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Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success

Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success

4.7 4
by Sylvia Lafair

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How can you get to the bottom of workplace behaviors that simply don't work for you or your organization?

Don't Bring It to Work explores what happens when patterns originally created to cope with family conflicts are unleashed in the workplace.?This groundbreaking book draws on the success of Sylvia Lafair's PatternAware program Total Leadership Connections.


How can you get to the bottom of workplace behaviors that simply don't work for you or your organization?

Don't Bring It to Work explores what happens when patterns originally created to cope with family conflicts are unleashed in the workplace.?This groundbreaking book draws on the success of Sylvia Lafair's PatternAware program Total Leadership Connections. Throughout the book she shows how to break the cycle of pattern repetition and offers the tools that can turn unhealthy family baggage into creative energy that will foster better workplace associations and career success.

Lafair identifies the thirteen most common patterns that correspond to characters familiar to anyone who has ever worked in an office: Super Achiever, Rebel, Persecutor, Victim, Rescuer, Clown, Martyr, Splitter, Procrastinator, Drama Queen or King, Pleaser, Denier, and Avoider. To help overcome destructive behavior problems, she maps out the three main steps for becoming aware of patterns and finding the way OUT:

  • Observe your behavior to discern underlying patterns
  • Understand and probe deeper to discover the origins of these patterns
  • Transform your behavior by taking action to change

The book includes a wealth of real-life anecdotes and practical, workbook-style exercises that clearly show how anyone can get beyond old, outmoded attempts at conflict resolution and empower themselves to make profound differences both at work and in their personal lives.

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
This book is emotionally engaging and the message is fantastic.
Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Author, No Asshole Rule

This engaging book has a powerful core message. We’re bringing family dynamics – from childhood and even from our parents’ childhoods – to work. – and the results are not pretty. Packed with stories of workplace dynamics gone awry – and, then, amazingly enough, transformed by Lafair’s compassionate approach – the book is immensely readable. You will be motivated to create change for the better.
Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

Wonderful insights for anyone who manages a business, works in a business, or leads a business. Read it now!
Michael E. Gerber, Author, The E-Myth Books

Sylvia Lafair’s book brings a rare view of “systems” and “systems thinking,” is helpful to individuals and families, as well as business people working to build appreciation, cohesion and success.
Frances Hesselbein, Chairman and Founding President, Leader to Leader Institute

Dr. Sylvia Lafair has written a superb book on working relationships that should be on every executive's desk and used by anyone who is in the business of depending on efficient teamwork for productivity. Her reflections of how our family systems can sabotage our working lives are brilliant and totally applicable in practical terms. This is a must for all business programs, regardless of how large or small.
Dr. Frank Lawlis, Author, Mending The Broken Bond

Through Sylvia Lafair’s astute work, you will see yourself, your co-workers and your family dynamics in an entirely new light. More importantly, this will help you change the patterns that have been keeping you from reaching your highest potential. This ranks with the best business and psychology books on the market; not only is it insightful and practical—it’s a great read!
Anita Sharpe, CEO & Founder of GeniusSuite, Pulitzer Prize Winning Writer at The Wall Street Journal

A phenomenal book! Sylvia's insights, experience and her brilliant communication style make her one of the leading experts in this field. I have had the honor of working with Sylvia over many years and can attest to the power of her methods in transforming co-workers into highly functioning team members. This really works!
Eslie Dennis, MD, VP Medical Head Northeast, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Most educators’ feel they are standing sentry over a system under siege on all fronts. It’s exhausting! Sylvia Lafair shows us effective ways to make change happen. This seminal book provides me the Holy Grail to forge a strong team on behalf of our mission to prepare children for the future. I’ve been waiting for this for 35 years.
Linda C. Brewer, Ed. D., Superintendent, Derry Township School District

Sylvia takes a highly personalized approach to Leadership Development. She helps each person become more aware of their personal styles, their possible origins and raises behavior patterns to a conscious level. From awareness comes change. I found great value in applying these lessons both at work and home to successfully balance demanding jobs, motherhood and a 2 career marriage.
Nancy Singer, Senior Director, Global Sales and Marketing Leadership Development, Merck & Co., Inc.

This book helps bring a new way of doing business. It changed the way we run our company and the results are significant. This sentence says it all, “It is time to get out of the sandbox of childhood and gain a deeper knowledge of the fact that we are all connected and no one wins unless we all do.”  This book is a “must have” for Supervisors all the way up to top Executives of the company.
Yvonne Cangelosi, Executive VP, SPEX CertiPrep, Inc.

