Have You Considered How You Lead? (Episode 308)
How do you lead your family? We can talk about effective parenting, however, beyond just "getting the job done," are you being a considerate parent who will raise considerate leaders? Our kids are watching us, and, when we add these considerations in, we empower them to also lead and impact others in a way that keeps that considerate train going.
This episode was once again brought to you by my friend Deb Ingino. I am always so inspired by the business-focused leadership emails that I get from her that really lay out how personality style can give you deeper insights and help you to lead more effectively in business. And I tend to immediately see the application for personal family life as well.
We don't always see the transference of skills from work to home - yet there are so many things that are applicable. Instead of giving our family our energy leftovers after a depleting day, how can we show up for our family and bring some of these same principles for a healthier home life?
To be a considerate parent, consider more than just your desires - your child has a mind of their own, and you are not a mind-reader. Give them the tools to be their own voice.
The Great Resignation
Yes, there has been all kinds of conversation around people quitting work and companies having a difficult time keeping employees.
I really am of the belief that people are not leaving the workplace because everybody's lazy and don't feel like working. They're leaving where they don't feel heard, where they don't feel valued, and where they're being worked to death with no respect for breaks, pauses, or recovery. All of these things make for a volatile workplace where people are burned out and they are tired of being treated less than human.
It's not just about being "effective" at work. Where is the consideration and compassion? Where is the empathy and the humanity that recognizes the person - not just the job?
Nathan and I watched a video clip where a man was talking about how business owners get frustrated when their employees aren't invested in the business...yet how often are they truly invested in the business? How often are they working WITH you vs. FOR you? Are you trading equal energy with a business owner who has no glass ceiling and an employee doing one specific thing and a cap on what they make?
When you don't see the value of your role in an organization, and you're working harder for them than they are for you, it can lead to burnout.
And the same is true for our families. Sometimes we don't even offer our children stock in the family and how it will operate. How do you expect people to act in the family? Are you modeling it in your own leadership? If you're not giving them that empowerment and you're not giving them some level of control in their life and in that family model, then they're just an employee. How do you run your family and how does that look?
Consider asking the "Five Whys"
This is a model that was developed by Sakichi Toyoda for getting to the root of a problem. He had observed that the initial response as to why something happened was not the root of the problem at all, and asking "why" repeatedly would finally reveal the core issue that, once resolved, would prevent a number of future issues.
This was a real game-changer for me - instead of jumping straight to my own conclusions, I started asking "why" a little deeper than before. And it takes you to the core of the issue. So I asked AI to give me an example of this at home:
Parent: Why did you get into a fight with your friend?
Child: Because he called me a name.
Parent: Why did that make you so angry?
Child: Because I don't like being called names.
Parent: Why is that?
Child: Because it makes me feel bad about myself.
Parent: Why does it make you feel bad about yourself?
Child: Because I don't want people to think I'm a bad person.
Parent: I see. So, the root cause of the fight is that you were feeling insecure about yourself. Is that right?
Child: Yeah, I guess so.
Parent: Well, I'm glad we talked about this. I think it's important for you to know that you're not a bad person, and you don't deserve to be called names. If anyone ever does that to you again, you should come to me and I'll help you deal with it.
In this example, the parent uses the "Five Whys" to help the child understand the root cause of the fight. By asking "Why?" five times, the parent is able to drill down to the underlying issue, which is the child's insecurity. This helps the parent to address the problem in a more effective way.
Here are some tips for using the "Five Whys" with your child:
- Be patient and persistent. It may take some time for your child to fully understand the root cause of the problem.
- Be respectful. Remember that your child is still learning, and they may not be able to articulate their thoughts and feelings perfectly.
- Use open-ended questions. Avoid asking questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no."
- Listen actively. Pay attention to your child's answers and try to understand their perspective.
- Be supportive. Let your child know that you are there to help them, and that you believe in them.
The "Five Whys" is a powerful tool that can help you to understand the root cause of problems and to solve them more effectively. By using this technique with your child, you can help them to develop problem-solving skills and to learn how to deal with difficult situations in a healthy way.
By going through to five whys, you're really getting to the feelings and the emotions around it. And that's what we talk about so much when it comes to setting goals - not just to set a goal, but, what does it feel like to you?
Consider Their Strengths
Nathan shared on the podcast above how, in his real estate work, they would say, you can spend 10,000 hours trying to get really good at something, or you can do what you do really well naturally in ten minutes.
Instead of just forcing compliance on an agenda created just by you, try capitalizing on their strengths instead. I know I have one child who is great at organizing, for example, and another who really hates it. I can give the task of organizing to either, yet who is going to do a better job? Most likely the one who enjoys it that is working in her sweet spot.
We all have some things we're better at than others. Yes, it's important to have everyone pitch in and contribute to a family team, and sometimes it's not something anyone gets too excited about doing. Yet, I've found the more we work around our children's strengths, the more likely they are to follow through and help out.
