I heard of a preschooler who was getting up way too early in the mornings and the intelligent parents came up with a system. They put the light on a timer to go off at 7am and shared that the child should not wake them up until the light goes off. At 5:30am, they heard the pitter patter of feet, and a knock on their door. They reminded the child that he was supposed to stay in his room until the light came on. He boldly shared that the light must be broken.
Preschoolers are good at knowing what they believe inside of themselves and acting on it. If things don’t make sense to them, they move on to what they believe or what they know to be true. It isn’t until we get older that we get more complicated and stop listening to that inner voice that makes sense to us. Decisions for adults are racked with so many variables, information and performance gaps that we often don’t start with what makes sense for our best inner well-being.
The parent who told this story, was ironically the author of a leadership book called “Winning from Within.” Erica Ariel Fox is a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the world-renowned Program on Negotiation and a recent speaker at the 2014 Global Leadership Summit. She has a global management consulting firm, yet I see her preschooler is the one that is truly winning from within. I hope he continues to help his mother with her leadership development.
- What determines if you do something exactly as you are told?
- What makes it hard to trust your inner feelings?
- What would winning from within look like in your world?
“Children are the hardest people to negotiate with.” Erica Ariel Fox