5 communication techniques I learned from being a parent
Parallels between parenting and leadership are plentiful. As a parent of a head strong 9-year old, while I run my own global leaders’ communication training business, I am only too familiar of the similarities and lessons that we can learn and bring into the business world, and I wanted to share some less obvious communication techniques with you to help you become stronger communicators.
- Being fearless
No one provides us with a ‘manual’ as a parent. We learn from our instincts and to be fearless as we do so. Like most parents, as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started listening to all my friends’ experiences as parents, but when my daughter was born, I quickly realized that every child is different, and the best way was to parent in a way that felt authentic and natural to me.
As leaders it is our authenticity that we will be known by. Those leaders who are aware of their strengths, their limitations, and their emotions will be most successful.
- Learn to negotiate
As my daughter is getting older and starting to make her own decisions, the ability to negotiate is a skill that I can’t live without. Teaching your children to negotiate, will enhance their confidence, self-esteem, empathy and social relationship skills.
Negotiation, both as parents and leaders, teaches us to be clear on what we want, while taking into account the needs of others and be willing to make compromises.
How you communicate when you negotiate, involves not just the words you use, but your conscious and unconscious gestures too. Be aware of these next time you are negotiating with your child or colleague.
- Be curious
Do you remember the phase when your child forever asked ‘why?’ about literally everything. It was exhausting but delightful at the same time. For some reason, as we get older we learn to shelve our curiosities.
Leaders who have a natural curiosity will become better storytellers. The more curious you are, the wiser you will become with a deeper insight into the people and world around us.
- We’re not always right
Parents are often right because we have more experience than our children, but sometimes we get things wrong. We’re only human after all.
Even the greatest leaders don’t have the answer to everything. That’s why those who employ people who are smarter than them have the most successful organizations.
As a parent and leader, learn to recognize that you won’t always be right. Asking the opinion of those you respect will demonstrate real humility and help you grow as a leader.
- The importance of self-reflection
Becoming a parent is one of the toughest challenges we can undertake, being a leader is probably the next!
If you want to be an authentic leader, you need to be true to your own values, be open to feedback from others and be willing to experiment with new approaches.
Always take the time to look back and reflect on your presentations or speaking engagements to see where and how you can improve, hire the best presentation coaches to help you become even better and actively take on board feedback.
If you would like to improve your presentation skills, I’m offering a FREE 15-minute consultation to see how I can help you become a better, smarter and more persuasive communicator.