This month we shall discuss the correlations between the most common problems that give you headaches in your business life, and the styles of the relationship your parents have established with you. The secret of being successful in the business world lies in understanding the power and importance of human relationships. In order to understand this power, it is necessary to understand the concept of commitment. All relationships are founded on commitment. Without commitment, meaningful relationships cannot exist.

Commitment is the foundation of building relationships with the world, with future spouses and children, colleagues, customers, bosses and ourselves. One of the criteria of emotional and mental health is your ability to establish and sustain relationships in all aspects of your life.

The pioneer of the commitment theory, psychiatrist Dr. John Bowlby says, “No other experience influences the development of a child’s personality deeper than its experiences within the family.” Both the mother and the father are necessary for the process of commitment. Touching, hugging, feeding, etc., are vitally important for a baby to feel safe and comfortable in the world. The instinct and the need for commitment never diminish throughout our lives. 

Our commitment to our parents has the power to create expectations in all our later relationships. If we think that our spouse is trustworthy or not, our boss supportive or hard to please, our employees useful or not to be trusted, we must seek the roots of these convictions in your parent-child relationship. Understanding the nature of this commitment usually provides the beginnings of insight into our behavior at our place of business, our emotions and our choices.

The reason you unconsciously stay away or escape from a job where the boss is ‘harsh or criticizing’ might be because you grew up with a domineering, disparaging, hard to please parent. If you don’t realize this, you might miss great career chances without even understanding the reason why.

It is possible that you have a strong, positive commitment with your parents. In such a case, your career will most probably benefit from this. However, it is also possible that you have complicated relationships with you parents. Such remote relationships or complications will later reflect similarly onto the relationships you establish later in life or in your business.

Most of the fathers for one or two generations back did not know as much as we do now on the subject of being a father. As a result, they could not establish such close relationships with their children as the fathers of today can.

Stephan B. Poulter, in his book titled “The Father Factor,” has mentioned that the problems of a person with commitment may cause some problems in the workplace. According to Poulter, issues that can crop up are,


       Having difficulty in trusting colleagues, administrators, customers, and in establishing emotional ties with them,

       Staying away from others in the workplace emotionally,

       Expecting protection from someone else or becoming aggressive under job stress,

       Knowingly suppressing all indications of positive emotion while with colleagues, bosses or customers.


The good news is, no matter what your commitment type, you can handle its adverse effects. And don’t forget, the past is past. Your life is not behind you, it is ahead of you. Now, what you have to think about is what you can do to improve the future of your career and your work performance. Whatever the quality of your commitment, you can use it to make better choices in your work now and in the future. 

What is intended with the therapies is perceiving yourself from the perspective of your career, and using this perception to change your career route now and in the future. Therefore, the career coaching we provide at the Bengi Semerci Institute is directed at recognizing ourselves and determining what we can change.

Opening the doors to your future is entirely in your own hands. Whatever your beliefs and rules may have been in the past, you have the power to be successful. One of the worst aspects of being an adult is total and absolute responsibility for our lives and our choices. Our parents are no longer responsible for our lives. Even though it is easier to blame them, the responsibility is entirely ours.


Romina Kuyumcuoglu