Positive Discipline workshop

Photo Reportage of a SoSooper Workshop with INSEAD Alumni

Do you face challenging behaviors or difficult people in your life?

“All the world is queer (odd) save thee and me,
and even thou art a little queer (weird).” – Robert Owen

Relationships are tough and take work. 

It’s true for everyone…whether you have an MBA from INSEAD or graduated from the school of Street Smart or are too young for studies.  Little issues escalate into big annoyances.

  • Your manager “bosses” around, imposing demands without seeking your input
  • Your colleagues are on the phone during your presentations
  • Your partner treats you like a child, “Don’t forget to______”
  • Your child repeatedly misbehaves…. again!!

There are two ways to handle such situations.

Either one party wins and the other loses (Win-Lose “negotiations”)….

Or no-one loses, and everyone gains. (Win-Win results)

It’s sooooo much easier said than done.  That’s why I lead workshops to transmit skills to transform challenges into opportunities for growth for everyone.

Science-Based Relationship Tools

How does one travel from challenges to opportunities?  With relationship tools.  You and I tend to use the same tools over and again.

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

The SoSooper workshops teach an array of relationship-building tools which build mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and the desire to positively contribute to the group.

These science-based tools are based on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler (author of Individual Psychology), Dr. Jane Nelsen (PhD in Education) and psychologist Lynn Lott.  Nelsen and Lott designed the Positive Discipline approach of learning activities which engage the mind, body, and emotions

Photo Reportage of our Interactive Learning Workshop

These INSEAD alumni participated in the conference, Introduction to Positive Discipline for Parents.  I lead numerous workshops for very different audiences, especially for groups of professionals.  With a team of other trainers, we adapt the strong relationship principles to the organizational context.

Discover Also: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Enjoy this glimpse of our event!

Welcome & Context

When speaking with parents who are also professionals, I introduce parenting as leadership development.  We aim to bring up children who will sooner than later be someone’s colleagues.   We also deeply desire that our kids be leaders of their life, that they have the skills and capabilities to thrive.

Notice on the photos how the group is fully attentive.  No phones in sight!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline conference

Inviting Contribution

As humans, we each have the fundamental needs to belong and to contribute.  I put this into practice as of the start, inviting the group to contribute with chores to make our evening conference flow smoothly.  We made a list of Jobs (scribe, clean up, photographer…).  Once the list completed, I invited folk to volunteer for a task.

Silence!

One of the principles of Adlerian Psychology and Positive Discipline is to be FIRM and KIND simultaneously.  The group presented me with the opportunity to model that behavior.

Smile.  “These Jobs still apply and we still need volunteers for each.  Who would like to choose what?” Wait expectantly.

One by one, people stepped up to contribute.  Thanks to each of you.

Oftentimes when a leader assigns a job to someone else, there remains a follow-up period.  It’s like selling the need to do the work. This happens in the office as well as in the home.  Since people volunteered, there was no more need for a convince-to-do-the-job effort.

Engaging group at SoSooper workshop

Set the GPS

Next, as a group, we created two lists.  In our case, we focused on behaviors related to our children.  In a professional context we would focus on behaviors and goals for our team culture:

  • Challenging behaviors of our children
  • Talents & Life Skills we want them to develop

No need to prompt with these.  Suggestions flow, and fast.  Difficult behaviors include perpetual negotiation, defiance, rivalry…  Capabilities to develop include self-esteem, autonomy, desire for excellence, sense of humor….

These lists represent our GPS.  The challenges represent our starting position, today’s situation.  These issues create the invitation to act differently so that, instead of reacting to misbehavior, we proactively train in appropriate conduct and demeanor.

Setting GPS at Positive Discipline workshop

Discovering a Tool

Much of the learning is done by allowing participants to discover the perspective of the other party, in this case, of their child.

Each of the fifty relationship tools presented in my full training programs is presented through a unique interactive exercise which, like this one, engages the whole person.  Instead of theory, participants discover the learning principles for themselves.  “Aha!”

Act 1

In this activity, ten folk played the role of parents and one father played the role of a child.  The “parents” gave the “child” instructions.

“Put your shoes on.” “Brush your teeth.” “Put the phone down.” “Stop fighting with your brother.”…

I love to see how parents enjoy these scenarios.

After this first passage, we debrief the “child” and discover that these instructions encouraged him towards the CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS, like defiance and resistance!

INSEAD alumni at Positive Discipline workshop

Act 2

We embark on a second passage.  This time “parents” present their request through a Firm and Kind question“Do you want to put your blue or your red shoes?” “What do you need to do so your teeth don’t feel scuzzy?!” “What is our agreement on phone usage?” “How could you work this out with your brother?” 

In debriefing, the “child” says he feels responsible and respected.  He is invited to think.  And he chooses to consider each question and probably act on it.  In looking at the two lists, this time he identifies with the talents and skills.  He’s learning decision-making, autonomie, and that he is capable.  His confidence grows.

Denise Dampierre and INSEAD alumni

Through playing the scenario and discussion, participants arrrive at the conclusions themselves:  giving people instructions generates resistance.  Asking questions invites cooperation.

Giving people instructions generates resistance.
Asking questions invites cooperation.

Tools Galore

This Introduction to Positive Discipline provides a taster of the numerous aids to build relationships that respect BOTH the framework-need of the parents and the connection-needs of the children, and to leaders and team-members for professional settings.

These relationship tools work in multiple contexts.

Discover: SoSooper Workshops & Conferences for Teams at Work

Contact me to find out more and to plan a taster event for your network.

Diversity in icecream. Tin Pot Creamery

Embracing Differences without Conflict – from Steven Sels, CEO Primagaz

We are continuing with our series on diversity inspired by Steven Sels, the CEO of Primagaz.  The previous post broached the benefits of diversity and how the company’s intentional strategy to build multi-national and multi-cultural teams favorably impacts their talent management, bottom line, and corporate culture.

Read: 12 Riches of Diversity – Interview with Steven Sels, CEO Primagaz

Today, Sels shares the practical side to harvesting these riches:

  • How it happens
  • Who does what and when
Steven Sels in action

Pre-Requisties to Effective Diversity – Differences without Contention

Sels believes diversity programs fail to reap these riches when the prerequisites are not yet in place.

“Do not start with diversity because it will crash.  For me there is no real cost to diversity. But there are prerequisites that, if they are not in place, I am convinced a diversity strategy will not work.

When there is a culture of openness, collegiate decision-making, work organized in networks (vs. in silos), and the willingness to hire people who do not fit a standard profile, then diversity speeds up performance and growth.”

