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Leading by Example After Divorce

While divorce can be a negative experience for some, for others, it is a great learning and teaching opportunity.

If there’s one thing to know about life, it’s that it never stays the same. Life’s dynamic nature can uproot us to places we never expected faster than the blink of an eye. Nine years ago, my husband and I got a divorce. When people hear the word ‘divorce,’ it’s often tied to negative connotations. And while it can be a negative experience for some, for others, it is a great learning and teaching opportunity. Many of the principles I apply to co-parenting can also be applied to the workplace. Once we take care of our own needs, we can successfully integrate personal lessons at a corporate level.

Recently, my daughter had a fundraising gala benefiting her school. As I was getting ready, I thought to myself how crazy it must seem to others that I am going with her father. But the truth is, just because things between us may not have had a stereotypical “happy ending,” it doesn’t mean that our “ending” wasn’t happy all on its own. Co-parenting has brought its lessons and its struggles for sure, but at the end of the day, we are a team and dedicated to our kids and their success. At Actualize Consulting we also focus on rising above our differences to function as a team. Our motto is, “Our Expertise and Commitment – Driving Your Success.
In my book, Culture Infusion, I talk a lot about the importance of leading by example. And when the time came to accept the invitation to the gala, I said yes without hesitation. We went to have fun together with friends, leading with our example that love and positivity are better than any differences we may have. This week, I ask you to reflect on where you can lead by example in your life. Where can you show your kids, friends, family, and co-workers that the high road is always the best route? If you are struggling, here are a few tips:

1.Find Common Ground
What do you have in common? Do you have a shared goal? For us, our kids are our common ground. We want to provide all that we can for them and make sure that they have an example of a healthy relationship in their lives.

  • At work, we create common ground by aligning each individual’s personal goals with company-wide goals.

2.Stay positive
Every single day in our lives, we have a choice of perspective: “How will I view the events in my life?” We can choose to be negative and dwell on misfortunes, or we can take every twist and turn as a learning experience. A very good affirmation for this is “I am always at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.” The reason this affirmation sticks with me is because every decision and event in our lives is neutral. We are the ones who assign meaning. How can you recode the negative experiences in your life to be positive? For us, divorce meant strengthening our teamwork skills which were invaluable in both our personal and professional lives.

  • At work, we use across-the-board strategies to shift potentially negative situations into a positive solution-driven conversation. We use Pause, to Pivot, to the Positive.

3.Communicate Openly
You’ve heard the old adage, “Communication is Key.” It’s cliché for a reason – it’s true. One of the main reasons we co-parent together so well is that we communicate so well. My kid’s dad is the one person I know I can always get in touch with no matter what – I don’t know anyone else like that. We easily split up the responsibilities of organization with the kids because we realize that we are not mind readers and we communicate openly. We created a flow in which he schedules all sports on our calendars, and I handle school.

  • At work, we have sessions on communication that include practicing effective listening and how to handle conflict openly, immediately, and directly.

4.Respect
When you are in a team with someone else, it’s important to be grateful for all that they bring to the table. In our relationship, we respect each other and make it fair. There is comfort in knowing he always has my back, no matter what, and that he will help with anything if needed.

  • At work, we respect our employees and take frequent surveys to see how they are feeling. We celebrate and appreciate our people with Star Player Awards and words of gratitude.

I realize now that I am applying mindfulness to both my professional and private life, which has been a goal of mine since 2005. Compartmentalization of my values is not an option. I take a holistic approach to, well, everything. I show up as the same person in all aspects of my life so I can better serve myself and others for our highest good.

If you would like to form a more holistic approach to success in either your personal or professional life, contact me for a customized session. I can be reached at [email protected] 

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