When my daughter was 3 years old, her personality and individuality really started to shine. This is a nice way of saying that she didn’t always want to do what I wanted her do and we were power struggling with each other. Said most accountably, however, I must admit that I was one who was power struggling, she was just being 3 years old.
One day, during one of our power struggles, I had a moment I will never forget. I was trying to make my daughter do something (I can’t even remember what) and suddenly I heard my father’s tone and words coming out of my mouth. I stopped cold. What a flashback! I couldn’t believe what just happened. I sounded just like my father. I knew I was not parenting effectively in this moment and I knew that over time, power struggling was not going to be a long-term effective strategy. I realized I needed to do something different.
This “aha” moment was the catalyst that helped me find the book that changed my life. While browsing the library shelves shortly after my epiphany, I stumbled across Parent Effectiveness Training, by Dr. Thomas Gordon. The title resonated with me because I knew I wanted to be a more effective parent. Little did I realize this book, combined with conscious, consistent application of its tools and skills would transform my parenting, my marriage, my career and help me be a better, more effective person.
Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) and its business counter-part Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) points out how we inadvertently create roadblocks in our communication, which sabotage the effectiveness of our relationships. Once we see the roadblocks we are using and how ineffective they are (I was using 8 out of 12 of them), these books teach us what to do different. These books illustrate the skills to create happy, healthy, effective relationships at home and at the office!
I liked this book so much, that 1 week after reading it I enrolled in a certification program so I could teach it. Since then, I have taught hundreds of parents how to use the skills and I consciously practice the skills every day with my family and clients. The skills work! My marriage is happier, my relationship with my children is strong and my children have effective communication skills—no more power struggling!
Repeatedly in my business coaching sessions, my clients share the challenges they experience in their relationships with business partners, team members, clients and families. Everyone seems to want to make their relationships more effective, they just don’t know how. So repeatedly I advise my clients to read P.E.T or any one of the spin-off books; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), Sales Effectiveness Training (S.E.T.) or Be Your Best. The results can be amazing! Our business and our life can be happier, more effective and more successful when we step up and learn the skills to make it happen.
My daughter is now 13 years old. She has a playful personality and she is a strong, independent thinker. We respect each other, listen to each other and communicate openly. I feel blessed to have such a great relationship with my daughter and I’m thankful that I woke up and put the effort into learning and practicing how to be more effective.
How could your life and business be different if you did the same?
Laura Watson is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching, Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.