Denise Dampierre (DD): Describe collegial decision-making at Primagaz.

Steven Sels (SSe): Our Executive Committee – the CEO, CFO, COO, CHRO, CMO – meets weekly.  We are an international group: I am from Belgium, we have a Turk, two French, and a Franco-American who has lived 15 years in the US.

Every Monday, we take the whole afternoon together.

It starts at 11:00 and we resolve the first two issues on the agenda.  Over lunch, the five of us take one and a half hours to debrief the previous week and share what’s coming up.

The afternoon is open for presentations from throughout the organization.  Numerous teams present a project for review and decision-making.  We add to the agenda proposals of a maximum of five slides submitted by the previous Wednesday. During the Monday meetings we spend thirty minutes in discussion with each team.  We do not spend the time reviewing the presentation; we explore and debate the issues. It requires considerable preparation by everyone.

These five slide proposals and ensuing discussion require that team members are aligned with each other; the teams themselves have already practiced collegial decision-making.

The Exec Com reviews many projects every week.  This gives us a feel of the trends and new perspectives. The invitation is open to any team to convince us of a project.

“It can be very difficult for people from other countries to manage French teams.  The fact that we see each other very regularly makes it easier to understand and to be understood.”

DD: Do you have to meet every week and for as long?

SSe:  It’s because we see each other every week that we advance faster.

Colleagues outside the company tell me that this half-day is wasted time.  For me it is four half days gained time!  We don’t have to get the train rolling, it already is in movement and these meetings build the momentum.  It’s a continuum that functions easily, smoothly, and productively.

“Since we review many projects every week, we gain a feel of the trends and new perspectives.”

DD: How do you arrive at collegial decision-making?

SSe: We aim for a unanimous agreement in our Executive Committee.  If someone is not in accord, it is the responsibility of the other members of the committee to find the arguments to convince him. This can take several sessions. If we do not succeed in convincing the other person, then we do not proceed with that venture.

Since we meet so often, we get to know each other and learn to work with our various cultural frameworks and individual personalities.  It is rare that we cannot reach an agreement.

This collegiate decision-making works so well for us because we are multi-national and multi-cultural.  We need to take advantage of our diversity of cultures, points of view, and characters.

Once we have reached the agreement, implementation goes super-fast.  Management is all aligned and we each know what to do to make it happen. What a great advantage!

DD:  You described collegiate decision-making at the Executive Committee level as possibly lengthier in discussion yet speedy in implementation.  How can you act quickly if operational teams also go through the time-consuming process of collegiate decision-making?

SSe: This process of having groups present to the Exec Com forces the teams to be aligned beforehand.  They have been through their own collegiate decision-making process before their proposal reaches us.

“Once we have reached the agreement, implementation goes super-fast.  Management is all aligned and we each know what to do to make it happen.”

DD: What happens when you cannot reach an agreement?  How do you avoid outright conflict?

SSe: It happens very rarely. Very, very, very rarely.

We have a culture where things get said directly, not in back-handed comments in the hallways but face-to-face in the Exec Com meetings.

We also acknowledge cultural differences and account for it.  Take the French. Their communication style is High Complexity & Very Direct.  By the way, this is only true in France, not in other European cultures.

High complexity means using long sentences and sometimes running around the bush before getting to the point. They can also be very direct with comments, like giving a slap.

Germans have Low Complexity and are Direct.  Italians and Spaniards tend towards High Complexity and Indirectness.  That’s also the case with our Turkish head of HR.  The Americans have yet another mentality.  These differing mindsets are wealth that we want to tap into. If we only have French people around the table, or men or women, everyone will come in the same direction because we are all biased on the same way of working.

And yet, it can be very difficult for people from other countries to manage French teams.  The fact that we see each other very regularly makes it easier to understand and to be understood.

“We aim for a unanimous agreement in our Executive Committee.  If someone is not in accord, it is the responsibility of the other members of the committee to find the arguments to convince him.”

In some rare cases, you still need a CEO to decide. I remark, “There are too many different opinions around the table. Here is my proposal and why I think it’s the best for company.”  I open the debate and ask if everyone can find themselves in this solution. And we move on.

DD: Even that is a collegial way to decide!

DD:  How do you handle errors in a collegial decision-making environment?

SSe: We need to be close to our teams and to be visible.  Visible thought leadership. We work in a decentralized organization; we depend upon trust. People must be comfortable saying things.

Admitting error only works when people know an example of someone who exposed himself and the situation turned out positively for him and for the company. They can tell themselves, “I dare speak up.”

We apply this regularly in meetings asking, “Is there still an elephant in the room?”  Is there a potential or actual problem that everyone sees yet nobody talks about?  We make it super easy and simple to broach so that people see that they are not blamed.

When I learn of a mistake, I pick up the phone and call someone at our holding company.  We can only correct mistakes when we know about them.  Then we seek solutions.  It’s simple.  It’s our culture.

I worked in other organizations before joining SHV Holdings where employees had suspicions about unethical behavior.  They kept quiet.  That doesn’t happen here.  Bad news travels quickly so that we can do something about it.

“How we shape our buildings shapes our business and our people.”

We also have to be in touch with our indirect reports and reduce notions of hierarchy.  Hierarchy fosters fear.  We use our physical building space to create connection.  It’s open space with possibilities for privacy.  Open space only works well when people also have an opportunity to retreat.  We call it Total Workplace Organization because how we shape our buildings shapes our business and our people.

There is no golden rule to preventing mistakes.  It’s a daily effort.

Thank You

Many thanks, Steven Sels, for sharing with simplicity (Low Complexity) and candor (Direct) how Primagaz transforms the concept of diversity and the reality of different perspectives into quality decision-making and speedy implementation.

  • Meet often & consistently
  • Model the behavior you seek
  • Create processes which reinforce collegial decision-making at multiple levels
  • Take time to get Ready & Set. Then GO!

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll be sharing a tool to put these insights into practice.

Questions for Steven Sels?  Post them in the comments below.  Thanks.

Cover photo – Tin Pot Creamery
They ship ice cream throughout the US! 

Woman doing pushups in Pilates class

Lead Constructive Meetings – Tips from Pilates

For many of us, meetings are a necessary evil.  We need team ressources and support, so we have to meet.  And yet many meetings feel unproductive.

How does one organize and run a meeting for optimal teamwork and productivity?

Contrary to popular believe, efficient and effective meetings rarely start by jumping right into the meat of the matter.  That’s expecting everyone to have thinking, listening, and creative caps donned.

