Anyone who’s ever been a parent, including me, knows that it’s one of the most challenging, even terrifying, jobs a person can ever take on
Yes, being a parent certainly qualifies as a job
Not a particularly invigorating or inspirational word, is it?
Instead, the word conjures up all sorts of other words that may include drudgery, responsibility, thankless toiling and labor.
There’s no doubt that being a parent is a full-time job. But the good news is that mixed in with all of those challenges are also joy, excitement, anticipation, hope and great feelings of fulfillment.
The anticipation of planning for a child, giving birth and beginning the parent journey is one of the most exciting experiences in life. Seeing that newborn baby’s smiles and blissfulness rates right at the top when it comes to feelings of contentment and genuine happiness.
And then it happens…
Have you ever found yourself trying really hard to be a better listener when your teenager is talking but rarely feeling like you’ve had success. I’ve discovered that many times, I was making some important listening mistakes and I didn’t even know it.
In a recent article in Psychology Today, 9 Listening Mistakes That Will Damage Your Relationships, author Amy Moran says that listening shouldn’t be a passive activity—it requires active participation.
As a parent, really listening to your teen can get pretty dicey at times.
We actually can make the issue worse by how we listen (or not), and how we choose to show up in our teen’s lives when they need us the most.
You can hone your skills by knowing some of the listening mistakes with your teen you may already be making.
One of my very favorite things to do in the whole world is to lead a Master Mind Group. It is such an amazing feeling to watch the light bulbs of people come on as they have critical breakthroughs right in front of your eyes. A few months ago, I was privileged to lead a Master Mind Group on an amazing book called, Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. The more I read and study the truths contained in that book, the more I view it as a great treasure. And here’s why…
Loss…it’s something every person that’s ever drawn a breath can relate to. Big losses, small losses, medium sized losses…it really doesn’t matter, we’ve all been there. I discovered as I led the Master Mind Group that most of us really don’t “get” that we are not unique regarding experiencing loss. We think that somehow, we must be the only one experiencing them.
It was a great eye opener to those in this Master Mind group to hear the stories of great loss that some in the group openly shared. What they shared helped put and keep things in perspective. It’s pretty impactful when we think we have such huge mountains of despair and loss only to find out that the person that’s been sitting right there next to you for an hour each week has just lost a parent, a child or a spouse. Kind of gives you that kick in the pants to have a more realistic picture of what is going on around you and realize that, since we all do experience loss, how we can focus on the ‘Learn” when it happens.
Some people are task oriented, while others are people oriented. Some people are more outgoing and some people are more reserved.
Your personality has a huge impact on how you lead.
There are four types of personality styles, DOMINANT, INSPIRING, SUPPORTIVE, and CAUTIOUS. Every personality style has BOTH strengths and blind spots. Being more aware of your personality style will make you a more effective leader.
Let’s look at these four personality styles a little closer:
People who are both task oriented and outgoing tend to lead from the front. Their attitude is “I’m going, follow me!” They tend to lead DIRECTIVELY. They have a DOMINANT personality style.
People who are both people oriented and outgoing, tend to lead INSPIRATIONALLY. They tend to lead from the middle of the pack. They lead by inspiring others to join them in the adventure! They have an INSPIRING personality style.
People who are both people oriented and more reserved tend to lead SUPPORTIVELY. They lead from behind by encouraging their followers or team to accomplish their goals by encouragement and supportive words. They have a SUPPORTIVE personality style.
People who are both task oriented and more reserved tend to lead CAREFULLY. They lead from the side making sure that everyone is moving along together, on the same page and following the same procedures. They have a CAUTIOUS personality style
So no matter what your personality style is, it is important to remember that everyone can learn and grow to become a more dynamic and effective leader.
“You can have anything you want if you are willing to give up the belief that there are limits.” – Robert Anthony
Previously, I mentioned the term “Limiting Beliefs”. Fears and worries are the key ingredients that make up our limiting beliefs. While the best way to get rid of those limiting beliefs is to turn to positive thinking and turn them into “Empowering Beliefs”. It’s important that we first think more about exactly what empowering beliefs are and how to successfully incorporate them into our thinking habits.
Author Mikael Olsson, in his book Handbook of Success: How to Make Your Life What You Want It to Be, explains some important things about the concept of empowering beliefs. He shares that there are many empowering beliefs that can enhance your quality of life. You can find them by considering what you would have to believe in order to be, have, or do what you want in life.
