I’ve lived for the past 23 years in a house with two very strong minded men, my husband and our son (although he went away for 6 years until the pandemic struck).
Of course, if you know me at all you know that I’m very strong minded as well. I’m proud to have found a man in life who can match me, and passed along my strong mindedness through nature and nurture to our wonderful son.
Being strong minded brings with it some wonderful charismatic qualities, like confidence, determination, passion, and independence.
But it also brings some not so wonderful qualities – stubbornness, a tendency to be controlling, self-righteousness – and when these destructive qualities mix with the good qualities, the result is escalation.
Escalation that can get in the way of smooth communication, healthy debate, and a willingness to compromise for the integrity of a good relationship. It’s never what you want to see in any relationship.
What we as a family have learned is to put aside blame and take full responsibility for ourselves and our actions, and through that, set aside those destructive strong minded qualities.
So what periodically was a situation of getting ready for battle to see who would win out has become, over time and with great insight and hard work, a healthy debate of like minds that seek to understand rather than win.
The work I’m talking about is leadership work. Work that gets us in touch with not only what we’re here to create but even moreso with the person we want to be. Who do we get to become as we step out, communicate, and engage with others. As we grow and succeed.
A turning point in all of this was a time when my son was much younger, where in our embattlements and headstrong resistance it was clear that we were going nowhere. Both of us wanting to control the situation. Both of us wanting to win. In this heated moment, I asked him,
“Do you want to be right, or do you want to have a relationship? If we want to have a relationship, we get to listen to each other and see if there’s a more desirable, constructive and peaceful way to reach a consensus.”
This question became a mantra at the very times these situations would arise. And it led to significant leadership by both of us over the years.
There is certainly a way to communicate with harmony, to listen, engage in a healthy debate of differing points of view and reach a conclusion that has each of us wiser and deeply understanding of each other while staying connected with our overriding love, unified and whole.
It’s a beautiful place to be.
If you’d like to explore your leadership communication, I’m putting together a Communication Mastery group so that you can foster uplifting, harmonious and loving relationships while not giving in to strong, controlling individuals.
Just reply to this email and I’ll get you all the details.
Quote of the Week:
Leadership is about getting it right, not being right.
~ Tony Gambill
Founder & CEONoreen Howard International
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