Amazing! Sylvia Lafair tells us what every successful person already knows… Business and personal lives can never be totally separate. She destroys this myth and gives us the tools to bring people together to build great companies and deliver bottom-line results. Groundbreaking work!
Richard Harris, CEO, Spa Sydell

Sylvia Lafair's life work is helping people reach their potential. Like many brilliant ideas, the pattern recognition process described in this book seems obvious in hindsight. Its power is the power to transform not just life in the workplace, but the total quality of human life. Vital for those working in a family business.
Edwin Neill III, President, Neill Corporation

Dr. Lafair is on to something that will totally change how you see yourself and others in the workplace. The Pattern Aware Leadership Model helps people recognize and address their core issues. This is so much more than "dress for success" advice. Buy it, read it, apply it! It will transform you and your relationships.
Dorene E. McCourt, VP, Product Development & Management, MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc.

This book has wonderful tools for anyone wishing to make their work environment more successful. It addresses the baggage that we all bring to the workplace and gives wonderful revelations as to how to move forward from this and build on our strengths. It is about leadership of the highest level.
Carole Haas Gravagno, Board Member, Philadelphia Orchestra

This book distills various behavior patterns that we have at work and helps you identify negative patterns and takes you through personal transformation. Every leader and manager should read this book!
Wow! It’s wonderful!
Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design, Author, slide:ology

This is an incisive exploration of the limiting patterns that hold us captive and sabotage our efforts to be effective leaders in our organizations. Sylvia Lafair’s call is simple and practical as she sets out to offer her readers clear steps to unravel their past and transform limiting habits into pathways of success and wellbeing in our organizations. I highly recommend this book.
Amber Chand, Founder, The Amber Chand Collection: Global Gifts for Peace & Understanding

This book offers keen insights into how individuals process information and guides leaders in helping employees at every level become the best they can be. It is amazing how quickly conflicts can be resolved when we understand the meta-messages that lie at the core of most communication. It should be required reading for all leaders and leaders-in- training.
Lynn Rolston, CEO California Pharmacists Association

Meet the Author

Sylvia Lafair is an expert on leadership, workplace behavior, and relationships. She began her career as a family therapist and is fine-tuned to the reverberations from family life that play out in the workplace. Lafair is president of Creative Energy Options (CEO), a consulting firm with retreat centers in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, and clients that include Microsoft, AstraZeneca, Aveda Salons, and Novartis. Lafair has published numerous articles and is a much-sought-after speaker on the subjects of leadership, effective communication, conflict resolution, and creative collaboration.
Visit her website at www.patternaware.com.

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Don't Bring It to Work: Breaking the Family Patterns That Limit Success 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its not often I encounter a book like this, one with such solid content and structure. Sylvia has done a wonderful job in putting it all together in such clinical and very relatable ways that every reader will feel satisfied after they have finished reading. It’s good these workplace issues are addressed and brought out to light so many of us who were shying away from it all can now feel better knowing that they we are not the only ones facing these situations and behavioral patterns, this book is a definite must read. Thanks Sylvia
RolfDobelli More than 1 year ago
It's your first day on your new job, and you're meeting your new colleagues. You shake hands, make eye contact and offer a pleasant smile. But for some reason, you instinctively don't like one or two people; they make you uncomfortable. How is it possible to judge people whose names you don't even know? Therapist and relationship expert Sylvia Lafair believes that the seeds of workplace conflict are rooted in your family background. She posits that the behaviors modeled in your childhood and your relationship with your family members create subliminal expectations that you subconsciously project onto others, including strangers. Lafair suggests that understanding your upbringing is the linchpin to avoiding and resolving workplace conflict. The author offers profound, detailed insight into the psychological dynamics that govern interpersonal relationships. Recognizing your family patterns is just the first step, though; the real work lies in your willingness to change your behavior. Though Lafair's approach may not resonate with everyone, getAbstract recommends her book to managers and employees who wish to avoid perpetuating destructive cycles of workplace conflict.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Sylvia Lafair has not only the background of knowledge and professional experience to writing this excellent book DON'T BRING IT TO WORK, she also is a solid writer who understands how to capture attention and maintain interest in both self improvement and understanding as well as how to take the information gleaned from this book to the workplace. In short, this is not only a sound and enjoyable read of a book, it is also one of the better 'fix the problems at work' books on the shelves today. Lafair's background as a Family Therapist is evident on every page. But what makes reading her introduction to the personality idiosyncrasies each of us has as a result of both our immediate family and our upbringing so pertinent is her mastery of finding just those character traits each of us possesses and leads us into the workplace where we not only identify our own 'role playing' but also the tropes of those around us. What then? Once the personality types dragged as baggage from the home to work are identified, Lafair addresses the means of how to deal with malfunctioning personality disorders in a way that benefits not only the 'person with problem', but also with the entire work 'family'. Observe. Identify. Alter. Change. For this reader the magnetism of Lafair's book is discovering our own personality traits that have always affected the way in which we function. At first, identifying ourselves as either a 'victim', and 'avoider' or 'persecutor' etc is embarrassing. But Lafair dives into reconstruction right away, provides insight and workbook sessions, and in the end everyone who reads this book will find a happier adjustment to the place where we spend the better part of our day - WORK! Read her book then consider giving copies to pertinent people where you work. Change IS possible. Grady Harp