with Aliza Sherman
If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.
To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.
Sylvia LaFair, Ph.D., author of Don’t Bring It to Work- Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success, is an expert on leadership, workplace behavior, and relationships. She is also President of Creative Energy Options (CEO), a consulting firm that runs teambuilding workshops and educational seminars that focus on results through relationships.
“I’ve been writing this book in my mind ever since I began to see the powerful impact leaders who are ‘pattern aware’ can have on their companies,” says LaFair. “As I offer executives and their teams the secrets of why we interact the way we do, I see less on-going conflict and more innovative solutions”
LaFair’s target audience are “leaders of the 21st century.” She feels these leaders can lead with more confidence when they learn about the complexities of relationship systems, especially how the learning in their original organization - their family - is replicated in their present work organization.
Explains LaFair, “Relationships have a whole set of invisible rules and we all take on roles, just like being in a Broadway play. It’s utterly fascinating. Once we decipher what is going on, make the invisible visible; relationships are so much easier to manage.”
LaFair’s book talks about the thirteen most common patterns found in the workplace. Most people operate as a combination of three to five of these patters. Most tend to revert to the roles that they held in their own families - patterns that have become hardwired over time - especially when stress escalates, and they go into survival mode.
Here are some examples of the roles LaFair describes:
1. Super Achiever- This is the person who must one-up colleagues and be the best no matter what.
2. Martyr- This person is first into work in the morning and last out at night. For the martyr, being the long suffering worker is seen as job security.
3. Denier - The denier is like an ostrich with their head in the ground. You can’t count on the denier for any real help, and deniers find a way to hide out when tough decisions need to be made.
“The list of 13 patterns in the book helps individuals begin to explore their own pattern types as well as observe the patterns of their co-workers,” says LaFair. “This is not to judge or set up a contest, it is to begin the important work of understanding the interactions in relationships and then make changes.”
LaFair’s tips for breaking these patterns include:
1. Observe yourself and others.
There are some quizzes in the book to help reveal each individual’s propensity for certain patterns. While it’s always easier to see someone else’s tendencies, the real work gets done when you acknowledge your own.
2. Understand how the patterns developed.
One way to learn about one’s patterns is to complete the “Sankofa Map” provided in the book, a tool for analyzing behavior. Sankofa, comes from the Akim dialect of Ghana and means “heal the past to free the present.” LaFair uses the image of the Sankofa bird on the cover of her book and used it to develop Sankofa Mapping, a technique she has used for years in her executive consulting practice to revisit past patterns that need “repair.”
3. Transform the pattern.
Stay conscious of the triggers other people set off in you as well as those you set off in them.
“Once you begin to work with these principles I will guarantee it becomes not only easier, it becomes more life enhancing,” says LaFair.
You can read more about LaFair’s work at her blog at http://blog.ceoptions.com/. Or pre-order her book Don’t Bring It to Work- Breaking the Family Patterns that Limit Success which comes out in March 09.
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