10 Behavioral Strategies for a Successful Year-End

With the end of the year?approaching, it’s time for a review of your business performance in 2012.

What were your favorite strategies for improving personal and business performance this year? What did you accomplish and what are your goals for 2013?

The following 10 behavioral strategies?will?lead you through to a successful year-end and help you plan for the new year.

  1. Demonstrate customer appreciation based on knowing what motivates each customer.
  2. Complete an organizational talent review to determine whether each of your employees is using their unique talents.
  3. Review your team members’ communication styles as well as the strengths and blockages within your team.
  4. Evaluate current levels of customer engagement in your services.
  5. Know what motivates each employee to implement a non-financial employee rewards program.
  6. Build customer workflows that manage each customers expectations and meet their service needs.
  7. Review your leadership legacy.
  8. Learn how each of your family members likes to be communicated with.
  9. Address the amount of risk you are currently taking in your investment portfolios.
  10. Reflect on your Quality Life goals.

To learn more about our DNA Behavior solutions for addressing these areas, contact us at

Building Relationships

When it comes to building meaningful and successful relationships with your family, friends, colleagues and clients, effective communication is foundational.

Are You Building Sound Relationships?Communication DNA Profile

The quality of your relationship with any person has a direct impact on the quality of decisions that get made. If the communication is poor, people start making decisions around each other because the trust has been diminished. Also, poor decisions can be made because the information has not been heard as intended.

How Do You Naturally Communicate?

You naturally communicate based on who you are and how you see the world. Of course, how the other person hears the message depends on who they are. So often there is a gap that needs to be bridged between what was said and what was heard. Close the Gap.

One of the keys to success in any relationship is closing this gap by communicating with the other person on their terms and not your own. How the message is communicated becomes as important as the message itself. This is not always easy because when we are under pressure or out of our comfort zone, we will tend to revert back to our natural behavior.

Learn How To Improve Your Relationships

Understanding the communication preferences and life perspectives of yourself and others will help you to:

  • Communicate with others on their terms
  • Navigate differences more easily
  • Build greater trust in all of your relationships
  • Connect more quickly with others
  • Understand what motivates you and others

Knowing your own Communication Style is the first step in working towards effective communication with others.

Find out your Communication DNA Style by completing our Communication DNA Profile –Click Here.

“Know, Engage and Grow Your Customers” for an annual cost of $10 or less per person. For information on our Enterprise Solutions for improving Relationship Performance – Click Here.

Bringing Children Into The Family Business

In my work with entrepreneurs and family business owners there are quite divergent views about whether to bring children into the family business when they are young adults, or even at any stage. Some say never and others have a desire to perpetuate the family association with the business. There are cases for both. Of course, rationality plays into it and the family legacy.

In my own case, I had to work through many of the issues because our family had a pastoral (cattle ranching) business which I eventually managed for a number of years. I enjoyed it from a business perspective but ultimately did not have the passion to make it a life long endeavor. My brother was not interested at all.

The big issue is, do the children want to be involved in the business? Then importantly, what is their passion for the business?

On one side it is wrong to force the children into something they do not want to be part of. However, is it wrong to deny them the opportunity? Often parents do not want the children in the business to avoid family problems by not mixing family and business.

I believe each case needs to be looked at on its merits. The starting point should be the DNA of the family members and also the DNA of the family and the DNA of the business. By looking at the question from the inside out, the answer will soon be apparent. If the children have a very strong passion for the business then the next issue of how they are involved should be looked at. Who can blame them if the business has been discussed around the dinner table every night for 20+ years?

In considering the involvement of the children, their aptitudes and abilities need to be examined. Passion is one important aspect, having the capability is another. Often this will come down to the role they play – certainly at the start. Thrusting them into a leadership role without experience and knowledge could be a disaster. Protocols need to be put in place for evaluation and determining their place on merit.

Overall, a family governance structure will be needed which properly regulates decision making. The decision making structure needs to be separate for each of the family, investments and business. They are all quite different areas. A key part of this will be the involvement of children in the business.

Organizing a Family Meeting

How can you have sound family communication if your family never properly gets together as a family unit? Why are you holding back from organizing a family meeting? Are you concerned it will not be worthwhile? More importantly, are you concerned about some hot issues that may get raised? What happens if someone gets very emotional? Will the cost be too high?

These are no doubt very valid reasons for not organizing a family meeting. However, do you want greater family unity, and hence greater family harmony, wealth and ultimately a quality life? If yes, the key then is to start planning a family meeting and hopefully make it an annual event. Remember, every family has some level of dysfunction so you need to realize that but not let it deter you from having a meeting.

In planning the family meeting, whatever your place in or relationship to the family, you need to have a positive mind-set. The meeting is more likely to be successful if every one comes to the meeting wanting to enhance family unity and achieve a positive outcome. You may not necessarily get every issue resolved so do not expect that to happen. However, if a dialogue on some key issues is opened up in a positive way then this is a great start to building family unity.

Choosing what you want to talk about as a family unit is also very important. This will somewhat differ for each family depending on the state of family dynamics, the circumstances the family in, the opportunities and the problems. Certainly, it is safer to choose areas to discuss that will minimize the potential for confrontation. This is particularly important until the family is used to meeting and handling conflict together. Once the understanding is developed the more difficult topics can be raised. You also need to ensure that the whole experience of the family meeting is warm and exciting, even if there are large and/or financial issues to discuss. Everyone should want to come and look forward to it.

If need be, consider hiring an independent family facilitator to guide you through the process.

Birth Order and Behavior

One of the questions I am often asked is does birth order influence your behavioral style?

Well, based on the research we have performed, birth order does not influence your natural behavior. When I say natural behavior, I mean the core “hard-wired” behavior which is based on genetics and then shaped into you up to 3 years old. The natural behavior changes very little throughout your life. Understanding the influence of natural behavior is important because it is very influential on your life motivations and hence how you make decisions.

In some families you see the eldest child being the more dominant, independent, and risk taker type with the youngest being the more engaging and harmonious type. Then, in another family with the same number of children it is exactly the reverse. There is no trend either way. Further, you cannot predict which child will be more successful. The same is true of single children families. The only child could have any type of behavioral style across the full spectrum – dominant, harmonious, risk takers and creative. Generally, when there are 2 or 3 children in the family they will be very different. However, when there are 4 or more children then you may have 2 who are quite similar, yet they will still be unique.

What I would say is that the birth order could nevertheless influence some aspects of the longer term personality development which takes place after the age of 3 years. This will be because as children are born circumstances or environments in that family change and the opportunities are different for each of them. In some cases, the presence or influence of one or both parents may differ. For instance, I have seen a bankruptcy in a family have a great impact on the 2 eldest born because they had a lot taken away from them whereas the youngest 2 children hardly lived through it. Similarly, the death or serious illness of a parent could have a different influence on the eldest and youngest children. Or even a divorce. Also, there can be other factors such as the way in which one parent connects with one of the children e.g., the father with the eldest daughter or mother with the youngest son. So, what I am saying is that these types of factors are all an influence on personality and the birth order could matter. The influences on the personality development are much more specific situation driven.

Overall, I would say it is difficult to make definitive predictions of personality based on birth order. This is particularly because evidence shows the core natural behaviors which are foundational to personality development do not relate to birth order. It is difficult to say that the eldest child will always behave a certain way, then the middle children and the youngest child will also behave a certain way. The make-up of every family and the circumstances each lives through are different. That is as far as it goes. Therefore, there are no rules which generally apply.