Is family a source of career conflict for you? Stew Friedman, the world’s leading work/life integration expert, would take that bet. But more than ever, he says, it’s not spouses and children causing the most angst – it’s mothers and fathers.

In his recent Harvard Business Review article, Friedman reveals that parents are triggering work tension for professionals at all stages in life, from entry-level Millennials to mid-career executives.  The renowned Wharton professor and influential innovator in leadership development explains: “Though the particular focus of parent-child clashes shifts as one gets older, such collisions do remain primary sources of worry and work-family conflict. The anxieties and guilt that can form the basis of parent-child relationships, even fairly late in life, can inhibit career progress.”

Looking to switch fields but dread your parents’ disappointment?  Dreaming of moving to a new city or country but feel guilty about abandoning your aging parents? If these scenarios sound familiar, Friedman recommends a proven Total Leadership exercise: stakeholder dialogues.

These conversations with the most important people in your life – at work, at home, in your community – are about mutual expectations, with the goal of clarifying what they (your stakeholders) really think, not what you think they think. There’s likely much more support and acceptance than you feared. The impact? Improved relationships and greater understanding at home, and less distraction and disruption at work.

Contact us to learn more about how Friedman can help you broaden and enhance executive and leadership education programs your business.