The way we manage the people who work for us, and even the clients we serve, will be a mirror of how we relate to the people who matter most to us - our family. How much influence do you have with your children? Are you willing to see them as individual people first? What kind of legacy are you leaving at home?
In developing the ideas contained in A Leader's Gift - How to Earn the Right to Be Followed, I began to see that those principles could be applied to my home life as well. I'd like to visit this side of the 5 gifts with you periodically and explore how these qualities can make us better parents, partners, spouses, and friends.
Today, we will begin this exploration by taking a look at how these gifts can impact our parenting. Using the principles from A Leader's Gift as a parent doesn't mean you are hands off; it means you are engaging your son or daughter and trying to help that child become who he or she is as an individual; you are not shaping your child into a younger version of yourself. You should be open to your child's dream for his or her life, even if it is not what you expected or would choose for your child.
For me, this switch from being a parent who tried to direct his sons' lives to one who helped them discover their unique strengths and realize their goals meant that I got nothing I had planned for, but everything I could hope for: a relationship with an adult child that was whole and complete.
Of course, there still needs to be discipline and clear expectations,
but parenting with the 5 gifts will actually make that much easier - on both of you.
If you are open to who they are (and not who you want them to be), if you spend time with them, and if you appreciate their strengths and tell them so, you can expect one day to hear your children say thank you, despite all the ups and downs along the way.
Try incorporating the 5 gifts into your parenting and see the positive changes that can happen. Being open, encouraging, really listening, appreciating, and giving time will improve your relationship with your child or children and help them become all they are meant to be.