The FamilyBiz Q&A column provides answers to your family business-oriented questions from the subject matter experts at Thomas D. Davidow & Associates.
Do you know what is meant by unconscious?
The use of psychological theory when working with families
I believe that advisors who work with family businesses assume that our areas of expertise can be as interesting to them as it is to us. We also may assume that they are in tune with and/or have knowledge of facts that we take for granted. That is especially true in the area of psychology.
Currently, I am working as an executive coach with a second generation family member. The idea is for him to understand what behavioral issues and belief systems stand in the way of his maximizing his performance. He is aware of my training as a psychologist, and I have permission to put on my psychologist hat on when I deem it appropriate.
I started talking to him about the theoretical construct that distinguishes conscious thought from the influence of the unconscious (memories about issues from the past that lie below the surface of our consciousness) on how we see the world. He looked puzzled, so I asked if he knew what I meant by “unconscious.”
He said, “Yes. When I go out with my buddies, and I drink too much, I come home, put my head on the pillow, and I am unconscious.”
I laughed. He got me pretty good. My lesson was to remember not to take myself or my craft too seriously.
Thomas D. Davidow is the founder and principal of Thomas D. Davidow & Associates. www.tdavidow.com Dr. Davidow has more than 30 years of experience working with hundreds of national and international family controlled enterprises. He has worked with businesses in diverse fields including retail, distribution, manufacturing, real estate, construction and more.
If you would like speak with Dr. Davidow, he can be reached at (617) 739-2868 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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