In my previous post, I talked about the things that great parenting and effective leadership have in common. In a nutshell, they both boil down to having a vision, inspiring others to be their best, leading by example, and building trust.
So whether you are a parent managing kids at home or an executive developing a team at work, you are a leader. In the end, leadership skills are life skills.
The more aware and intentional you are about how you show up as a leader in different life settings, the more effective (and happy) you’ll be in life – instilling a sense of purpose and well-being in others around you.
So how do you bring the science of leadership to life outside the workplace?
You can take the principles of Connected, Valued, and empowered from the Dynamic Engagement model and apply them to any domain of your life. Let’s take parenting as an example.
Feeling connected. Kids have a natural psychological need to connect and belong. When it comes to family dynamics, the sense of belonging and the feeling of being cared about are the most obvious. However, with everyone's busy schedules, it's sometimes hard to carve out time to connect.
Make it a habit to spend some quality time with your little ones. It doesn’t have to be a long time period. All you need to do is be fully present (i.e., turn off your devices). Whether it’s a family dinner, a date night with the kids, bedtime talks, or walks in the park, be there for your child, listen to them, and take an interest in what’s happening in their life.
Feeling valued. Children want to be recognized for their abilities and contributions. Consider how they contribute to the family, regardless of their age (e.g., they add humor, keep everyone on schedule, are always sharing/looking out for someone, bring energy, etc.). Notice their everyday achievements, especially when they are working hard toward a goal or doing something out of the ordinary.
Feeling empowered. Kids also want to feel that they have a choice. Based on their age, think of ways you can allow your children to make their own decisions. Also, allow them to perform tasks independently, without hovering nearby and giving instructions. Don’t rob your children of the opportunities to be autonomous.
I know it’s easier said than done, as applying leadership skills does require self-awareness and intentionality. But when you continuously practice leadership behaviors across domains, you will see how your life will change for the better.
I’m curious, how are you already honing your everyday leadership skills?