My husband and I are currently taking a parenting course in Aha Parenting by Dr. Laura Markham, which I highly recommend, especially if you have young children. As a parent, we receive so much advice that it is hard to navigate all the information and understand how to become the type of parent we want to be.
One of Dr. Markham’s central premises is that we must first learn to self-regulate our emotions to respond to our children in an empathetic way. According to her findings, children act up because they carry emotions that they do not know how to control. By calmly responding to them, we can become better parents and guides for our children. If you are interested in learning more about her course, you can sign up here, and you can also read her book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
Dr. Markham believes that to be parents, we must become better ourselves: we need to be better at dealing with new situations, not getting triggered, and being more empowering. It is not easy, as it is the most challenging as well as the most important work. I cannot help thinking how this also translates to being a better leader because, for those of us who are parents, we are also leaders to our children.
We are taught that we need to go to school, and that is where we learn what we need for the jobs we will eventually do. College prepares our minds for the future, but as we grow in our positions and become leaders, our interpersonal skills and ability to lead become more important. It is no longer about whether we know how to do something technically well, as that becomes a given, but about whether we can work with others to achieve the company’s objectives. To do that, we must train ourselves. We must learn to improve the way we respond to circumstances.
We all have different challenges, depending on our upbringings and experiences, but we will all struggle with limits. Some limits may be how we handle stress or how we deal with conflict. Others will have trouble delegating and will need to learn how to work with others to form strong teams.
Being a leader requires a never-ending process of personal growth, so it is essential to take that time to nurture your growth and development. How to do that will depend on each person and will become your exploration. Here are some practices and resources that helped me and might help you as well:
Meditation teaches our brain to be more present. With practice, you will learn how not to avoid what is happening in front of you and increase your tolerance to uncomfortable life events because you will get to know yourself better and how you react. When I started meditating, I noticed how little in touch I was with my feelings and how they manifested themselves in my body. Little by little, I am learning how to be more and more present.
There are many self-development courses, from the parenting course I am taking to the Wim Hof Method. The options are limitless, depending on what you want to work on. If there is something that sounds interesting, try it out! It might help you make a significant change in your life.
I highly recommend working with an executive coach. If we want great results, just like any athlete, we will benefit from expert guidance. Working with someone who knows you, can teach you methods to deal with what you are encountering. Coaching will help you develop much faster than if you were doing it on your own.
- Learning from Others:
If you are lucky enough to have someone close to you that you admire either at work or through your network, I recommend learning from them as much as possible. You might even be able to ask that person to become your mentor. People with more experience will help you find your way, quicker than you will alone. (By the way, I am looking for a mentor, in case anyone is interested!)
In a bookstore, you will find many self-development books. From forming habits to becoming a better leader, each one has something valuable for you to learn. The options are endless. Do not overlook biographies, autobiographies, or memoirs, as these genres allow us to dive into other lives, learn from them, and maybe even avoid some mistakes.
- Having a Peer Support Group:
A peer support group will help you see blind spots so you can keep growing. By seeing what others are doing, you might get inspired to try something new. To learn more about how they work, visit my blogs here and here.
Personal development is the most significant investment you can make for yourself. Take the time, and watch your investment pay off as you improve at what you do.