Universal truths: Leadership, Parenting . . . and conflict

I recently reviewed a book on these pages by David C. Baker, and in my interview with him he talked about parenting being a place where leaders can learn.  He related it to his own experience where the things unsaid often consumed more energy than the things that were said.  Reminding us, as leaders, parents, wives, husbands, and friends – we need to find ways to share the truths as we see them.

I was reminded how being a parent or leader is so similar, and the things we learn to be effective at both roles are the same.  It hit home for me when I want to a parenting seminar from celebratecalm.com and Kirk Martin talk about dealing with teen children.  First he described the boiling over of emotions that often happens in tense situations,  and for me and several friends it was a familiar reaction.  Then he talked about a more effective way to acknowledge what was happening, step back (find another place), and then address it.  He even talked about using the simple action of sitting to help put ourselves in a physical position to effectively deal with conflict.  It was obvious how these skills, used consistently, would alter the conversation and help create a more positive outcome on many levels.

It is important to recognize the roles we play in life (parent, leader, teammate, spouse, friend), our priorities for those roles, and the actions that need to accompany our commitments in these roles.  Too often we think we have to shift gears to play those roles, when in reality many of the skills that make us a good leader will make us a good parent, a good neighbor, or a good friend. 

And if we are an overbearing/directive leader – well maybe that is why teenagers were created. 🙂