Business Collaboration and Results Specialist
Every business involves products, processes, and people. In my 30+ years working in some of Americas largest companies, I was forced to learn some hard lessons about the priorities surrounding these three things. Let’s face it. You can build or buy products. You can create, change, or eliminate processes. But if the people equation isn’t working or is a struggle, nothing works or at least it doesn’t work as well as it should have. And ultimately, those who don’t figure out the people equation in their careers will fall short of their potential.
For me, in spite of completing some pretty impressive projects early on in my career, my companies thanked me for my service and sent me on my way. That’s right. I was FIRED! Not once. But two times!
After these early setbacks, it was obvious I had to fix my people issues or I was going to quickly become unemployable. So I placed nurturing my business relationships with my colleagues, clients, and suppliers at the top of my list. I asked them what their goals, talents, and needs were. I recognized their accomplishments. And I told them how valuable they were. In short, I treated them the way I wanted to be treated. And as a result, they delivered! Eventually, I overcame my shortcomings with people and led immensely talented teams to achieved extraordinary results for the companies I later worked for.
But I confess, my success did not rest solely on nurturing business relationships.
From the beginning of my business career as a bill collector and in the many leadership roles I held, I learned how the subtlest differences in the use of human language make the difference between someone listening to what I had to say and taking action, or doing nothing in response to a request. But there is a delicate balance between demanding others do what you ask and commanding presence with them.
The art of mastering business relationships and commanding presence as a leader within teams is what propelled my teams to achieve feats many thought impossible. Now I share my proven method for developing caring business relationships and commanding presence with aspiring leaders through my keynote speeches and workshops. I want everyone to achieve their full potential.
You see, there really are no failures. Only lessons we must learn along the path toward success.
Co-parent and Stepparent
My son’s father and I divorced in 2000 when our son was six years old, and I’ve been collaboratively co-parenting with him ever since. Along the way, I’ve played the roles of co-parent, head of household, stepparent, and confidant to a lot of other co-parents struggling on their journey.
I’ve witnessed horrendous behaviors between divorce parents. I’ve seen the parent who makes every interaction painful and the children that struggle with it all. But it doesn’t have to be this way. And I know this because we did it. In spite of incessant animosity when we were an intimate couple, following our divorce, we designed our lives as co-parents with intention and a maniacle focus on what was important—being good parents and enabling our co-parent to do the same. Now our son is almost 30 and he will tell you that he had a happy childhood. And he still enjoys complete relationships with both of us, never having to worry about keeping us apart at family events or having awkward moments when we’re in the same place. He just gets to live and have a family.
If you are struggling as a co-parent or stepparent, I want you to know there is hope. As someone who has reconciled combative behaviors with family members after long periods of conflict, I know that it is always possible to improve a difficult relationship. And even if you can never heal your relationship with an ex, that doesn’t mean you must concede your happiness and remain a victim. There are many things you can do to diffuse hostility and redirect conflict. You can do better than just get through this. You can raise happy kids AND achieve personal happiness. I promise you! A painful decision does not have to mean a pain-filled existence.
I invite you to explore this website. Listen to a podcast. Read and article. And if you think you may want to go further, explore my co-parent coaching options, buy my book, or schedule a call and let’s figure out if I can help you reclaim your sanity and chart a course to a more amicable existence with your co-parent.
When I embarked on my co-parenting journey in 1999, the term co-parenting didn’t exist. Most parents I observed who divorced simply separated, kept their distance, and made everyone around them uncomfortable when they were in the same place together. And the kids were stuck playing referee or just doing their best to keep the two parents apart.
While positive co-parenting has taken a foothold of late, there are still far too many parents and children struggling in combative co-parenting relationships. But does it have to be this way? Are some just doomed to fail and resign themselves to misery?
I’ve always believed that if one human being can achieve something, that any human being can achieve it. Recall Roger Bannister, the first person to run a 4-minute mile or Spud Webb, the 5 foot 7 inch NBA player who took first play in the 1986 dunking competition. Neither of these guys was supposed to be able to achieve what they did. Yet it didn’t stop them. And once they broke through their barriers, they cleared the way for others to also achieve the seemingly impossible. All because they proved it possible.
So let’s start with this. We absolutely proved collaborative co-parenting possible. And more and more parents are finding success as co-parents every day. Now that we have that out of the way, you can rest easy and move forward with the knowledge that if other co-parents can do it positively, then so can you! You don’t have to ruin your children’s lives. You don’ have to be miserable. Raising happy adjusted kids post-breakup is possible. And so is saving your family. Now, how do you do it?
The Co-parenting Code that I live by is actually a very simple and ancient concept. Treat others as you want to be treated. It’s the golden rule. Afford your co-parent empathy. As author Charles Eisenstein puts it to empathize is for us to ask “What is it like to be you?” If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes mentally, you’ll be surprise how that will change what you may say or do to them. It may even change how you think about them. And once you put the positive energy of empathy into play in a relationship, it will most likely be returned to you. Oh this may not happen immediately. It may take weeks, months, or even years. But the time will pass anyway. So put empathy out there and get empathy back. Sounds easy enough. So why do so many struggle?
People don’t struggle to collaboratively co-parent because it is impossible or because empathy doesn’t work. They struggle because other emotions block their path.
I’ve spent 30 years in corporate settings helping teams and individuals achieve feats they thought were impossible. I did this by provoking them to think differently and question limits they imposed on themselves and others. Once liberated to think beyond their present state, I worked with them to define their path to recast the impossible as possible.
Through my books, articles, and speaking engagements, I work to help others adopt an empathetic mindset, reconcile combative behaviors, and enjoy more collaborative relationships.
Need help overcoming obstacles and getting better business results from your teams? Or maybe you need help with a difficult co-parenting or family relationship. Send Teresa a message or give her a call to find out how she can help. We’d love to hear from you!