Leader or Follower- Saves the relationship with my daughter

Well thanks to BLT Business Learning and Training I had the pleasure of listening to the highly recognised and acclaimed business coach Ian Dickson. Just checked out his website and found myself glued to the screen as there were so many inspirational videos to watch. Really liked the one about selling pain…. so true.

Anyway I digress, Ian gave us a list of the 10 attributes of leaders versus followers. We had to grade ourselves out of 10 for each attribute.  I did mine and as always found some interesting learning. When I returned home, I ask my husband to share what he perceived my score to be for each attribute. There were some differences but not much which was reassuring.

Then curiosity got the better of me. I invited Mark to evaluate himself, and he did, now his perception of what he is like and what I think he is like was slightly out of kilter.

Interesting as I remembered Ian’s advice: if you are not getting the response you want then it is your responsibility to change what happened just before that response. Some great learning and some development to evolve I am sure.

The point is, that we are all learning and having this new information made me look at how I communicate with Mark and ways that we can improve it.

Where does your learning come from?

Now the real mind-blowing learning was when I asked our children who are 16 and 13. It would seem that our son is definitely leaning towards leadership qualities, at 13 he already has a business plan and he is writing a blog even now building up a following for the big launch of his business. But our daughter is in fact a follower. She quite clearly agreed with this evaluation and said “absolutely I don’t want to be a leader I want to be a great follower and I am happy with that”

Well here is the thing, I am often wanting to ‘encourage her’ yes and I probably did push/force that she did things to get herself up front. I promise I really did think it was the best thing, it made me happy so I assumed it was what she would need. How wrong could I be.

I will give you an example she has played in a band for years, and I remember being gutted for her when one performance I turned up to find her sorting out the sound and lighting. She was not up there on the stage leading the band. I felt really bad for her, as though the band had pushed her out of her rightful place. But it turns out she was exactly where she loves to be, supporting others.

It all makes sense now, when we have tasks at home to do, she wants to do it with you to be part of a team. She hates going off independently, which I interpreted as something that could hold her back in life. So I kept trying to steer her to stand on her own 2 feet and think for herself. When in fact she is perfectly happy where she is.

I can see now that the more I directed her attention to leadership qualities the more she resisted. It now makes sense that she likes to do the house work with me, she likes to share the experience and report everything she does.

OMG thank you Ian you could quite literally have saved my daughter from a miserable college life with a mother trying to steer her back on course only to find she was perfectly on course in the first place.  Well done Paige for knowing your own mind and staying on course.

Thanks for Listening


ps just read this blog to my daughter and the smile of approval and look of relief was priceless. As Ian said “you can always earn more money next month but those moments in time are only here once”


About Step by Step Listening

I am the founder of Step by Step Listening and we started as a company that eradicated fear of failure and guilt for mums, we coached mums and daughters, we then worked with sole trader and small business owners and over the years we developed a unique ability to help people create the family or business they desire by being able to tap into the resource of being able to sell ideas/prodcuts/visions/services in a way that feels right and gets results. For some they are learning to sell and idea to themselves perhaps a dream or an ambition they have had for years, for others it could be selling responsibility and independence to a teenager or perhaps selling a vision or a change of structure to a team. What ever it is we use unique a unique facilitation and group process to help you discover when you are selling in a way that feels right that's like what?
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