Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Defining Self through Self-Reflection & Through Inquiry of Others

One of the top family business consultants (Founder of Dialogue Solutions , Inc.) in the country, and Author of Exit Right, (Mark N. Voeller, Ph.D.) for succession, governance & conflict management just wrote this blog on The Power of WHO.

A 3rd gen family member, with whom I consult, recently expressed his enthusiasm about a book entitled The Power of WHO. At first I was puzzled since the focus appeared to be about using your network of close friends to secure a job. The author’s initial premise (the people who know you and like you are much more likely to help you than some acquaintance separated by more than three-degrees-of-separation) seemed obvious if not simplistic. However, as I read on, it became clear that the author’s premise was much deeper and therefore so meaningful for my client.

Bob Beaudine, the author, drives the reader to consider more carefully:

  • Our view of ourselves
  • Our view of our relationships
  • And our approach to pursuing satisfaction
The book is about building genuine relationships and asking those who are already in our cheering squad for help identifying our strengths and passions. Without resorting to psycho-babble, Beaudine outlines a process for defining self through self-reflection and through inquiry of others.

I simplistically reduce much of what is written about self-esteem to the premise that the more effectively I can identify and accept my own point of view, preferences, emotional responses, and personal strengths / limitations, the greater my comfort with self. The greater my self-acceptance, the greater my sense of self – my self-esteem. Beaudine effectively encourages his readers to accept their own “Who” by being open and fully honest with those “Who” know them best.

He points out that whether we are discussing losing a job or some other awkward moment in our lives, "...you don't feel comfortable talking to your friends and telling anyone about this. So you slide to a bunker alone." Effectively, we cut ourselves off from those who best know us and our potential. The antidote, according to Beaudine, is to turn to those who know us, and who we really are, and to focus on who we ultimately want to be.

Part of his prescription for pursuing who we ultimately want to be involves:

  • Seeking feedback from those friends who know us so intimately.
  • It follows that in order to have those 3 close friends, we have to reveal and confide in 3 friends.
  • The balance of his prescription involves hearing and replacing the negative self-talk that scurries around our brain.
  • Alternatively Beaudine prescribes the use of a positive thinking process – a conscious effort to reaffirm our goals and the gifts that we uniquely possess which will help us achieve those goals.

If you pick up this little book, I encourage you not to be put off by the first couple of chapters. I must say that I initially found the first couple of chapters a little boring and repetitive. Beaudine’s excessive use of “who” caused me to reflect on the style used so effectively by Dr. Seuss. However, once past that hurdle and upon appreciating the larger message, I believe you will find that the author offers foundational principles that are easily understood. His enthusiasm and warmly presented stories bring these key concepts to life. You and your clients will remember his stories long after the book is returned to the shelf.

Unleash The Power of WHO in your friends & family’s lives today!

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