Executive and Family Business Counseling

consultingFor some 30 years Shelly has counseled and consulted with an array of business executives, business owners and successful professionals on
their personal issues within the context of their business and professional roles

We all need a trusted confidant we can talk freely with, someone who can offer perspective, an “outside the box” approach to decision making that gets us beyond an impasse we are encountering.  An executive may be struggling a conflict management or communication issue; dealing with an office romance, reoccurring depression or immobilizing anxiety. The higher you rise in your career the lonelier it can get if you haven’t built in human and spiritual support along the way.

Owning a family business can be very satisfying on so many levels.  Working with your spouse, child, parent, sibling, relying on one another for business success can be strengthen of family ties.  Growing a business together to higher levels of structure and prosperity is something to be proud of.  Even successful businesses may need someone outside it to process the emotional dynamics, which entangle decision-making.  Shelly’s own practice prospered because he had ongoing business decision consultation with a “go to person,” through the years he and his wife Raye worked closely together in running a successful growing counseling practice.

Shelly has worked with a variety of family businesses including:

  • Wife-husband-owned businesses, often with a franchise structure and/or where the husband comes into the wife-initiated business from a corporate culture.
  • Husband-owned business or professional practice (dental, legal, medical, accounting) where the wife plays an essential role
  • Businesses owned by the Husband/Father, but involving sons and daughters with the wife/mother playing an essential, but informal role.
  • Businesses owned by siblings or involving uncles, aunts, nephews, cousins, etc. There is often a distinct ethnic/cultural aspect to these businesses.

Regardless of business structure, family businesses share certain issues not shared by non-family businesses. Boundary and identity issues are obvious in family businesses, as are overlapping authority and communication issues. Personal familial and couple issues infect office dynamics.  Sometimes one family member has psychological/behavioral issues getting in the way of smooth business functioning, in another there is generational conflict around how the business should progress.

Family Business and Executive Consultation helps to deal with specific problems in and around the business or work.  Members of a family business may come in to discuss an unproductive or disruptive family member who they can’t ask to leave; Founders may be grappling with succession issues; an entrepreneurial couple may come in to discuss separating family roles and behaviors from business roles, or realigning work roles in light of family obligations; a business executive may seek conflict management skills, group leadership skills, or requires confidential sessions to discuss mid-life and career issues.

Often consultation is contracted for on an as-needed basis. At other times the arrangement is for a set period of sessions over a set time. Consultations can easily be done via email, phone or Skype.