Edwin H. Friedman was an ordained Jewish Rabbi and a family therapist. He was born in New York City and worked for more than 35 years in the Washington DC area where he founded the Bethesda Jewish Congregation. His primary areas of work were in family therapy, congregational leadership (both Christian and Jewish) and leadership more generally. Friedman's approach was primarily shaped by an understanding of family systems theory. His seminal work "Generation to Generation," written for the leaders of religious congregations, focused on leaders developing 3 main areas of themselves:
o Being self-differentiated
o Being non-anxious
o Being present with those one is leading
"The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change. Communication does not depend on syntax, or eloquence, or rhetoric, or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard. People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them. Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower. Attitudes are the real figures of speech."
"Neither greater economic opportunity nor equal rights guarantee an increase in people's capacity to handle crisis maturely."
"I always know I've made a good point when someone begins to diagnose me."
"If you want to preserve your ideas, keep them to yourself."