How to Manage Conflict in Your Family Business: Building Empathy

Conflict is a natural and inevitable part of family businesses. It is a top reason that families come to me looking for help. Conflict can arise due to disagreements about business decisions, unresolved tensions and dysfunctions between family members. Sometimes it is simply because the close quarters of a family business can be breeding grounds for conflict. People in conflict tend to lock themselves into their own position.  They repeat pattens and are unwilling to compromise. However, if not managed effectively, conflict can cause serious damage to the business and relationships within it. In this blog post, we will discuss how to build empathy in order to manage conflict more effectively in your family business. What is true empathy? We …

Succession: How to Exit Your Own Business Successfully by Creating Continual Purpose

Without question, one of the biggest challenges that brings family business clients to us is the difficulty that owners- and founders especially- have in exiting the business. Though as an owner, you are not always immediately conscious of this. When your identity has been so deeply tied into the business you may feel purposeless without it. As a result, this subconscious grip you have on the business leads to many of the roadblocks that come up during a succession process. As a martial artist, I have always had an interest in Japanese culture and way of life. The book Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life dives into bringing joy and meaning into your life every single …

Would Your Tip Jar be Full?

What do you do to ensure that you are creating a relationship with your customers? I recently went to my local car wash when I saw this tip jar. Apparently “car wash attendant” was as personal as it gets. (I chose not to leave a tip to the generic “attendant.”) On the flip side, one of my favorite coffee shops always has dueling tip jars, like, “Seinfeld or Friends,” “The Simpsons or The Family Guy,” “PB&J or Fluffer-nutter,” and “Batman or Superman?” It may be a simple thing, but the rivalries engage customers, spark conversations and, subsequently, both tip jars always see some action. How engaged are the people in your sales and customer service departments, management team, etc., when …

Creating Balance

Are you looking for more balance in your life? In order to create a life that is balanced, you first need to have clarity about what life balance ultimately looks like for you. What components must be in place for you to truly feel balance in your life? Once you have clarity on what balance looks like, feels like, etc., your quest is not in just keeping it, but also how to regain it when it’s lost. I learned in Sanchin-Ryu Karate that closing the gap from when we lose balance to where we regain it is where our work lies. Losing balance in life is inevitable. Once we have mastered regaining balance, we can be in that space more …

Is Your Team Good Enough to Keep Customers Coming Back?

Whether you sell goods or services, very few things will trump your customer’s experience. When I work with clients, I often ask them how they improve the caliber of the experience they provide to their customers. The answers I usually get are the results of satisfaction surveys and the number of complaints filed in the customer service department. These may be valid data points, but they really don’t provide the true pulse of what is happening. The most optimal way to improve the experience you provide your clients is to first define what that means to you and your organization. For a service-driven company, the definition should include all the touch points that exist between your customer and you for …