Parenting and Strengths: A Few Lessons with Logan and Nathan (podcast)

Welcome to the next installment of the Leadership Vision Podcast where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of CliftonStrengths.

On this episode of the podcast, I talk about parenting and Strengths with Logan Joyce, one of our consultants and Director of Business Development. This episode is about how we have seen our Strengths show up, change, and display themselves since we’ve become parents. There are more significant lessons here, too, that we apply to individuals and teams that in many ways have nothing to do with kids. Logan and I discuss how the concepts of empathy, patience, and curiosity – the trifecta of necessary parenting skills – are often missing in the workplace. We also ideate a bit about what it might be like if we brought those things back.

Listen now as Logan and I share some of the lessons we’ve learned, and continue to learn, about how our wonderful children have shaped our Strengths.

Three Strengths Reflections

In this episode, we wrestle with three Strengths reflection questions:

  1. How have our Strengths showed up since becoming parents?
  2. How have our Strengths changed since becoming parents?
  3. What are some degenerative aspects of our Strengths that show up in our parenting?

For Logan, he said he’d seen a shift in the way his Influencing Themes engage in areas that aren’t work-related. His Command and Strategic have become more patient as his daughter has gotten older. He’s stopped thinking of her as a mini-human, and instead, realized the limits of her cognitive development.

We are logical beings to some degree but circumstances and inner motive and all that stuff can be so tangled so even with adults having this illogical little thing has given me more ability to empathize maybe not to understand but to empathize and to slow down and to value the complexity of the human experience logical or illogical that that genuine. ~Logan

For me, my Theme of Adaptability gets tested to its limits. I don’t like having to adapt, but will as the situation demands it constantly. I also share how my Maximizer sometimes has unrealistic expectations for my children (and other adults in my life) and is an area where I need greater awareness. I also shared how my children remind me to be curious – about people, about systems, about the environment, and to never stop wondering.

…one of the things that I love so much about all my children is just the curiosity about everything. Why that it is a great reminder always to seek to understand others before jumping to a conclusion. ~ Nathan

Empathy. Patience. Curiosity

A couple of nights ago, my son woke me up around 2 AM. He climbed into my side of the bed, got close to my face, and told me he had lost his favorite stuffed animal. I needed to get up and help him find it right away. It’s a stuffed penguin named Mr. Farcy that rarely leaves his side, so why he wasn’t with him when he went to bed, or why it took six hours for him to realize this, well those were irrelevant questions in the moment.

So, I got up to search for Mr. Farcy and after about 30 seconds, I declared we would wait until first light and then begin the search again. “No dad.” he said, “we just need to go look in the basement one more time.” With my eyes half open, my son lead me by the hand into the basement. I could feel myself getting angry and thought of a slew of reasons why it was ridiculous to be looking for his penguin right now. However, in a moment of rare parental clarity, I decided it would mean the world to him if I was able to find the penguin. I decided to put on my best sleuthing skills and we fanned out in the basement. I found Mr. Farcy and I’ll never forget the look on my son’s face when they were reunited. “Thanks so much, dad! You’re the best…” he said as I tucked him back into his bed.

I think we all have moments like this every day. We’re met with decisions about which path to travel down, not only with our children, but with co-workers, spouses, and other people we come into contact with. In those moments, I challenge you, at least more often than not, to choose the path of empathy, patience, and curiosity. Because when we do that, we have the potential to make an impact, even a small one, in the lives of others.

About The Leadership Vision Podcast

The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of StrengthsFinder. Leadership Vision uses CliftonStrengths to work with People, Teams, and Culture. We believe that knowing your Top 5 Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.

Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.