It’s rarely the case.

Here is inspiration from one of my most envigorating weekly meetings:  a Pilates class.

1. Define the Mindset

Tips from Pilates

Our teacher begins every class the same way.

“Breathe.  Stand straight.  Feet hip-width apart.  Shoulders above hips.  Tummy muscles squeezed tight. Let your chin drop towards the sternum and feel the stretch…”

Every time, I am caught by both surprise and familiarity.

Surprised because I’m slouching, am disconnected with my body, and don’t even realize it!

These regularly repeated words prime both my spirit and my body for stretching and muscle-building. It takes 10 seconds.

Positive Mindset in Meetings

How do you prime your team members for alignment during your meeting?  Model the behavior you seek.

For connectedness: Take 10 seconds to smile and look each person in the eye.

To tackle a challenge regarding the competition: Link your fingers and stretch your arms out in front of you.

To foster listening: Stay silent until the room quiets down.

2. Engage the Core Muscles

Tips from Pilates

“Tighten your abs. Squeeze the inside of your thighs …”

Engage the Core Muscles in Meetings

What will constitute a “firm core” for your meeting?  Let the group know the intellectual muscle you expect.

“Let’s put those creativity caps on!”

“We have a full agenda.  We want to hear from everyone who has something new and relevant to add.”

“Disagreement is OK. When we present our viewpoint, let’s stick to facts. I may request a moment for each of us to write our thoughts down before continuing the debate.”

3. Clarify Expectations

Tips from Pilates

“Feel the stretch in your lower back…”   It’s our cue for success; if we only feel the legs, something is out of whack.

Clarify Expectations with a Meeting Agenda

A shared written agenda helps keep the meeting on track.  It’s an agreed-upon tool to refocus.

“The decision we have to make today is ___________. You have a valid point and we still need to move ahead.”

Time indicators on your agenda adds yet another element of accountability.

“We had spent 15 minutes debating this issue.  Are we getting ready to decide or do we need to come back to this topic with additional information?  If so, who will do what?”

4. Maximize Results in Minimum Time

Tips from Pilates

“Let’s tone triceps.  For these push-ups, place your hands facing forward with arms next to your body.”

Standard push-ups build upper body strength.  This particularly positionning tones triceps.  Our goal is fit-looking arms to show off our summer wardrobe.  These forward-facing pushups get us the results easier and faster.

Stay Focused

Less is more.  Avoid distraction that generate lengthy, somewhat-related discussions.  Aim to define several concrete steps to move forward and assigning who does what.  That’s HUGE and motivating to all.

5. Self-Evaluate

Tips from Pilates

Between exercises, our Pilates instructor reminds us to align our body, to strengthen our core, and where to feel the stretch.

Oops!  I squeezed those glutes five minutes ago and then shifted my concentration to the movement.  In that short time span, I forget to keep those butt muscles engaged!

Invite Re-Alignment throughout the Meeting

In the same way, it’s helpful to return to meeting’s posture, purpose, and schedule to check in.

To avoid putting someone on the spot, invite self-evaluation.

“How are we doing on creativity/timeliness/mutual respect/?  What could you do to help us be more imaginative/productive/effective listeners?  Let’s continue…”

Read Turn Good Intentions to Great Teamwork for an example of self-evaluation during meetings.

 

6. Nourish your Brain

Tips from Pilates

Between exercises we rehydrate with water infused with lemon, ginger, or cucumber.

Serve Water during Meetings

Do you know that the brain contains 80% water?  Studies show that hydration contributes to memory and clear thinking.

Serving water also creates a pause in the meeting dynamic.  Try relieving tension between participants by offering a glass of water.  These nanoseconds allow the brain to receive nourishment AND to process emotions which boosts the ability to reason and rationally weigh alternatives.

The humble act of service demonstrates your care for the participants.  It’s a basic human need to seek belonging and significance.  A glass of water with a smile allows you to connect one-on-one with a person, even during a large meeting.

7. End with a Closing Routine

Tips from Pilates

“One last stretch before we go.”

Stretch the Value of the Meeting with One Word to Recap

“Let’s go around the table with a take-away from each of you.”

This is a gentle yet firm way of securing buy-in….at least on something.  Peer pressure encourages even the reticent participant to contribute.  It could be eye opening for them to realize the meeting held value to their colleagues.

If the closing comments fall below your hopes,consider how to prepare or manage your next meetings differently.  Take stock:

  • What went well?
  • When were the less productive moments?
  • How well did your respect the schedule (ie and respect the value of your participants’ time)?

Want to participate in a business meeting with these tips in action?  Contact me about organizing a conference in your workplace.

Apply to Life

These techniques work marvels with children around the kitchen table.  It’s the opportunity to address an elephant in the room and get the kids involved.

“I noticed that we have trouble getting out the door on time in the morning.”

Define the Mindset – Smile.  Reassure the children this is a time for solution-finding, not blaming.  “Around this table I won’t tell anyone to ‘Stop dragging your feet.’”

Clarify Expectations “Let’s come up with ideas to make mornings calm and joyful.  From our list we can choose one to try this week.”

Invite Self-Evaluation“Yes, your brother could ______.  What could YOU do?”

Stay Focused – When the kids squabble among each other, reframe.  “Hum. How is that pinching helping us get out the door on time? (Pause. Eye contact. Smile.) Another idea?”

Finish Strong“Let’s each say one phrase to share what you thought of our meeting.”

  • “I felt like a big person.”
  • “I know how to help.”
  • “We have great ideas!”

Cover photo from Unsplash

Serenity of lighthouse

Serenity to Accept Things I Cannot Change

Google announces 6,2 Million results to my search for “Serenity Prayer.”

Many team-help groups gain inspiration from this prayer:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

These lines hold “serenity” as the namesake, and yet who focuses on accepting the things they cannot change?!

Courage to Change Things

How exciting and ego-boosting to be a valiant savior!

To show courage and, with chivalry, to forge ahead into the unknow with sword drawn.  We can almost hear the cheerleaders encouraging us on: “A.C.T…I.O.N….Action, Action, We want Action!”  

Wisdom to Choose

The wizened elder expounding sound advice conjures up a positive image too.

The sage gathers a following of disciples.

The wise person holds authority.

The counselor is sought out.

A mentor’s insights lead to action.

