5 SIMPLE THOUGHTS TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH FAMILY
Everyone has a family and there is nothing better than ending a busy year by spending time with both family and friends. But for some reason the holiday season is also a time when stress and conflict abounds. I wonder how much time out of our busy schedules we actually spend working on family relationships. Have we ever stopped to consider healthy ways to manage any stress and conflict that shows up during a family get together? While we cant choose our families, we can choose how we relate to and behave with them.
Its often hard to relax when some of the invited family are unknown to us or we only see once or so a year; it tends to put even the most easy going of us on guard. Conversations can be stilted, differing opinions can lead to conflict and create a less than holiday goodwill atmosphere.
So how can we navigate these holiday events to ensure everyone has a relaxing fun-filled time?
Its an interesting thought that many of us know exactly how and what to do in our business world to enhance communication and develop ways to work around difficult colleagues, engage with clients and yet we often dont realize that a family is in fact a microcosm of our business world; it could be argued that family is the most important unit of society and building healthy relationships within the family through understanding communication and behavioral styles will read across to our business life.
So here are 5 thoughts to navigate family struggles during this holiday season.
1. All families have elements of behavior that challenge us. Think of a particular family member whose behavior is challenging and then list at least three things about that person that you value. Then use these key strengths to build a relationship with them.
2. Make a commitment to understand your own communication and behavioral style and use that knowledge to better recognize how best to communicate with other family members.
3. If you are behaviorally engaged with your family members you will focus on the issue when conflict arises and not the person.
4. Regardless of your communication or behavioral style everyone reacts well to appreciation. Consider how often you express this to family members. A word of appreciation and acknowledgement of their value to the family can change the dynamic in a room.
5. Make a point of spending time with a family member that you dont know very well. Focus your communication on them; be interested in what they have to say; remember their conversation may not stimulate you, but the fact that you made time for them and listened could be the highlight of their holiday season.
The Christmas Holiday should be a time to make wonderful memories and it often only takes one family member to change the family environment either for good or not. How about this Holiday Season you make the commitment to be the one to be behaviorally smart and navigate everyone through to a Christmas to remember.
Finally, the takeaway from this is that when a crisis does hit the family they will be able to unite and draw strength and support from one another.
Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.