“All truths are easy to understand once uncovered,
the key is to uncover them”
Great communication is internally designed and curated — it does not happen by accident.
This includes what we say, how we say it, when we say it, as well as how we react to situations, individuals, or any trigger we experience.
Human behaviour is very predictable if observed and understood. As I share with our clients, “Everything we do, we do for a reason, yet most of us have NO IDEA what that reason is.”
Once individuals start to get clear on why they do what they do, they can start to choose a different behaviour instead of the behavior choosing them, i.e. reacting by reflex, rather than choosing how to respond.
We have all been triggered at some point by another, whether that be a spouse, a parent, an intimate partner or a child. An event occurs and we react with emotions and, at times, poor behaviours. This all happens in seconds, automatically.
What I would like you to consider is this — this reaction is systematized, it is ingrained and automatic — it’s our reflex to a situation or comment that triggers us. The reason for these reactive reflexes is that we all have a story, a narrative, part of our past conditioning which has past feelings. The fact is so many of us go through most of our lives never aware of how our past is controlling our present and future without our ever giving it permission to do so, it just does, unless we CHOOSE to start responding rather than reflexively react.
By understanding our conditioning — our story as individuals and as a family — we can start to understand the predictability of our reactions and turn them into responses we choose. It’s a matter of a sequence of events based on muscle emotional memory.
Think of the Pavlov dog experiment, where the research would ring a bell which indicated it was mealtime and the response was a salivating dog, every time the bell would be rung. As human beings, we can recondition ourselves — we can reprogram the emotional hardware. By making the conscious decision to pay attention to our own beliefs — and the behaviours associated with these beliefs — we can start to choose a new set of beliefs and responses. A whole new set of behaviours will emerge and ultimately foster a whole new way of being, a whole new life.
Families come to Veritage saying we need to improve our communication, and yet what does this mean? Does this mean speak louder, softer, with a different tone? How I interpret what they are saying is this:
We need to have open and honest communication with each other, knowing that, no matter what the issue is, we will feel safe with each other, because we will have been able to feel seen, heard, and understood.
Emotional Governance starts with the individual. The individual has to develop a system to govern themselves, based on a set of guiding principles. This process has to be strong and embodied enough not to be swayed by external forces, voices, or opinions.
Every one of us knows what “the right thing” to do or say is at most times, yet we don’t speak our truth and acquiesce to the truth or opinion of others. The unlocking question is why do we do this? Why do we behave in this way, when there is a part of us that knows better?
I believe because at some level most individuals don’t feel safe enough to fully express themselves, their opinions, or their truth. They are concerned and more worried about how others might react. This seemingly subtle silencing compounds, builds walls, and fuels resentments, even rebellions. The truth is, we should always be respectful in our communication, just first and foremost, respect and honor ourselves and each other enough to be truthful.
We all want to feel safe within our relationship, in our environments, and with our wealth—yet most of us do not.
Emotional Governance is the foundation for clarity, inspiration, and empowerment to ensure the future and it all starts with the individual. Once the individual can find, create, and maintain their Safe Space™ (their personal guiding principle), they have established the foundation for their own self-expression. This gives them the confidence needed to start to address family unease, and anything that has not been addressed in the past.
Family unease, when repaired, improves the bottom line and ensures legacy.
Once an individual is operating in their Safe Space™ then they can engage in relational safety with other individuals who have also found their Safe Space™ by having established a foundation of self-expression.
The next level of systemization of Emotional Governance is through creating shared, familial safety — through a set of guiding principles the family develops together. This shared Emotional Governance, beyond the individual Emotional Governance, is a set of principles, way of being, and treating each other that all agree to, embody and practice living out.
Organized Emotional Governance relieves the friction in family business and ensures legacy BECAUSE it is intentionally designed and curated by the family for the family.
When we better understand ourselves, and why we do what we do, we can better control how we choose to react and behave when triggered.
By creating individual guiding principles through Safe Space™ for clear, transparent communication, and then developing the family guiding principles, the family begins to communicate in a way they have never experienced before. Families can build and craft a foundation of communication that involves understanding of oneself and each other — and suddenly any participant can speak their truth with mutual respect and love for each other. This is what we at Veritage celebrate as GOVERNANCE IN ACTION.