Decision-making is prized by people from all walks of life

  • CEO’s organize “strategy sessions” around critical company decisions
  • Poets pen about our choice of life path…which makes all the difference
  • Child educators and neuroscientists refer to developing social and emotional skills by triggering areas of the brain related to decision-making

Making choices also brings a semblance of control, a feeling especially prized when we feel out of control!

Serenity to Do Nothing!!!

Isn’t doing nothing…bad?!

Non-action runs against our sense of control.  When we make a move, we feel power.  When we wait, we depend upon others.

Inaction is vulnerability.  Big time.

Serenity: When “Doing Nothing” is Good

To Accept Matters Beyond our Control

Some battles we cannot win; matters are beyond our control.

As I write, the French railroad employees are striking.  No personal effort on my part will get my scheduled train on the tracks.  Serenity helps me stop waste time moaning and groaning.   Then wisdom and courage get me on my smart phone to reserve a spot on a car-pool app.

Challenges happen.  We don’t choose war, persecution, cancer, corporate takeovers, our noisy next-door neighbors or ageing.

We do choose how we encounter hurdles:  either as victims or as survivors.  Serenity helps transform anger, hurt, and frustration into resilience, creativity, and hope.

Serenity helps us step back to identify whether we have a chance to win the challenge-of-the-moment.

To Take a Step Back

Sometimes our trouble results from a choice we took; our chosen path did not lead to the desired destination.

If we climb the winding trail at the base of Machu Pichu, we will not find a Yurt.  In the same way, no matter how far we travel the plains of Mongolia, we won’t find Inca treasures.

It sounds obvious…and yet how many of us slurp ice cream or sip wine and simultaneously lament being out of shape?

Or let steam out on a colleague and expect them to be motivated at work.

Or nag at our children and anticipate they will turn to us as trustworthy, secure, and patient counselors.

Sometimes the best action is to STOP. That’s what serenity helps us do…and to look around and find an alternative route to reach our goal.

How to Build Serenity

Serenity in the Brain

Our ability to observe a situation with calm and clarity relies on brain chemistry.

Have you noticed how your thoughts get fuzzy under emotional excitation, whether anger or extreme frustration or deep grief?

Our human brains physically disconnect.  The prefrontal cortex (which enables you and I to make logical connections, develop plans, understand emotional cues….) lifts and exposes the mid-brain which is responsible for our gut reactions of fight, flight, or freeze.  Dr. Daniel Siegel, neuroscientist at Stanford, explains it in this two-minute video.

Serenity in the Mind

Sometimes it just takes seconds (literally) to help calm the brain and to reason clearly again.

1. My favorite way is through laughter

… and sometimes I fake it until I make it. Other times, I imagine the S.H.I.T. hitting the fan…literally.  Stench.  Aggggh, the clean up!

The dread of this outcome makes me laugh.  AND STOP.

2. Gratitude also invites serenity.

Early in my career I interned with a clothing manufacturer to do market research and help the company owner prepare a five-year growth plan. The team consisted of seasoned men who had worked their way up in the garment district.  They considered me book smart and street stupid and wanted to prove me wrong.  I presented what I thought was the final report…and then discovered mistakes in the Excel calculations!  No opportunity to reverse time or to delete the shared files from these colleagues’ computers.

Gratitude helped me find serenity which then allowed me to act with intelligence.

  • Thankful to have found the mistake as soon as I did and that it did not change the recommendations
  • Thankful I learned to review. Review. REVIEW work early on in my career
  • Thankful to realize that we become super through our bloopers…the inspiration behind SoSooper!

 

Serenity is simple.  Not easy.  The opposite of serenity is worry and brooding.  Now THAT is complicated!!!

In what situations do you need serenity?

What do you do to take a step back and regain perspective?

 

Cover photo by Joshua Hibbert from Unsplash.
Fanny Smith Ski Cross Olympics 2018

Time Optimization Tips from the Olympics

Time management matters when nanoseconds make the cut for an Olympic medal.

That’s the case with champion women’s skicross Fanny Smith, from Villars-sur-Ollon, who won the bronze medal in the Olympics at PyeongChang.  Our children learned to ski in Villars and I too felt that thrill of the locals when she earned her medal.

Fanny Smith Bronze Olympics 2018

On our local slopes we don’t see these; they are prevelant at the Olympics.  The blue lines on the slopes.

 

Optimize Time with Success Lines

These markers help racers and coaches trace the optimal path to follow.  It’s literally their time-optimization guide.  Stay within the lines to go faster.

How do you track the optimal path and reach your goals fast?  For your life?  For your work? For your relationships?

Time management is an issue for many of us.  Few of us can afford hours retracing our steps.  And yet many of us do so with relationships.  Building positive rapport between people takes time…and it takes even longer to clean up after the s*@! hits the fan. 

Too far off these blue lines and the skiers crash and forfeit the race.

If you find yourself impatient or frustrated or repeating yourself, it’s time to consider.  Might something be out-of-focus: either your goal or the path to get there?

Save Time & Fix your objective

I begin many workshops with an activity* to bring our goals into clear focus.

Step 1—List the Time Consuming Challenges

What zaps your time and energy in relationships?  We clear out what blocks our vision by naming these challenges.

For a workshop for managers of Millennials, we wrote down “Challenges Working with Millennials.”

Participants chime in: resistance to rules, attached to the phone, in need of perpetual feedback, (too) high view of his (untested) capabilities, and even spelling mistakes.

Maybe you don’t work with the Gen Y.  Then tweak the question to match your work dynamics:

  • Challenges of working with off-site teams
  • Challenges of working in Finance/Legal/Marketing in an industrial group

This process of listing difficulties creates a positive group dynamic and opens communication.  Everyone realizes we sweat and worry over similar predicaments.  In expressing these shared relationship challenges, we give ourselves and each other the permission to be human and to learn.

Expressing the negatives has the effect of letting dust settle.  The atmosphere is lighter and we are ready to clearly focus on the positives we seek.

Step 2—Identify the Team Skills to Build

We then create a separate and complementary list to bring the leadership goals into focus.  These are the skills managers seek to transmit to their teams to create a motivating and performing work environment.  We enumerate them under, “Qualities of our Team’s Culture.”

Of course, you seek to develop technical capabilities: mastery of financial analysis or digital marketing tool.  You ALSO aim to build communication and soft skills:  trust, mutual respect, learning from experienced team members, learning from youth, seeking excellence…

Step 3—Assess

Once the two lists are completed, we step back to review them side by side and invite comments from everyone

Some participant are motivated: “I had not thought of myself in the leadership development business.  How inspiring!”

Others balk: “What pressure.  I don’t master all those soft skills.  How can I pass them on to my team?”