Knowing Clara's love for animals, it's natural for her to just take over all of the feeding/litterbox responsibilities. With Juliet's love for baking and being in the kitchen, her drying and putting away dishes also reinforces her confidence in where things go in the kitchen and what things are used for. And Ellie is my rockstar organizer, so anytime there is a drawer of chaos, she's the one I call.
When we talked with our friends who were former CIA agents, they talked about the added benefit of our children's awareness. We discount our children's ability to see what we may not. They are an asset to the family and can bring insights you may miss. Don't underestimate what they can bring to the table, and support them with tools on awareness and independence that help them look out for themselves (and others) as they grow.
Sometimes we self-sabotage when things come easy to us. We discount it and think it doesn't have worth. I'm a coach, and I coach effectively because I'm doing it naturally, regardless of whether I'm being paid for it. I have a coaching mindset, and I've been driven since I was a child to learn about psychology, sociology, mediation, and human behavior. My curiosity and passion have driven me to dig deeper, and thus, learn more than others may have in the same arenas.
What may seem "common sense" to you may simply be due to your passion and interest that educated you further in that arena and gave you confidence in it. And we all have blind spots - areas we are not strong in where another can help us see something in a different way. Our kids are no different. Help them gain confidence in their interests and develop them into strengths they can share with others.
Consider Realistic Goals
I'm guilty of going from A to Z pretty quickly. Not surprisingly, my daughter Juliet has a lot to say on this as well, as it's something we both struggle with!
I remember having talks with my family about putting things away. We'd have a big family talk about how we need to do a better job, and then I'd supercharge it. Bring out the labels! Everything has its place! And I'd set the bar so high we were bound for disappointment.
Nathan would remind me of what he used to be told in tennis: "Just get the ball over the net." Instead of going from zero to sixty, from a pigsty to pristine, we looked for simply one thing.
One thing. Where do your shoes go? That's it. One focus - we perfect putting our shoes away. We rock it until it becomes a natural habit. And then and only then do we move forward.
Don't burn your family out by setting too many expectations at once. Find something that is achievable. Find a win so that you can encourage that behavior and give some acceptance we're all looking for in this world.
I know I can be a bit impatient. Especially when I'm excited about creating something, I often want to rush the process. And wow, if I'm not taking into account the different personality styles in my home, I can easily drag them through my timeline vs. what they need.
I thrive under pressure. I have other family members who completely withdraw under pressure. I recognize that that's a strength of mine, and I get energy from it. And so I could throw us into one high-pressure situation after another because I have the energy and the stamina to do it.
And I also recognize that if I want the energy in my home to be joy-filled and peaceful, I have to allow for the recharge and recovery we all need to keep going. I might have strength in high-pressure situations, yet anyone who is constantly living under pressure is going to crumble at some point. Recharge is critical - and I'm grateful for the family members that check me on my drive at times and remind me to rest.
Rest is part of the juice that gets us to where we want to go, and we overlook that. And helping your children understand that is really valuable. Helping them learn their own bandwidth and what will recharge them are some incredible tools to have in their life-skills kit.
Are you talking WITH or AT your family? Oftentimes we as parents can talk at our children without really hearing or seeing them in the process.
I've shared about our different perspectives on the Golden Rule, inspired by Merrick Rosenberg's book, The Chameleon. He shares how the Golden Rule applies to core values, like honesty and kindness. However, when it comes to really communicating with people about the day-to-day things in life, it's much better to treat people how they want to be treated vs. just in our own style.
Can you imagine asking your children how they'd like you to approach them? Or how they process info best? Can you find out from your child when they really felt heard by you?
No one else can give you these answers. If your child isn't old enough to be able to articulate it in their words, watch their actions and energy. When do they light up and engage, and when do they show signs of frustration or shutting down?
Even with all the insights into personality styles I have, it doesn't hold a candle to the actual conversations I'm having with my daughters. There are exceptions to every "rule" and stereotype out there, and, while the Namaste Snapshots have helped so much with ideas and tools for motivation, learning and connection, it's not all that makes up my daughters. Their unique experiences and interests play into who they are and become.
It's not my job to pigeonhole them or be a mind-reader. It's my job to seek to understand them and help them with the tools to keep on growing.
As my children grow, I'm growing in my understanding of them as well. Being curious and asking questions is the best way to do that. Ask questions like, "How does this make you feel? Do you feel more confident? What's in there?" Be curious. Ask questions. Let them do most of the talking and see where it takes you.
Will you be remembered as an effective and considerate parent by your children? Is that a legacy that you can leave for them?
Consider these 5 things:
- Ask the five whys
- Consider their strengths
- Set realistic goals
- Remember recovery time
- Clearly communicate
Think about how you are addressing these in your home. While parents may be calling the shots for most things, it doesn't mean you don't have other voices in the home.
The more you hear every voice in your home, the more you have the opportunity to come together and create a synergy that's greater than any one of us - where we can truly celebrate how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.