Monday, November 23, 2009

How to create a family philosophy.

Post 374 - While clearing out old files over the weekend, I found some "guiding principles" we developed as a family when the kids were about 10 and 12 years old.
I was doing a lot of consulting work about that time helping startups get off the ground successfully. A key part of this involved working with top management groups to create a set of guidelines for how they'd set up, organize and run their businesses. So, I though why not introduce these same ideas to developing our family! I think, in retrospect, it had quite a powerful impact on our lives by bringing us all closer together and providing a rationale for clarifying our aspirations and defining our accountabilities. So, I share it here to inform others who see value in trying something similar. It started with a list of key aspirational behaviors:

We want members of our family to be:
- Honest and Trustworthy
- Industrious and Hard Working
- Civilized and Mannered
- Considerate and Compassionate
- Disciplined and Responsible
- Religious and Respectful
- Loving and Giving.

If we all try to live according to these values, we'll be healthy, growing, confident members of society, proud of ourselves and able to provide leadership to others.

For this to happen, I believe we must treat each other in a way that's consistent with the following guidelines:

• We must openly share our experiences and feelings with each other..

• We must acknowledge our uniqueness, respecting our separate needs and aspirations.

• We must make the effort to really listen to one another, and provide helpful and supportive feedback rather than just criticism and blame.

• We must react to problem situations with humor rather than anger.

• We must "take a hike" whenever people "short-circuit."

• We must share equally the responsibilities of managing how we live together.

More tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

This blog looks very intereresting!

Unknown said...

Keep it up. I love all these posts you've been doing. They are from the heart and very inspirational!