I was recently reading about a study of what makes a great coach. I was struck by the similarity in the characteristics to what makes a great leader or for that matter what makes a great parent.
It begins with realizing that there are really only two ways to influence behavior. You can either manipulate it or you can inspire it. We sometimes choose to manipulate behavior, because we don't think we can successfully inspire it. Other times we choose to manipulate behavior, because we don't want to take the time required to inspire it.
The following principles help us better understand how to inspire rather than manipulate.
The why must precede what. People are far more ready to do what you want, if they understand why. Just telling someone what to do does not create understanding. In addition they will be better able to act according to your beliefs on their own without you present, if you have taken the time to teach them the why.
Belief must precede belonging. Most people, including children, will follow and associate with others who believe in them. How do you demonstrate that you believe in your children? Do you listen to them? Do you trust them? How do you show you trust them? Believe in them and they will believe in you and belong to you.
Equipping must precede expecting. Inspiring leaders don't just tell people what they expect. They actually take the time to train followers to do each step of the expected action. They break it down and show them how to go about accomplishing the desired skills. What applies to football, applies to parenting here as well.
I hope you agree with me that these principles will work as well for parents as they do for leaders. After all you are your children's leaders.
Blessing on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal