First I wish to express my gratitude to all those who have supported my work in 2019. It has been an exceptional year for me, both my regular consulting work as well as the “Fr. Vito” show that is going on its fourth year.   Your support, interest and care has really made a difference.   Thank you!

As a token of my gratitude I will give anyone who takes me up on this Thanksgiving challenge and emails me their results, by Dec 13th (the next comedy show I’m doing) a $10 Caribou gift card.

This Thanksgiving I imagine you may be sitting down with family to enjoy a meal.  When you do there will probably be a conversation—it might be football, it might be weather.  It could be politics, YIKES!   It might be on violence, or pollution or maybe just about the grandkids. 

In the midst of your celebrating I challenge you try on a new role.  If you are the one who tells a lot of stories then decide to listen more.  If you tend to be a listener then speak up more.   Tell a family ally you intend to do this and enlist their support.  This may sound easy, but the family patterns you have run generations deep.

I changed roles once at Thanksgiving and it was really interesting.  This role change was based in the Process Work belief that in a given group of people there is only so much space for a certain role.  The role I was about to take on was the “card tyrant”.

We like to play cards.  One person in the family usually takes on the task of being the one who keeps things on track and sometimes with a biting edge.  I think you know this role.  They want to keep the game moving, they do not like distractions or too much fun.  This can, at times, be irritating to some.  Like me.  My idea of all card games is that they are meant to be all about fun.  So one time, as an experiment in taking a new role, I decided to be the tyrant.  I made several critical comments when people were not bidding quickly enough.  After the third or fourth comment I made, in my most serious sounding voice, the one who usually has that role said to me “Tom, relax, it’s just a game.”  I said ok, and backed down from that role: breakthrough!  I loved the role shift what a relief from always being so fun! I secretly enjoyed being serious.

I am grateful for all the serious and playful support I’ve received from so many of you this year.  I have just loved doing my comedy and music shows with Laura Hlavac.  And I have enjoyed all the consulting, keynote speaking and safety-culture change work I’ve been blessed to have.  The people at the city of Omaha, and all my clients, have been great to work with.  Thank you for choosing Esch Consulting this year.

May this note you find you, Angel, choosing gratitude and being a source of love and unity this Thanksgiving–at home and at work.

And if you do a conversational experiment this Thanksgiving will you please check in with me and let me know how it went?   I’ll be giving a $10 Caribou gift card to everyone who checks in by Dec 13th.

And I will be writing about this image of me holding a “David Stone”, below, for my Christmas-Holiday article.

About Tom Esch

Tom Esch works with health care companies, counties, cities, construction companies, business analysts, attorneys, executives, owners, managers and non-profit executives to grow interpersonal awareness and foster effective communication.