Relationships/Family


30Jul 2007

What is the Purpose of Work?

“What is the purpose of work?” is both a personal question for me and a key question for many of the families with whom I work (although they don’t necessarily ask it directly like that). Consistent with the stereotype of a hardworking Midwestern farmer, I am a pretty hard-working guy (I am not a farmer, but come from that heritage).

10Jun 2007

What is a “Good Work Ethic”, really?

When I talk to business owners and managers and ask them what they are looking for in potential employees, “a good work ethic” is always one of the characteristics cited. (This is also a frequent response from parents when they are asked what character qualities they desire for their children.) Unfortunately, today there are many factors which have undermined this

01Jun 2007

Six Principles of Positive Relationships (Reprise)

Yesterday, I was pleased and honored that the Wichita Eagle chose to publish an article I had written which was based on an earlier blog entry.  The article, entitled Six Principles of Positive Relationships, can be viewed on their website, if you are interested.  

27May 2007

How To Deal with Dysfunctional People — And Not Go Crazy Yourself

Last posting I described dysfunctional people and what behavior patterns characterize them. That is really the easy part.  The tough part is learning how to deal with dysfunctional people in our lives — whether they are family members, coworkers, employees, or neighbors — and to do so in a way that doesn’t make us go crazy (or so we don’t

21May 2007

What is a ‘Dysfunctional Family’ and How Does it Mess You Up?

Last entry we briefly discussed how one’s early life experiences shapes a person’s worldview and often continues to impact your values and decisions long into adulthood. I thought it would be good to extend this discussion into the realm of dysfunctional families. First, it is important (to me, at least) to communicate that I am as tired as anyone by

14May 2007

Early Life Experiences and Their Impact on Your Life Today

Sometimes the obvious becomes lost in the clutter of day to day living. Recently, in a number of small ways, I was reminded of how each person’s own personal life history shapes their view of the world, and thus, their expectations. These personal beliefs then translate into choices a person makes and their reactions to life circumstances. Let me cite

06May 2007

The Role of "Chance" in Life and Business

This weekend I am reflecting more on the issue of “chance” in life. (I put the term in quotes because,depending on one’s worldview, “chance” may not be the correct term — for some, the occurrence of seemingly random events are the result of Providence, for others it is related to karma or possibly one’s mental attitude, while others view the

29Jan 2007

Six Steps to Developing Healthy Relationships

This past week I was asked to write a little piece of developing healthy relationships, for a local magazine. And I agreed to do so. After writing it (and then reading what I had written), it struck me as close to “pop psychology” as anything I have written in quite a while. Even so, the principles are true and can

28Nov 2006

Lessons to be learned from extended family time together

Having just completed the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we now have an opportunity to do some reflecting and learning from the experiences we just had. Many extended families were able to visit one another and spend some extended time together. This opportunity can be both rewarding and frustrating (and often is both). For many families, especially those in business together, the

23Oct 2006

A Major Obstacle to Growing as a Leader: Blaming Others

Due to the fact that I have worked as a psychologist and family coach over the past 20 years, I have had the privilege of observing and interacting with thousands of individuals and families. Obviously, some people are more healthy and functional than others. And it is clear that we all have problems, so the existence or experience of having

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