice who your family is, and don’t be surprised to find they don’t always share your last name or your DNA.

Family Relationships

The family as a social unit has undoubtedly been on the decline in the past few decades. The increasing number of single parent households, increased divorce rates, and the growing gap between generations has led the family to move to the periphery of an individual’s social life, rather than its center. Truth is, today, you will have to actually work together and work quite hard to build strong, healthy family relationships.

Like any other relationship, families are built on trust. Children, teenagers and adolescents will often hide things from their parents for fear of punishment. This behavior, if encouraged, will eventually lead to their estrangement and lack of trust. It is the responsibility of the parents, therefore, to create an air of openness in the family. Kids in the family should never feel scared of sharing things with parents. As a parent, you will have to punish kids for straying out of line, but take care to not do so in a fashion that would make your kids not trust you with their secrets again.

Trust is directly tied to sharing – the crucial part of family relationships that just seems to be missing these days. All members are usually involved in their own lives, zoned out before TV or computer screens, or in their own social lives. There is too little of ‘family time’ and too much of ‘me time’. Group activities such as dinner, a movie night, a family vacation, therefore, have to be promoted to encourage sharing.

Respect (or the lack of it) is another reason why family relationships sometimes go sour. You should draw a firm line beyond which your kids shouldn’t go, and you should draw this line as early as possible. While a family should be open, there must be some sense of hierarchy too. Teach your kids to respect their elders, no matter their flaws, and teach the elders to love the kids likewise. A family built on trust, love, and respect will always maintain strong bonds.

Finally, parents must try and foster strong relations between siblings. Too often, siblings don’t get along with each other, largely due to the parents lack of intervention. Elder siblings must be taught to care for and love their younger brothers/sisters, and the younger siblings must be given a lesson in respecting their elder brothers/sisters. Only when the siblings get along will you build a strong family.

Success in a Family Business

How do you keep a family business together for multiple generations? There is no magic formula to guarantee that this can happen, but you can increase the likelihood that future members of your family will want to join your business by building a solid foundation based on seven characteristics:

Trust

Trust is a key to any successful relationship be it a business, family, or friendship. You must trust that those you work with will do the jobs they are assigned and that their focus is on the success of the organization. Those who see that you place your complete trust in will in turn develop feelings of trust for you and act accordingly.

Mutual Respect

In every relationship there must be mutual respect between the parties involved. When one party feels that they are better, or more important than others, they are taking focus away from the partnerships that can build mutually satisfying relationships. Families are about recognizing each other’s strengths and building upon those of each other; it also involves recognizing each other’s weaknesses and helping to overcome them or build them into strengths. This cannot be done when airs of superiority are presented among family members.

Loyalty

Loyalty is a character trait that is sadly lacking in the business world today; especially concerning is the increasing lack of loyalty among family members. Loyalty among family is more than key to its survival, it is an absolute necessity. Evidenced loyalty will provide family members with the confidence they need to trust each member of the family to do the right thing.

Love

This may seem overly trite, but there must be love between family members. You cannot succeed when those you are dependent on for your success are not close to your heart. If your goal is to keep your business within the family and build it for the benefit of future generations, you must honestly, without ulterior motives, love your family; not just those who are participating in the business, but all members. Love among members of the family will build the loyalty, mutual respect, and trust that are needed to make your business a success.

Service

Service to your customers and clients has always been a topic of discussion among successful organizations. The personal touch of offering clients service above and beyond what they might expect from an impersonal warehouse or department store type business will build a loyal customer base for every organization. In the family business another dynamic comes into play: Service to each other. You are not only striving to serve your customers, but you must serve one another. Family business is about building relationships of service to each other in order to make your business truly work as team and a family unit.

Flexibility

In any business, flexibility is key to survival and profit. It may even be more important in family businesses. As family members come and go, over the years and generations, each will bring different areas of expertise and interest. You must be able to adapt how structure your business, what products you create or offer, and how you actually conduct your business. Allowing family members the freedom and the excitement to bring their own personalities into the business may create a bond between them and the business that will become contagious to others within the organization, establishing a long lasting culture of innovation and flexibility.

Separation

Even though you are involved in a family business, there must be some separation between your business and family relationships. You must be able to separate the events that occur at work and those at home. Though difficult as it may be for families who are involved in a business together, their must be time to set aside the concerns of work and solely focus on building your family relationships. You cannot completely separate the family and the business because that is part of the dynamics that may make it succeed, but as much as possible you need to realize there are differences and a time and place for everything. One especially challenging part of this is when your business happens to be in your home. Having in effect a 24 hour per day business at home will make it difficult to keep the business and family separate. One way is to maintain a separate room in the home where you conduct your business. Once you leave the room, it is just as if you have left your office.

Building a successful multi-generational family business is a daunting task. Building a foundation from the above characteristics will go along way is helping achieve that goal.