Welcome to our Family Corner. As a mother-daughter team working
together for the past thirteen years, we are excited to launch this new column
for Networking Times. Teaming up with family memberssiblings, parents,
childrencan be challenging. Its not always easy to excel in business,
create winning family relationships and achieve all of your personal goals.
Our objective is to provide practical tools that will help you balance family life and work. Wed also like to address any questions or challenges you may have in this area. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Family Corner in the subject line and we will reply in the next issue of Networking Times. For now, here are four simple steps you can take today to strengthen your relationships and create balance in your life.
We all know communication is the key to successful relationships, but how much thought do we put into what we say and how we say it? Become aware of the way you speak to everyone around you, from members of your family to servers in restaurants.
For example, if you arrive home after a stressful day of doing business, your first impulse may be to yell at your kids for not doing their chores. However, if you take out your stress and frustration on the people around you, you end up creating a hostile environment. Instead of giving in to anger, calm yourself down by taking a few deep breaths and be aware of how you react. If you can notice how you feel, you will less easily be overpowered by negative emotions.
Choose your words carefully. Speak calmly, respectfully and clearly to get your point across. When you talk to your kids, your spouse or your network marketing team, it is important to remember to speak to them the way you would want them to speak to you.
Appreciate the People around You
When people feel appreciated and acknowledged, they are more positive and willing to work efficiently with each other. Make time for the people who are important to you. This is essential for maintaining and strengthening your relationships.
When a client calls, you give him or her your full attentionyou schedule an appointment. Set time aside for your family as well, even if that means setting up appointments. During those times, give family members your undivided attention; put the newspaper down and turn off your phone so they feel important. You can set up a date night, a game night or make dinner plansthe options are endless.
Have fun with this and show your family how much you care. When family members feel appreciated, life at home is more peaceful and it is easier to focus on business success.
Schedule Time for Yourself
In order to create balance in your life, make sure to schedule down time or just plain fun time into your day. One way to make this work is to delegate. Hire someone to do the work you dont want to do or that isnt the best use of your time. Pay someone to clean your house, pick the kids up from school and drop the dog off at the groomer. Find a reliable high school or college student who can file papers and return phone calls on a part-time basis.
Schedule an appointment with yourself and make time to relax. When your children are in school, visit your favorite bookstore, get a massage, spend time in the garden or just listen to music. Take your mind off everything that needs to be done and enjoy the present moment. When you feel overwhelmed, find ways to relax and gather your strength. Take a five-minute walk, a hot, soothing bath or just sneak away with a magazine. Let the phone ring! Do whatever you can to reconnect with yourself.
By changing your focus and your actions, you can transform your reality. For example, regularly taking little breaks may not be a substitute for a week in Hawaii, but with a slight attitude shift you can create a most satisfying experience enjoying the little pleasures in life.
Focus on Gratitude
Imagine what it would feel like to go through each day filled with positive thoughts and a strong sense of confidence. Wouldnt that have a powerful impact on yourself and everyone around you? But how do you make this happen when life feels overwhelming? The answer is, just change your thinking. It actually is that simple. When negative thoughts come up, dont buy into them. Dont be a victim to those old tapes playing in your head or to whoever is unsupportive of you.
Instead of entertaining negative thoughts, focus on gratitude. Sit down with your family or team members on a daily basis and take turns stating what you are grateful for. Develop an attitude of gratitude and be an example. Be grateful for each day you are above ground!
Start living your life with ease by implementing these simple techniques. Develop a game plan that will work for you and your family. Be willing to change your own behavior and the way you relate to those around you. You can talk about the changes you want to see in everyone else, but the truth is, it has to begin within you.
ANDREA FRANK HENKART and JOURNEY HENKART are active
and successful networking professionals who also give workshops
around the world teaching families effective communication skills.
They are authors of Cool Communication: From Conflict to
Cooperation for Parents and Kids.