Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Three Voice-keteers

We all have 3 inner voices that not only speak different "languages" but each have their own agenda. They are:
- The child;
- the parent;
- and the adult.

The child speaks the language of emotions, curiosity, life, innocence and mostly "I want". The child gets angry, sad, happy and fearful; he will get you curious and excited about trying new things; It pushes aside logic and thought for instant gratification.

The parent on the other hand, lays down the law. It will tell you how you should, or shouldn't, behave; what you can and can't do; constantly passing judgment. When you look at a situation and think something about it, that's your parent-voice kicking in.

Put the child and parent in a room together (or in your head) and, well, "fireworks" is an understatement.

Enter the peace keeper: the adult.

The adult does its best to pacify both the parent and child, yet its most important role is deciding what is best for you. Imagine this:
You are at work when your boss walks in and gives you hell for not submitting work on time.
Your child will be all over this saying "Screw this! I don't need this! I'm gonna walk out and we'll see how they manage without me. I'm too good for this!".
Your parent will be giving you a hard time passing judgement: "You should have submitted the work on time! You're so immature!".
Which is when the adult should kick in and say: "It wouldn't be wise to walk out now as finding a new job is not easy. Yes we should have submitted the work, but there is no point in crying over spilt milk. Let's apologize and try and fix it."

A "good" adult will keep things in check. A "weak" one will loose the battle against the child or parent driving you to listen to the strongest of the two, doing something that is either based on your judgement/standards (parent) or your emotions (child). In most cases this will not get you somewhere constructive...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Working in a "regular" business

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to work in a "regular" business? Just going to work without the added pressure that comes with being the son-of-the-owner?

I did. A lot.

While in the family business I was constantly questioning myself: Am I a good leader, or are people following me because I'm the son-of-the-boss? Do people truly respect me, or is it that I'm the son-of-the-boss? Am I funny, or are people smiling/laughing because I'm the son-of-the-boss? You get the picture.

And on top of that I was constantly "over-compensating" for the fact that I was the son-of: working extra hard, doing my best to not ruffle any feathers...

I was loosing myself to doubt, which slowly lead to questions of self-worth.

I kept thinking about what it would be like to just be a "regular" employee with no familial responsibilities towards the business. Would people like me, follow me, respect me? What would it be like to meet new friends, make real relationships with people you spend over a third of your day with without the "son-of effect"?

To most, these questions may seem simple or mundane. But after 13 years "buried" in the family business, in a non-natural, unreal situation they weren't to me. They were uncharted territory way out past the horizon...

Leaving the business allowed me to set sail to that horizon.

I found the answers. The fog has cleared.