Parenting Pathway #108: Leadership Development for Parents

I recently taught a Leadership Development course for a group of fairly experienced group of managers. As I was designing the course, my challenge was to share information that would have long-term impact. I chose to focus the content on the key skill of emotional intelligence and its role in our “bottom-line” based world of work.

Our discussions centered around the impact that leaders have on the emotional and physical systems of those whom they lead. Humans have an open-loop limbic, or emotional, system. This means that we rely on the connections we have with those around us for our own emotional, and in some cases physical, stability. Our bodies transmit signals that can alter hormone levels, cardiovascular function, sleep rhythms and even the immune system inside those around us.

A few examples:

* In intensive care units, the comforting presence of another person not only lowers the patients’ blood pressure, but also slows the secretion of fatty acids that block arteries.

* In a study of 70 work teams, the Yale School of Management found that team members who sat in meetings together ended up sharing moods, good or bad, within two hours.

As a parent, I am a leader and developer of the little people in my home. I am responsible for creating the emotional environment that impacts the physical and emotional systems of my children. If under stress, even when putting on a “happy face,” my body is transmitting signals to their body that could put them into the same stressful physical state. And, when I feel joy bubbling though my veins, the hearts and minds of my children get to feel it too!

Take this with you: What signals are you transmitting? What toxins in your inner core are spreading to those around you?

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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Erika Jackson (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH  •   U.S.A.

Telephone: 614-565-9953 • Fax: 208-977-7793
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