Have you been part of a struggling organization or business? While there can be several reasons for the symptoms, without a thorough systematic examination, the cause may be elusive.
Depending on your career or volunteer experience, you might be very familiar with a SWOT Analysis. If so, you can skip the next paragraph. If not, continue reading.
Conducting a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis objectively evaluates what your company or organization does well while offering steps to creating strategies to overcome challenges. Although there is no credited creator, this approach has been around since the 1950s.
Over the past few decades, I've completed many SWOT Analyses for several organizations which benefitted greatly from the assessment. Examining internal and external factors of success and failure can provide clarity and focus.
During several professional development courses, I saw the parallels with family life. Out of curiosity, I wondered what this analysis process would look like in families and created one!
To assist you in completing it, there are several prompts under each topic.
Print enough copies of this Family SWOT Analysis form for each family member and spend time completing it separately. Set a date to discuss your responses; usually, 3-5 days is enough time. Once you're ready to meet, ask for a scribe and combine your answers on a large poster board. You can make it fun and have a special dinner or an ice cream sundae bar while you talk.
A few tips to be mindful of during the sharing are:
Don't get defensive
Limit facial responses or reading between the lines
Allow everyone to speak their truth from their perspective
Once the replies are written, congratulate yourselves on a job well done. It's HARD work to create this body of work. After a week or so, meet again and look for ways to turn your weaknesses into strengths, find solutions to your threats, and explore your opportunities.
Create new routines and habits and test them for a few days to see if they solve the problem.
Everything from adjusting eating and sleep habits to family walks after dinner or asking for help to create a new bedtime routine should be on the table. Even if you only convert one or two weaknesses and eliminate one threat, you will notice a difference. Those changes can snowball into larger changes throughout the year.
Here's to a healthier, happier family!