Some of my best leadership learning’s have come from my parenting experiences and this is a prime example. Although this happened years ago, it is something that resonates with me regularly be it working with clients or in my own every day life, and if you’re serious about progress, this simple concept cannot be overlooked!
When my son was young, he had a pretty significant language delay and his frustration over not being able to verbally express himself resulted in some “challenging behaviors.” The school referred me and my husband to a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and after an hour-long, cathartic visit where we expounded on all the difficult behaviors he was exhibiting, I asked the doctor when she wanted to meet my son.
You can only imagine MY SURPRISE when she replied:
“I don’t need to meet your son. I just need to work with you to change your behaviors; it is the way you are interacting with him that is causing his reactions.”
Wow! That really changed our perspective!
However as we learned how, we were able to make changes to our behaviors which enabled him to behave differently … immediately and painlessly!
And it wasn’t rocket science – it included things like giving him:
The Power of Choosing Between Acceptable Choices (Decision Making Parameters?):
- “Would you like milk or juice?” (ie not soda)
An Upfront Warning (Deadlines?):
- “You need to go to bed in 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, it’s time to go upstairs, ok?”
A Checklist of Pre-school Activities (Priority Setting?):
- “First you need to get dressed, eat your breakfast, put your homework in your backpack and brush your teeth; then you can have free time before school.”
So you tell me – how does this relate to the workplace? Have you been looking for change in all the wrong places?