Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Be Proactive!

During this season of thankfulness, a recent lesson I have learned about leadership came to my mind.

I am so thankful for recently learning the lesson to be PROACTIVE in all areas of my life. I first heard this point at the Texas Home School Coalition leadership conference when Tim Lambert was illustrating the importance of being positively proactive when dealing with the media. If there is a problem, or potential problem, head it off at the pass with no fear, with a smile and with correct information (my words).

Applying this to parenting is easy. I have been praying for wisdom to pinpoint the problems with my kids and then praying for creative solutions to intercept the problems and turn them in a positive direction.

For example, I have a brand new, beautiful teenaged daughter who is a good and responsible girl who loves Jesus, but I can see and hear her gently "experimenting" with worldly ideas. To intercept this, I plan to do something that I read about in a recent Old Schoolhouse magazine interview with Sally Clarkson: I plan to have more than one type of Bible study and opportunities for her to hang out with positive peer pressure groups. If I know God has called me to train her to be a leader, then she needs to be hanging around leaders-in-training as much as possible instead of just the kids who think like the world.

Applying this to homeschool group leadership is also easy. If you notice the moms in your group only talking to the ones they know and leaving others out, as a leader, you can be proactive about this problem in at least four ways:

1. Have name tags and invite them to introduce themselves to one person they haven't met yet or don't know very well (name tags take away any awkwardness of forgetting a name)

2. Creatively juggle the seating by "assigning" ladies to sit at tables based on something really fun or random like the color shirt they are wearing (wouldn't have to do this every time, just enough to jolt things out of a comfortable routine every once in awhile)

3. Remind them at the beginning of each meeting to make sure they help the visitors/new moms feel warm and welcomed (sometimes, members simply need to be reminded)

4. Offer a fun question that can get people talking together (ex: What's your favorite children's book? or What would be the ultimate international homeschool field trip?)

So, being proactive is a very positive way to deal with sticky situations and turn them for good.

Keeping ahead of the game,


MeritK said...

Great Post! This was a blessing to me in my personal life with a decision I have to make about my new Teenager :) and it blessed me with a great idea for helping our group to be more welcoming. Thanks for a great Blog!

Kristen and Denise said...

Thank you. I struggled with this post because I wanted so much to let the realness of our lives show through and yet not cross that delicate line of sharing too much.

I am SO thankful that the Lord used it to bless you and your family and your homeschool group! HE IS GOOD.

Have a wonderful holiday season!