I defy you not to be singing the title.. !
I’ve talked about Lucy here many times. But yet she never ceases to amaze me. I seem to have made a little human who grounds me and through who I can see my words and my actions..
Last week we went to a local car wash.. 3 men were handwashing cars. We sat in a queue for a while listening to the guy in charge yelling orders, hearing him telling the other 2 men what they were doing wrong and feeling jumpy as he burst into rages if cars were in the wrong place.. and as cars joined behind us we realised we’d just have to sit and wait our turn rather than be able to just drive off. The atmosphere was tense and Lucy was aware of this…
The first man who approached the car was very pleasant and calm, despite being constantly shouted at. Lucy really felt for him and she completely empathised with him and how he would be feeling.
Empathy is held in the innula in the right brain and it develops before the age of 2 through the right exposures. It is key to being able to tune in to other people.. and not just see things from their perspective, but really feel them..
We had quite a deep conversation in our soapy car about what might be making the cross man so cross.. and Lucy showed tremendous insight into the impact of the man’s words, actions and the atmosphere he was creating. She understood why he might be feeling cross (lots of cars, danger at the side of the road, a lorry reversing through the middle of a line of cars potentially causing damage, perhaps the job not being done by the others in the way he would like it done), and I was heartened by her ability to put herself in his shoes as it showed real emotional intelligence (awareness).. but more than this, my 7 year old gave me a wonderful view on leadership from her perspective.
She could ‘feel’ the impact of this guys behaviour on the others and regardless of his motivation, she could see that by behaving in the way he was, he was not going to get the best out of the employees. She told me that ‘those men will go home feeling sad and feeling that they can’t do the job. They mightn’t come back.. or if they do they are probably not going to try very hard cause they know it won’t get any better’.
Wow! What insight… She thought that it was a pity that the cross man couldn’t see the impact that his behaviour had on the others or indeed on the people in the cars who were watching and listening to his erratic, anxiety producing behaviour.
I explained to her that the best way as a leader to get the best from people is to show them how you’d like things to look and encourage them towards that.. that leadership is about showing the way and modelling behaviours.
Then she played a blinder.. she said ‘being a mum is like being a leader isn’t it? Sometimes I know you’e trying to show me the right way and I mightn’t like it but I know it’s the right way so I want to make you happy.’
Well.. what do you say to that..?
I spend my days talking to rooms of leaders, developing them, sharing insights into their own emotional intelligence as a tool to empower others to do what you need to have done and here at home I have a 7 year old who has it off pat.
She’s a future leader.. of that I have no doubt. She’ll charm people into doing things they really don’t want to do by appealing to their feel good emotions..
The development of emotional intelligence is something that can be learned at any stage of life. It is a vital skill to help manage relationships (at home, at work, with others in general), by learning how your emotions can be regulated, their origins understood and acknowledged to keep you emotionally safe and how to interpret and manage others’ emotions without them affecting yours…
I’m working with the SE Trust on this area for parents of autistic children, but think all parents would benefit, as would a lot of leaders…
However all the knowledge in the world is of no use unless I’m refreshing it, and its clear I need to up my parenting game.. or I’ll find myself running errands for this young lady as she runs rings round me.. oh wait.. too late?!