Many have questions: “Do I have to do all of them at once?” and “So, what is the link between the two lists?”

Step 4—Use Time Optimizing Success Lines

Success lines help us identify where we are and where to aim.  They’re like a GPS.

These lists represent our leadership GPS.

The challenges point to our present situation.  “You are here.”  This is where we have arrived using our current leadership style.  This is also where you will stay by continuing with your actual managerial tools. 

The qualities represent our desired destination.  Like when your team members jump out of bed in the morning with enthusiasm to get to work and engage with a dynamic team.  Or when colleagues seek you or your employee out for greater responsibilities.

Focus, Focus, Focus

But you may wonder, “It’s just a list…”

Correction.  It’s a lens. 

You get what you measure.  When your bonus is set on profit, you’ll likely avoid high volume, low margin customers.

“Human systems grow in the direction of their deepest and most frequent inquiries.” – David Cooperrider, founder of Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western University

Our leadership focus is what we generate in our team. Your and my focus matters because it changes our actions.

“The act of looking for certain information evokes the information we went looking for—and simultaneously eliminates our opportunity to observe other information.” – John Wheatley, quantum physicist

When we talk, model, clarify, and encourage the qualities we seek in our team, we create clear success lines. And that saves tons of time…and money, and energy, and good spirits.

Positive Communication Tools

A clear focus is the first among many tools to build the qualities in your Leadership GPS.  Check out the workshops to discover others and how to develop them in your team.

Leadership GPS Works In Life too

This optimizing GPS applies in personal relationships as well.

When our four boys were young I embarked on a husband-improvement-program.  As a woman, I KNEW how to be a great dad!!!

Every day for one month I noted one helpful behavior my husband did for the family and let him know my appreciation.  “Honey, thanks for having done the dishes. It’s really nice to finally relax after having put the kids to bed.”

I anticipated behavioral modification in my husband.  This process changed me. 

My previous focus lay on the mountain of chores to be done and how my husband did not do his part.  My tone of voice often sounded critical.  When focusing on his contributions, I became more enjoyable to be around.  Maybe he became more involved or my company became more pleasant; either way, we ALL (sons included) do chores.

Ranking high on the list of “Dampierre Qualities to Groove Together” (our family GPS) you’ll find:

Everyone in the family helps.

Food for thought

  • How many times a day do you focus on what is going wrong? On what is going right?
  • How time effective is your critique?
  • Your critique is welcome here. What do you disagree with in this post?

Tell us in the comments.  Thanks.

 

Cover photo from lacote.ch

Girl eyeing cupcake

Celebrate Today…with Cake!

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

24 delightfully decorated cupcakes
by English Dream Cakes

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

A party without cake is just a meeting.
Julia Child

A day without celebration is just a series of tasks.
SoSooper & English Dream Cakes

Cheryl and Dew, the culinary artists of English Dream Cakes, are offering 24 decorated cupcakes…for you to create an occasion for celebration.  The gift is valid through the end of February.  Their hope is to provide a reason for a party.  No need to wait for a birthday.  Today is an occasion for conviviality.

Cupcake-Teddy-Bears
Decorated cupcakes by English Dream Cakes
Cupcakes decorated by English Dream Cakes
Decorated cupcake by English Dream Cakes

The winner of these 24 cupcakes gets to choose the desired décor. Yummy!

Carpe Deum – Celebrating Today

A mother of 3 young children recently shared a frustration: life with little kids is constant interruptions.

  • In the morning rush she finally gets everyone out the door and walking to school…and the little one has a pebble in her boot. The trip to school is interrupted.
  • The children splash in the bath and one slips and gets hurt. You were cooking dinner. No longer.
  • You’re on the ski slope and one child mutters, “I have pipi in my weewee.” Ski is put on hold for everyone the time to go the bathroom.

A wizened mother of 6 children shared with me her secret to perspective…and good humor throughout child-chaos-filled days.

Interruptions ARE the real life.

Interruptions ARE the real life, not distractions from it.  She pointed me towards C.S. Lewis’ quote (author of the Chronicles of Narnia and more):

“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life.”

Transform Interruptions into a Celebration

Not long after my conversation with Wise Mom (above), my children’s teachers went on strike (again).  This DEFINITELY constitutes a big-time disruption in my planned-to-the-minute life.

Instead of whining about the French national education system (which I felt like doing), we transformed this interruption into an opportunity for celebration and invited other parents and children over. A potentially very-bad-day turned out to be a re-energizing benefit for parents and children.

Try it too.

Combat Gloom with a Celebration

Winter in Paris feels glum. The white stone buildings appear grey.  So do the concrete streets and sidewalks.  The bare trees take on a greyish hue…

That’s where the English Dream Cakes cupcakes can transform your season.  With 24 delicacies, you have the ingredients to create a party just because.

Try out one of these party themes

  • It’s great to be alive
    Carpe Deum. Seize the day.  We cannot change the past.  Our attitude about today will impact our future.  Love life today.
  • Meet the neighbors
    Make friends of your neighbors. VERY helpful for parents.  Read here.
  • Meet the parents of your kids’ friends
    Discover who your kids hang out with. As soon as your children have phones, it is difficult to know about their friends.  Find out now & invite parents and kids together.
  • We’ve come a long way
    Everyone celebrates an accomplishment
  • I will survive
    Studies show strong relationships provides emotional and physical strength to overcome.  Get together with friends for encouragement if you need it now…or because you might need it later.
  • We’re stronger together
    Be a model of teamwork for your children.
    “I’ll bring dreamy cupcakes.”
    “I’ll bring bubbly for all ages.”
    “I’ll bring decorations.”
    “I’ll bring poker chips.”

You can also order your dreamy and delicious cakes directly from English Dream Cakes here.

Girl enthralled by candles

Spend a Moment in Wonder

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

A Candle for Relaxation and Well-Being
from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Une parenthese bougie
Today’s gift. A scented candle for relaxation and well-being from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Candle Wonder

There is something wonder-full about candlelight.  For kids of all ages!

Is it the hypnotic way the flame flickers?

Or the association of candles with memory-filled events

  • Birthdays
  • Fancy meals, like at a restaurant or with the “grown up plates”
  • Visits to churches where candls flicker and light strwons through the color-filled stained-glass windows
  • And Christmas or Hanukah!

And it might be with the way adults treat fire with such care.  “Darling, CAREFUL. Your can get burned.” Literally.

Love flickers like flames too.  A spark enflames and warms or burns. Figuratively.

