After two decades of working closely with families, I have frequently observed a few key ingredients that are often missing when it comes to creating a stronger and more cohesive family unit.
Practice a Warm Heart, Open Mind and Curiosity
A warm heart, an open mind, and curiosity – these may seem like simple attributes, but as family members, we often find ourselves entangled in our own narratives, histories, and sibling rivalries.
As human beings, we function as open loop systems, which means we tend to mirror the emotional energy present in our surroundings. If there’s anger, suspicion, or cynicism in the room, those emotions can easily spread.
However, when we practice approaching family interactions with a warm heart, an open mind, and a sense of curiosity about what others have to say, it can trigger the same positive qualities in those around us.
I firmly believe that we are all imperfect beings on a journey to find our way in this world. Some family members may have more complex lives, involving challenging personalities and life stories that manifest as difficulties in their interactions.
But when we engage with others using a warm heart, it sends a clear signal that we genuinely care about them. When we generously offer our attentive listening and maintain an open mind, it creates opportunities for deeper conversations, mutual understanding, and increased compassion within the family.
It All Comes Down to Practice!
The core of my philosophy lies in the importance of practice. Everyone can learn to cultivate a warm heart and an open mind. The more you model these qualities and encourage such mindsets, the more likely it is that others will be inspired to embrace them.
Observe the transformation that occurs in your family as you begin to witness the presence of warm hearts and open minds in the room. Play to your potential!
Pete Walsh offers family business consulting services, workshops, tools and resources as the founder of the Family Business Performance Center. Subscribe to his newsletter or get in touch to get actionable insights to help your family business grow for generations to come.