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Leading Our Children with Kindness and Courage

How to be a great leader for yourself and your family

You might be wondering what being a parent has to do with being a leader – after all, leaders are usually talked about in a business or civil/social setting, aren’t they?

But if you think about it, what we should strive to do as parents is also what great leaders aim for. Leaders lead organisations and the people within, and isn’t that what you’re doing as a parent? You’re working to mould your children into successful people, inspiring them to unlock their inner greatness. Without leadership, things go off the rails and potential is squandered.

The key to being an effective and great leader for your children is to be one for your self as well. Here are my tips for improving your leadership, both parental and personal.

Work on your self-awareness and personal growth

We must always be aware of our actions and behaviours and how they are affecting those around us. For example, if we want to see certain behaviours in our children, we must model them ourselves. Being a great leader means making time to grow and reflect; looking at the present and thinking of how you can use your current situation to work towards your future goals.

Practise communicating positively

Successful parents and successful leaders both know how to use positive communication, even in the most strained of circumstances. Working on taking the time and responding to a situation instead of instantly reacting (often negatively) is a trait of effective leaders and parents alike.

Taking a pause and thinking about how you’re going to respond helps to diffuse situations and makes them easier to handle. Instead of instantly yelling in response to your child misbehaving and making the negative situation worse, think about how you can respond instead. Give your child choices and show them how to handle responsibility and consequences. Acting with kindness makes an incredible impact on a child and allows them more opportunities to succeed and grow.

Learn more about our Leadership Awards and McDonald Inc. Programs and Workshops to make you a Great Leader in all aspects of your life for yourself and your leaders!

Look at problems as learning opportunities instead

No family goes through life without encountering problems, so it’s important you learn how to handle the tough times – not just for your own well-being, but your family’s as well. When you can change your attitude towards the problems you encounter, changing your perspective, the stronger you will be. Look at how you can solve the problem instead of stressing over it, and find the lesson in each situation so that you become more confident in dealing with them.

It takes courage to try and solve things instead of resorting to stress and worry; show your children how to handle problems effectively and you’ll teach them something invaluable that they will use throughout their lives.

Learn and practice emotional intelligence, and teach it to your children too

When you can confidently identify, assess, manage and control your own emotions, you have developed a high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is made up of self-awareness, motivation, managing your emotions, social skills and empathy, all of which you need to practice to develop your emotional intelligence.

By providing your children with opportunities to learn these skills, whether you’ve manufactured the situation or have encountered a ‘teachable moment’ outside of your control, you are setting them up for success.

Strive for balance

When there is balance in your life, you’re better able to cope when negative situations occur. There needs to be equal time for your family and your other commitments so that you aren’t over-committed and overwhelmed. This helps you be a better role model for your children, and shows them that fostering relationships is just as important as other areas of your life.

Bring out the best in your children to bring out the best in yourself

Great leaders want to inspire those around them to do great things, and the same can be said for parenting. Encourage your children to continue to learn and grow, to do the best they can at all times, and you’ll be a great parent leader.

Be the best family leader you can be

Even the greatest leaders get it wrong occasionally; you don’t have to be a perfect parent, you just have to do your best and encourage that in your children as well.

Now that you’re more aware of your role as a leader in your family, is there anything else you do as a leader that I haven’t mentioned in my tips? And are there any leadership lessons you learned from your own parents? Let me know in the comments!

The Author – Sonia McDonald

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’.  She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of human resource management. She has held leadership positions around the globe and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly effective leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, who puts people at ease and starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Contact Sonia or her team at McDonald Inc. at https://mcdonaldinc.com.au/ or https://soniamcdonald.com.au/

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