Candle magic for children

 

Children’s Questions – What do they wonder about?

Children have questions about fire and love.  They have been hurt or seen others in pain.  Why? How come?

How to answer their queries…when we hardly have answers ourselves.

What if activities with candles could help shed light on your children’s searching for answers about loving others and about being loved.

Questions like

  • “Do you love me more than _______?”
  • “Does love stop?”
  • “So many bad things happen.  I’m so small.  Can just a tiny bit of good make a difference?”

“Why be good when there is so much bad?”

Children sure do have a knack for asking Some. Tough. Questions.

Do you or I even have the answer to this one?  If we did, could we express such complex responses in words that our children can understand?

Candle Activity

Here is an activity that conveys the power of hope in the face of just a tiny bit of light.

How to:

  1. Take your children into a totally dark room.
    Sometimes the only place is a windowless bathroom.  One friend spoke of taking the children into their WC (in France there is a room with just the toilet seat).  What unique memories they cherish!
  2. Bring along one candle and a match or lighter.
  3. Notice the blackness without making it scary.
    “I can’t see anything!”
    “How many fingers am I holding up?”
    “Let me try and find your nose…oh is that your ear instead?!”
  4. Ask the kids how they feel…and how this makes them want to act.
    “I feel alone so I want to talk and have you talk to me so that I know I’m not alone.”
    “I feel lost so I’m scared to move. I don’t want to hurt myself.”
  5. Light the candle.
  6. Notice that it is one-small-flame in One. Whole. Room.
  7. Now ask how they feel and how this makes them want to act.
    “I see just enough to move and not hurt myself. I can move.”
    “I see you and I know I am not alone.  I can find your hand and we can be together.”

The children just EXPERIENCED the answer to their philosophical quandary.  One small light makes a HUGE difference. “Be a light, darling.  Be kind even if others are being mean.”

Child holding candle

“Does Love Stop?”

What happens when grandfather dies?  Or when couples separate? Or when friends move to another city?  Does love stop?!

This question surely benefits from answers in layers.  A few words one day.  A different approach a next day.  Reading a book together about the subject.  And possibly this activity with a candle.

Candle Activity

What you need:

It works best with a candle, something to light it, a cup to turn upside down over the flame.  A transparent cup or glass makes this even more dramatic.

How to:

  1. Gather the children around the lighted candle on the table.
    Admire the flames and it’s lively flicker.
  2. Notice together how this candle is like love, burning and warm.
  3. Cover the candle with the cup turn upside down over the flame. Allow a bit of smoke to gather inside the cup before smothering out the flame.
  4. Remove the cup and notice how the smoke is visible and rises from the still glowing wick. It rises in a clear ribbon of smoke and then diffuses into the air and throughout the room.
  5. Notice how we even breathe in tiny bits of the rest of the flame and carry it in our bodies!

In a similar way, the love for the child remains when someone dies or distance separates.  Love takes on a different form, one that can travel far.

Even when we do not see the flame or feel its warmth as we did before, the love is still there.

“Do you love me more?”

We do this activity in our Positive Discipline classes.  We”ll discover it together in person.  Ask about upcoming classes here.

 

Wishing you peace AND growth as we all struggle through understanding and living out Love.

Contact (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Surprised and joyful boy

Welcome surprises and encourage learning

 Today’s Gifts on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

One My Little Box & One My Gambettes Box
from My Little Paris 

How to receive these gifts?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky ones to win the draw.

My Little Paris graces the life of 100 000 people worldwide with their monthly themed boxes.  My Little Box reveals beauty products and lifestyle accessories and the Gambettes Box unveils 2 totally chic and unique legwear every month.

  

My Little Paris chooses it’s monthly themes with care so that surprise even means continuity, not chaos, so that you can fully delight in them.

November’s Box brought comfort, the kind you seek when lounging on a Sunday.  Comfort for the face, the hands, for fun and for food.

Gambettes Box took an intellectual turn with leaf designs as you leaf through your books at the Sorbonne Library!

And December? Can’t unveil that box yet…or it would not be a surprise!

learn through surprise and trust

Invite Surprise @ Home = Relinquish some Control

“It’s been known for a long time that it’s unexpected events in particular that drive learning,” asserts Wael Asaad, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Brown University.

How about surprising the children, especially one that seems reticent to learn, with responsibility. 

“Are you sure?” parents respond.

Many of the mothers and fathers who attend our workshops seek predictability.  Control.  Yet they find it slipping away.

As one father puts it, “The more I try to keep the kids in control, the more out of control I feel.”

Your Relationship-Building Surprise

Why not try a once-a-month relationship-building surprise. 🙂

Consider the “Smooth Morning Out the Door with a Smile” Theme

Select a Date

This is an exceptional event.  Put it on the calendar for everyone to look forward to.  Choose a weekend morning when there is less pressure to be on time.

Who wants to be in charge?

Invite a child to have the responsibility of getting out the door on time to a child.  “Who would like to Be In Charge?”

Consider offering this to your most “problematic-in-the-morning” child.  You’ll be surprised at ALL OF THE LEARNING you’ll do…and together!

 Prepare when you are calm

With the date set in advance, you can help your child prepare.

Your child both knows and does not know what to do.  Help her formalize the routine.  “What needs to happen so that we get out the door well?”

Make it like a brainstorming together.

  • “Honey, what do you want to remember for your ‘Morning I’m In Charge’?”
  • “Remind me what needs to get done in the morning before we go…. Yes, we do need to choose clothes. Could that be done the night before or do we HAVE TO DO IT with blurry eyes?… You decide.  You’re in charge.”

Gather Helpful Tools

“Darling, what could help you get the job done? 
A buzzer to keep track of time?
A meeting of the family the night before where you remind everyone of what they have to do?
Waking up earlier?” 

Let your child choose.  She’s in charge.

Be a Gracious Follower

Remember the first times you prepared your babe to go out and forgot the extra diaper and the pacifier fell in the mud and….

Your child will probably face challenges and could even get frustrated because she has HIGH expectations.

Be the first one to behave as requested. Do what is asked of you…and try to refrain from doing more.

Allow your child to experience the challenge of herding a group out the door.  THIS FRUSTRATION is part of the prize.

Once your children realize how much effort is required, they become more understanding and cooperative with you. ????

Review and Improve

“So, darling, what went well?”

Invite their self-evaluation and offer a few genuine positive observations as well.

Maybe it felt like a fiasco.  Did you get out the door?  Then share that.  “Honey, we got out the door!”

