So why did we choose Building Emotional Agility as our 2020 theme?

Playing multiple family and business roles well is tricky. It’s tricky knowing how to behave artfully and separate your roles (for instance) as parent, CEO, shareholder, or sibling – when you are always emotionally in all of those roles. Navigating this complexity well begins with compassionately understanding yourself – how you feel, think, and behave – as well as understanding others. This is further complicated because it’s hard to separate family feelings and behaviors – since automatic family generational patterns are always present – from what’s going on in real time. Emotional history is running through your body, mind and spirit like a computer operating system, invisibly, in the background.
We do well to pause and reflect on what’s really going on. Asking ourselves questions like: Was my intense response to my supervisor brother rational or was it because our CEO Dad always gives him a pass?
Emotional agility is the capacity to understand and be flexible with thoughts and feelings in order to respond with thoughtful intention and in alignment with one’s core principles. It is the opposite of emotional agility – getting hooked by thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make us feel stuck and don’t serve us – or our families or businesses – well.
Before we can lead or effectively work with family members, we need to understand and lead ourselves well. We need to be self-aware so we can regulate, manage, and lead ourselves. And ask ourselves:
  1. What family patterns are playing out automatically within me?
  2. How can I understand and then unhook from self-defeating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors so I can respond with intention instead of emotional reactivity?
Join the conversation with us and learn how to lead with agility and emotional courage so you can be the best version of yourself as you navigate the complexities of your 5 MOUNTAINS®. One helpful resource is Susan David’s book which every Member firm should have already received: Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life.
Susan’s approach includes 4 steps:
  • Show Up: face your thoughts, emotions and behaviors willingly, with curiosity and kindness vs getting hooked by self-defeating emotion, thoughts, behavior
  • Step Out: create space between your feelings and how you respond to them
  • Walk Your Why: focus on what you’re really about; your core values
  • Move On: find the balance between challenge and competence so you’re invigorated rather than complacent or overwhelmed
I invite you to listen to Susan’s TED talk. And reflect on the questions above.
I welcome your thoughts and questions. Here’s to learning together!

Sally Derstine

Managing Partner, Senior Family Business Advisor

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