We must take our Limiting Beliefs and transform them into Empowering Beliefs.
Here is an example:
Limiting Belief: I am a bad influence on my kids through my own weaknesses.
Empowering Belief: There is no failure, only feedback. What we learn from every experience and every response is only information that tells us whether we are being effective or not.
So what are the five steps of breaking the cycle of Limiting Beliefs?
- Discover Parent Limiting Beliefs
- Change Parent Limiting Beliefs to empowering Beliefs
- Discover Child Limiting Beliefs
- Change Child Limiting Beliefs to empowering Beliefs
- Child empowering Beliefs lead to Thinking Their Way to Lifelong Successes
Once you begin to change your own Limiting Beliefs into Empowering beliefs, you can then work on doing the same with your children. In the end, the outcome you want to achieve, is empowered children who know how to recognize their own limiting beliefs and who possesses the tools to change them to empowering beliefs so they can begin to think their way to lifelong successes!
As parents we all have worries and fears.
Statements of fear and worry often provide important clues to the underlying limiting beliefs that are lurking in our subconscious. Those fears and worries are often symptoms of a faulty belief system that we have as adults and need to challenge.
When I conducted a survey asking parents what their biggest fear was in regards to parenting I received the following results.
64% said Personal Failures as a Parent.
15% said Future Success/Happiness of Child.
13% said Safety and Security of Child.
8% said Negative Outside Influences on Child.
Another question I asked was ‘What do you worry most about as a parent?’. Here were the top responses.
26% said Personal Failures as a Parent.
25% said Future Success/Happiness of Child
As you can see, the answers to both questions are almost identical. In order to overcome these fears and worries that I like to call “Limiting Beliefs”, We have to start by intentionally confronting our beliefs and making assessments about which ones are actually limiting us. by intentionally increasing our awareness of our limiting beliefs and how they impact our parenting, we can begin to break this cycle in the parenting of our children. Then and only then can we as parents begin to see the enormous power in being intentional about challenging our limiting beliefs and replacing them with empowering beliefs.
Have you ever wondered why it seems that some parents have all the answers?
Why it looks like their kids are always clean, well behaved, and on their way to perfection? Well, don’t be fooled. It may appear that way, but I can assure you no parent gets out alive without experiencing the questioning, doubts, and fears that accompany a role that’s so high-stakes and important to each of us.
So what is the key to great parenting? Great and effective parenting requires thinking. It is really that simple!
Like many things in life, thinking like a “Super Hero Parent”, largely depends on your attitude. Attitudes. We all have them. For better or for worse, they set us up for success or utter failure. As parents, our attitudes about ourselves, our kids, and our ability to think differently about being an effective parent are the secret ingredients in our success. Holding on to the right attitude, despite our circumstances, is one of the very first commitments that we have to make in our thinking if we are serious about this journey in parenting.
As adults and parents with many experiences behind us we all possess the super power of reflective thinking. If we can learn to harness this power, we can then think like the “super Hero Parent” we are. So if reflective thinking causes us to gain insights, then we need to decide today to become more reflective thinkers as parents.
As your awareness of what is required for great and effective parenting is being nurtured and increased, you can become armed and ready to move on to the next important element of successful parenting. Remember, it’s not enough to just know what you need to do. Great parenting has to be intentional.
People will not follow you just because you have a position or a title. Leadership must be EARNED and that comes from INFLUENCE.
The way you grow your influence is to make the lives of the people you lead better…add value! Adding value needs to be a life style, not just a philosophy. Delivering value as a leader does not involve criticizing, blaming, and belittling. It is focused on uplifting and enriching your people to dream bigger and accomplish their goals.
“Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less. “ John Maxwell
Three questions every follower asks of a leader, even if the words are never spoken:
- Do you care for me?
- Can you help me?
- Can I trust you?
If your followers believe that you care for them, that you can help them and that they can trust you, they will follow you!
Now, ask yourself these questions:
- How can I be more intentional about adding value to my followers?
- How can I help my followers experience more success?
- Am I making things better for the people that follow me?
- Am I currently leaning on or lifting my followers?
Not only do you have to have a goal as a leader of serving others, you have to keep growing as a leader in order to keep giving followers what they need. You cannot give what you do not have.