Ask your child what she would like to do differently next time.  Help keep it specific.  If she asks you, offer ONE idea for change.  Specific means doable, which means she could succeed next time.

One Mom’s Story

“Our second son was so contrarian.  I felt like we were in a perpetual power struggle.  By the time we got out the door in the morning, I was ready for a nap!

We tried this Mom-Son role switch.

Mr. Rebel was delighted. ”You’ll let ME be in charge, Mom?!”

He became a new person, Mr. Responsible, being conscientious with his job.  In the middle of the preparation he realized this was work.  “Can we switch back, Mom, and I’ll be the kid again?”

We encouraged him to follow through to the end.

The experience transformed our every day morning ritual.  Firstly, the morning routine was clear in everyone’s mind.  Our previously challenging son because the first one ready.”

Respect

Give and Get Respect

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

The Gift of Respect Downloadable
from SoSooper 

How to receive this gift?  Download them here.

Respect is one of those words that, since we all know what it means, we rarely define it…or describe what it sounds like in our home.

It’s relevance reaches from marching for rights for your daughter to speaking to her with honor.  Everyday.  Especially when you are (justifiably) MAD.

Today’s gift provides a more effective way of resolving the conflict than through a one-sided “discussion” that leaves both parent and child frustrated.

Gift of respect of kidsR.E.S.P.E.C.T. The Parents

Every parent has had a conversation like this at some time:

Parent making a request to a child: “Darling, could you set the table please?” (or clean up your room, or put the video games away, or….)

Child: No response.

Parent: “Sweetheart?!”

Child chooses one of the following responses:

  • Rolls eyes. Heaves a HEAVY SIGH.
    or
  • “You ALWAYS pick on me. Why don’t you ask my brother? 
    He played too…”
    or
  • “N.O.”

The parent, justifiably miffed and taking the child’s response personally, launches into a Thou-shalt-not-treat-thy-parent-with-disrespect Discourse. 

“Hello?!  This is your M.O.T.H.E.R. (or F.A.T.H.E.R.) you are talking to.  You DO NOT speak to me that way.  I do _____ for you and…blah blah blahAND also…more blah blah. Do you hear me?

You, the parent, feel like you did your job of correcting your child.  It was a necessary, one-sided “discussion.”

The kid might mumble an apology or look down. Until the next time.

In the Child’s Mind

Yet what is this child thinking about his parent?

Is this the person he wants to turn to when he feels insecure? 

When he knows he has made a mistake and is not quite sure what to do next?

How does he understand the meaning of respect? Does R.E.S.P.E.C.T. mean that children should speak politely to parents but mothers and fathers may rant and rave?

Does R.E.S.P.E.C.T. mean that children should speak politely to parents but not visa versa?! Click to Tweet

Ouch!

Today’s gift provides a more effective way of resolving the conflict than through a one-sided “discussion” that leaves both parent and child frustrated.

It’s a gift where parents accept to stop the Grand Discourse upon the child’s request. 

When will the child learn his lesson?!

In our Positive Discipline workshops, we role play these situations.  A parent takes on the role of the child and is placed in front of parents who go on and on with instructions.

“I stopped listening,” is the most common response.

Chances are your child turned his ears off too as soon as you rampaged into your speech.

There is a time to broach the issue.  When both parent and child are calm.  That’s when you can connect and ask questions that uncover your kid’s motivations, beliefs, and expectations.

Today’s gift keeps a positive connection with your child SO THAT you can effectively address the bothersome issue fully and effectively.

How The Gift of Respect works

 

Gift of Respect of parentsGift of respect of kids

The Gift of Respect includes

  • 3 “tickets” your children can use to ask you to stop lecturing.  You can bring up the subject at another time, just not now and without a “talking-at.”
    You’ll see on the Gift Certificates three phrases

    • Cool your jets
    • Chill Out
    • Gimme a Break
  • 2 “tickets” you can use with your kids for the to S.T.O.P.

Every month, the child may “play” each of the “tickets.”  Three times a month she can ask mother or father to please stop lecturing her.

Every month, the parent has two “stops” to play.  No more last nab in the ribs of the sibling, no more eye roll or SIGH!  An immediate halt to a stated misbehavior.

The Gift of Respect in Real Life

A mother was driving her son to a sports event and he was late…again.  Mom, legitimately annoyed, started telling her son how FRUSTRATING it was to have to go through the same process. Every. Week. Again. & Again.

From the back seat she hears a quiet, “Cool your jets.

Mom: “Honey, did you just say, ‘Cool your jets’ like ‘Mom, you are lecturing me.  Please stop.’”?

Child: “Yup.”

Mom: “Oh.”

Mother notices then that she is seething interiorly…and realizes she is more in the mind frame of blaming her child for his misbehavior than she is in finding a solution to avoid it in the future.

DIFFICULT AS IT IS, she refrains herself and remains silent.

Of course, this issue still weighs on her mind.  While her child is at sports practice, Mom realizes there must be an underlying reason to her son’s repeated tardiness.

That night, when tucking her son into bed, she sits by him and asks some questions

  • “Honey, I have noticed that you are often the last one to be ready to leave. Have you noticed that too?”
  • “What makes it difficult to be ready on time?”
  • “What could help you be ready earlier?”
  • “Which of these new ideas can you do on your own?”
  • “How could I help you?”

Tough & Powerful

This mother concluded, “I have a love-hate relationship with this Gift of Respect.

I hate it when my lack of self-control is exposed.  I hate it when I cannot have my way and just say what is on my mind.

And yet, I love it that my relationship with my children is transformed.  We engage in rich discussions about character qualities; we did not have those before.  I love it how the children seek me out to talk about sensitive issues like sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, and friends, and parties…. I love not seeing those eye rolls anymore.  I love how the children share their love for me when I act pretty unpleasant.  Now they are the ones to tell me, ‘Can we talk about this later when we are both calm?’

We used the Gift of Respect for about two years.  After that, our way of managing misbehavior had changed so we did not need it anymore.”

Respect

Le Respect Donnant Donnant

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

Les Tickets Super-Dose de Respect
de SoSooper

Comment recevoir un cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous pourriez être le chanceux qui gagnera le tirage !

Le respect est un de ces mots dont tout le monde connaît la signification mais que l’on définit rarement ou l’assimile à quelque chose dans notre maison.

Le cadeau d’aujourd’hui offre un moyen plus efficace de résoudre le conflit que par un Grand Discours sur le respect qui laisse le parent et l’enfant frustrés.

