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The Energetics of Family Structures & Roles in Family Business

Last week I met some of my girlfriends for dinner. One of our dearest friends has been going through a particularly tough time and it was one of those “I need some time with my girls!” last minute plans.


When I walked into the restaurant, it was really busy. The tables were filling quickly and a band was warming up. I found our table and as I sat down, this dear friend leaned over and said “I wanted to ask if you’d mind giving my energy a little ‘zhuzh?’ I’ve had a day!”


I told her “Of course!” but just then the last of our group arrived, the waiter asked for my drink order, the music started playing right behind us, and everyone at the table started talking. 


The energy in the restaurant was anything but Zen – but I also didn’t want to cut off the conversation at the table (we were there to connect after all.) So, as everyone else chatted, I just quietly grounded my own energy, moved my awareness into my dear friend’s energy, and got curious about what I could feel there.


The energy around her head felt bunched up & tight – which is really so common for so many of us after a busy or hectic work day. Our brains can pull ALL our energy & attention up to the top of our systems, leaving us feeling ungrounded & disembodied. 


As everyone at the table continued to chat, I just gently sat with my friend’s energy, inviting the area around her head to soften & open – and allowing her energy to settle back down into the rest of her body in a more grounded & balanced way.  


It took a few minutes. :)


And then suddenly, she turned, wide eyed, and looked at me. “Did you do something?!?” She whispered, “I just all of the sudden felt like I actually landed in my seat. Like everything dropped down. I feel so much more calm. That is wild!”


That, my friends, is energy work. 

It’s a foundational piece of the work that I do with family businesses – and it’s generally the hardest to talk about.

When I’m connecting with the energetic structures & configurations of a family business, so much of what I experience is a felt sense. It is happening in a realm where words don’t really exist for me. So, talking about what comes through in this subtle, but essential area of family business dynamics feels a lot like trying to translate a foreign language. Or, maybe even more accurately, trying to describe a color that doesn’t yet have a name.

But let me be clear - just because energetic connections, roles & configurations are a little tricky to put words to doesn't mean that they aren’t a vital element in the makeup, effectiveness & (ultimately) success of any family business. Some (ahem, ME) would argue that they are actually THE MOST VITAL ELEMENT of a successful family business.

Have you ever walked into a room full of people and noticed right away that it feels tense? You can tell, right? That’s because there are subtle energetic connections that you’re picking up on as you “read the room.”

Now what if you walk into a room with your spouse, partner, or best friend and they’re mad or stressed about something? You can REALLY tell then, can’t you? Maybe so much so that you actually feel your body tensing before they’ve even said a word?

That’s because the energetic connections between you and those closest to you tend to be much more numerous, complex, and intense. Which is handy in some situations (like when your partner is giving you the “I’m ready to go now” look at a cocktail party) and challenging in others (like when we find ourselves getting reactive or pushing our loved ones away when stressful situations arise.) 

In this week’s episode of The Legacy Podcast, I’m doing my best to articulate what happens on an energetic level as the structure & roles within our family and family business go through periods of transition. We explore how & why the quality of our connections change as the roles in our family & family business shift – and provide some guidance as to how bringing our awareness to this subtle but vital aspect of family business life can be so very helpful in supporting ourselves, our relationships, our family members, and our businesses during times of transition. 

This one isn’t just for family business owners – it’s a must listen for anyone in relationship, community or connection with others out in the world!

Go to to listen now. 

Ep.7 The Energetics of Family Structures & Roles is also available on Apple, Spotify & Amazon.



How to Have Hard Conversations on April 20th at 9AM PT / 12PM ET. 

During our 60-minutes together, I will deep dive into the complexities (& opportunities) of navigating difficult conversations in your family & business. It’s going to be a great conversation! 

Learn more here:



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