Personal growth is challenging and requires the ability to rise above the obstacles that tether us down. It requires great insight and the ability to tolerate the pain that self-reflection can bring. Learning to do the work often means we need a guide who has our back and help us see what is hard for us to look at.
Every semester I hold a special class for my students. It’s special because it’s not about business, it’s about life. It’s about taking a moment to talk about something more important than management, accounting, marketing, logistics, and ethics, it’s a class about them. I teach in the college of business where I spend the majority of my classes teaching my kids the language of commerce and how to create a venture from nothing more than an idea. One day each semester I devote entirely to them. I metaphorically hold a mirror up to them and ask them to gaze into it deeply and study the person on the other side of the glass.
We are all leaders – in our own way. Whether we are at work, with our friends or family or in a social organization, we are all leaders. We may not be the stand in the front of the room and yell a rallying cry kind of leader, but we all influence others and leave an impact on those around us. What kind of leader are you?
When I work with couples, one of the earliest things we do is look at how we communicate. We begin with the basics of starting to look at our words and tone so that we can hear and understand each other. As we get deeper into our process we begin to look at something far more challenging, and potentially more destructive than our words. We begin to look at our assumptions.
When I start working with a new couple or individual around relationship concerns I often begin by asking them what their relationship goals are. Most, but not all, will tell me that they are just looking for a nice, loving, monogamous relationship. They say that like I am supposed to know what that means — and I don’t. Not that I am clueless, but rather because I know that there is more than one meaning to the word monogamous.
I have had patient after patient come into my office talking about what a harsh and relentless winter this has been. I can’t agree more! It is always interesting to see how people talk about the weather. There are two classic perspectives that get presented: How cold it is on the thermometer and how much energy is being used by the thermostat. What an interesting way to understand ourselves as well!