How To Use Curiosity To Create The Change We Need

I have been reading Naomi Klein’s latest book ‘This Changes Everything’ (Alfred A. Knope Canada 2014), a book I would highly recommend. Even though it comes in at close to 500 pages, every page is well researched and her general message is one of optimism about the future of our planet. In it, Klein suggests humans have been trying to conquer nature for the past 300 years, using it to for our purposes, even at its expense and that of humans. Evidence of this includes cutting down the rainforests, removing minerals from the earth, destroying the landscape, while having little regard for animals, vegetation and water. When we look at where our world is at and where it is heading, we quickly understand this approach isn’t working.

Klein talks about a need for humans to live in partnership with nature, respecting all aspects of it and working to support it so sustainability is possible for every living species. This requires us to understand how nature works, and what it needs to be resilient and hence sustainable. With understanding comes respect for all species, respect that leads to sustainability for all.   As I read Klein’s book I couldn’t help but connect her thoughts on this larger issue with our work (smaller scale) and wondered – just how much understanding of our earth does each of us actually have?   Based on our experience in leadership development alone, most of us rarely take the time to understand each other on a daily basis, let alone the time to understand other species.  How will humans ever see the value of understanding other species if they rarely see the value of understanding their own, be it family, colleagues, bosses, or friends?   I think we can all agree we all want the planet to remain habitable, not only for ourselves, but for future generations as well. What no one seems to agree on is how exactly to do it.

So we wondered, what do we do so we can move from our current need to conquer nature, and each other, to a place where we seek to understand and respect it? We have no idea ‘what’ is needed specifically to get there, however we do know one of the basic strategies of ‘how’ to get there is curiosity.

If the human race can shift from telling others what to do, shift from a position of imposing ‘power over’ each other and nature, and move to a place where we seek to understand one another, we will be moving towards respect for, and partnership with nature, a move towards sustainability of our planet Earth.

Only when we are curious can we be present to fully listen to what is being said, suspend judging to learn from others, and ask the open, curious questions required to help us all begin to change the paradigm of conquer and control to one of partnering which can lead to respect, understanding and sustainability. That is the power of curiosity and everyday we all hold that power to make change.

We cannot rely on politicians, CEOs, large organizations and/or other seats of power to create the needed change for our planet any more than we can rely on them to create the change needed in our individual lives. We need to begin acting in a curious way, each one of us, being open to how we can show up differently, how we can connect with others, understanding larger needs and forming communities that can create the momentum needed to start to move towards sustainability. Every single person on the planet is responsible for this and can help.

As Margaret Mead once said: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”

TAKE ACTION:

  • What do you know about global warming?
  • How can you find out more?
  • How curious are you about other species you share your world with?
  • How much do you understand about them?
  • What are you doing to support sustainability of our planet Earth for us, for our children and future generations?

Share with us below!

Conflict, Drama and Emotional Energy: Understanding your emotional triggers

Conflict, drama and negative emotional energy begin at our values. When our values are disrespected it pushes our emotional buttons. People don’t know how much control they actually have when they feel their back up against the wall. Continue reading

Your child’s success: How are you standing in the way?

We have recently been reading article after article on the trials and tribulations of ‘helicopter parents’- how we as parents don’t even know we are doing it and how it is NOT serving our kids well.

Here are but a few of such articles: 

Have  American Parents Got It All Backwards?

Hover No More: Helicopter Parents May Breed Depression and Incompetence in Their Children

A Loss Of Perspective: The Perils Of Parenting

How Helicopter Parents Can Ruin Kids’ Job Prospects 

‘Helicopter Parents’ Cause Long Term Issues 

You get the gist..

As parents we all want what is best for our kids.  We want to give them everything and of course we approach it with best intentions – yet at what cost? We are learning it is our children who end up suffering, both as young adults and as leaders, as parents fulfill their own needs rather than meeting the needs of their kids.

So how do you know if you are a helicopter parent?

You can check out the 4 Signs You Might Be a ‘Helicopter Parent’ — And How You Can Stop here

(Notice how the solutions offered are focused around communication and relationship building)

One thing that comes through loud and clear in all these articles is the importance of supporting struggle, frustration and failure in our kids at any age. It builds resilience.  When we protect our kids from failure they don’t learn.  When we constantly “fix” and “solve” our kids problems they don’t experience struggle, frustration or failure – a.k.a they don’t learn how to fix their own problems and they don’t have the opportunity to develop confidence in problem solving.

When we constantly tell our kids what to do and how to do it, how are we supporting or nourishing their ability to problem solve, make choices, be independent, rise to and experience challenges, learn, think independently, understand their needs, or connect with the others?  How can we expect them to find jobs, lead teams, accomplish goals, or have ambition?

Then when they don’t match or exceed our expectation we blame them, shame them and even judge them for it.  As parents we need to change how we show up for our kids.

Being involved in our kids’ lives is important.  However, what we do is no longer as important as HOW we do it.

What would it be like for parents to take a step back and support our children to be independent, competent and connected?

What would it be like to trust our children and their ability to make decisions that will work for them?

What would it be like to be curious about your child, inviting them to be apart of the decision-making process, or have them lead the problem solving process, making them accountable for its success?

What would it be like to be open to doing something differently?  Perhaps you could approach something from your child’s perspective and see what you can all learn from their perspective.

What would it be like to connect with your child?  To truly see, hear and understand who they are and where they are at.  And what would that be like for them?

We invite parents to stop, take a breath, and take a step back – even those parents who believe they are not ‘helicopter parents’.   So many of us have helicopter tendencies wanting to keep our kids hurt free, tantrum free, happy and successful.  Parents, it is time to get real.   In the next week we challenge you to bring your awareness to your parenting style.   Be a curious observer of yourself and keep track of:

  • How often do you let your kids struggle, feel frustrated or fail?   What is that like for you?
  •  How often do you find yourself fixing, solving and telling your kids what to do?  How come?
  • Finally, when using the strategies above what do you notice about your relationship?  How does it make you feel?  What about your kid?

Curious to know more? Check out our Parenting Challenge and how to support your child

 

Share with us your craziest ‘helicopter parent’ experience.. You know we have all had at least one!