Cadeau de respect de l'enfantR.E.S.P.E.C.T.ez les parents

Tous les parents ont déjà eu une conversation comme celle-ci :

Un parent demande à son enfant :”Chérie, est-ce que tu peux mettre la table s’il te plaît ?” (ou ranger ta chambre, ou arrêtez de jouer aux jeux vidéos…)

L’enfant : Pas de réponse

Le parent : “Mon coeur?!”

L’enfant choisi une des réponses suivantes :

  • Il fait les gros yeux. Il est avachi.
    ou
  • “ Tu me choisi toujours. Pourquoi tu ne demandes pas à mon frère ? Il a aussi joué…”
    ou
  • “N.O.N.”

Le parent, à juste titre fâché et prenant personnellement la réponse de l’enfant, se lance dans un discours où il lui dit : Tu ne dois pas manquer de respect à tes parents.

“Pardon?! C’est à ta M.A.M.A.N. (ou ton P.A.P.A.) à qui tu t’adresses. Tu ne peux pas me parler de cette façon. Je fais tout ça pour toi et … blabla … blabla… Est-ce que tu m’entends?”

Vous, le parent avez l’impression d’avoir fait votre travail en reprenant votre enfant. C’était une discussion nécessaire.

Votre enfant va peut-être marmonner des excuses ou alors baisser les yeux. Jusqu’à la prochaine fois.

Dans la tête de l’enfant

Que pense cet enfant de son parent ?

Est-ce que c’est vers cette personne qu’il se tournera quand il ne se sent pas en sécurité ?

Quand il sait qu’il a fait une erreur et qu’il ne sait pas quoi faire après ?

Comment comprend t-il le sens du mot respect ? Est-ce que le R.E.S.P.E.C.T. signifie que les enfants devrait parler poliment à leurs parents mais les mamans et les papas peuvent-ils toujours s’énerver contre eux ?

Aïe !

Le cadeau du jour offre un moyen plus efficace de résoudre les conflits que par une discussion qui laisse le parent et l’enfant frustrés.

C’est un cadeau où les parents acceptent d’arrêter le “grand discours” à la demande d’un enfant.

Quand est-ce que l’enfant va apprendre la leçon ?

Dans nos ateliers de Discipline Positive, nous jouons des jeux de rôle de ce genre de situations. Un parent prend le rôle de l’enfant et reçoit une tirade d’instructions.

“J’ai arrêté d’écouter” est la réponse la plus commune.

Il y a de fortes chances que votre enfant se bouche les oreilles avant même que vous ayez commencer votre discours.

Il est temps d’aborder le problème. Quand le parent et l’enfant sont calmes. C’est à ce moment que vous pouvez poser des questions qui révèlent des motivations, des croyances et des attentes de votre enfant.

Le cadeau du jour permet de maintenir un lien positif avec votre enfant afin que vous puissiez résoudre pleinement et efficacement le comportement désagréable.

 

Comment fonctionne les “Tickets de Respect” ?

Gift of Respect of parentsGift of respect of kids

Les “Tickets de Respect” incluent :

  • 3 “tickets” que vos enfants peuvent utiliser afin de vous demander d’arrêter vos “grand discours”. Vous pourriez aborder le sujet plus tard, mais pas maintenant et sans discoures.
    Sur ce document, vous trouverez trois phrases :

    • “C’est pas la fin du monde”
    • “J’ai besoin d’air “
    • “T’inquiète “
  • 2 “tickets” que vous pouvez utiliser avec vos enfants pour leur dire STOP N.E.T.

Chaque mois, l’enfant peut jouer avec chaque de ses “tickets”. Trois fois par mois, l’enfant peut demander à sa maman ou son papa d’arrêter de lui faire la leçon.

Chaque mois, le parent a deux “Stops” qu’il peut utiliser. Fini les chamailleries entre frères.  Plus de derniers mots. Stop !

Le Cadeau du Respect dans la Vrai Vie

Une maman conduisait son fils à un événement sportif et il était en retard… encore. La maman, légèrement agacée a commencé à dire à son fils comment c’était frustrant car c’était la même chose chaque semaine.  Encore et encore.

De l’arrière de la voiture, elle entend, “J’ai besoin d’air”.

Maman : “Chérie, est-ce que tu viens de dire ‘j’ai besoin d’air’ pour me demander de me calmer ?”

L’enfant : “Ouais”

Maman : “Oh”.

La maman remarque qu’elle boue de l’intérieur. Après tout, elle a raison; son fils est toujours en retard.

Et elle se rend compte de sa colère et qu’elle n’avait pas l’esprit d’aider son enfant à trouver une solution pour son retard.  Elle voulait lui donner une leçon!

Cela lui demande un GRAND effort, néanmoins elle se retient et n’aborde plus le sujet pour le reste du trajet.

Bien sûr, cette question pèse toujours sur sa conscience. Pendant que son enfant pratique son sport, elle y réfléchi et se rend compte qu’il doit y avoir une raison sous-jacente au retard répété de son fils.

Cette nuit, quand elle a mit son enfant au lit, elle s’assit à côté de lui et lui posa quelques questions.

  • Chérie, j’ai remarqué que tu es souvent en retard en ce moment. Est-ce que tu l’as remarqué aussi
  • Qu’est-ce qui te mets en retard ?
  • Qu’est-ce qu’il pourrait t’aider à être à l’heure ?
  • Laquelle de ces nouvelles idées peux-tu appliquer par toi-même ?
  • Comment est-ce que je pourrais t’aider ?

Difficile & Puissant

Cette maman a conclu par : “J’ai une relation amour – haine avec ce cadeau du respect.

Je déteste quand mon manque d’autorité est mis au grand jour. Je déteste quand je ne peux pas le faire à ma façon et juste dire ce que j’ai en tête.

Et pourtant, j’adore que ma relation avec mes enfants évolue. Nous partageons énormément, nous ne faisions pas ça avant. J’adore quand mes enfants essaye de me parler de sujets sensibles comme le sexe, la drogue, le rock n ‘roll, les amis et les fêtes…. J’adore la façon dont les enfants expriment leur amour pour moi même quand j’agis plutôt désagréablement. Maintenant, ce sont eux qui me disent : “Est-ce qu’on peut parler de ça plus tard quand nous serons tous les deux calmés ?”

Nous avons utilisé le cadeau du respect pendant environ deux ans. Après cela, notre façon de gérer les crises et les mauvaises conduites a totalement changé et aujourd’hui nous n’en n’avons plus besoin. ”

Photo de Renato Mora sur Unsplash