What can you do to be a better Husband, Wife, Parent, Child, Boss, Employee, Friend … and Self?
There are various roles you need to be every day.
- You might start with being a parent when you wake up your child and get ready for school.
- You might be a working professional between 9 and 5(?).
- You might be a partner when late night falls down.
There are many more roles you need to deal with. No wonder sometimes you feel lost and confused.
Even when you are aware of the roles you are (which may not be given):
- You may want to be one role for all. A universal soldier, one size fits all.
- You may find switching among roles difficult. Thinking of work when you are at home and the other way round.
- You may miscast yourself in a role. Like being bossy versus your child or a partner.
Being everything and everyone just doesn’t work.
And it will not. Unless you make it work. Step by step. Piece by piece.
Take those 5 steps to define, arrange, put together and make your life roles work.
1. Define the roles you are
First, let’s understand who you really are.
What life roles are you? Who are you? What hats or shoes do you put on?
Here is a checklist that can prompt it to you. Mark any that apply to you.
Husband, Wife, Partner, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Grandson, Granddaughter, Grandfather, Grandmother, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin, Godfather, Godmother.
Boss, Colleague, Team member, Leader, Manager, Assistant, Customer, Salesperson, Serviceperson.
Teacher, Doctor, Nurse, Lawyer, Driver, Priest, Coach, (any other) Professional.
Did you realize how many there are?
When you try to be them all at once, you will fail.
You must be able to be them one by one. Depending on a situation. Depending on what you want. You pick the one that fits best.
It is like you put on different shoes when you go running and different ones when you go to a cocktail party.
You must be able to consciously switch among the roles whenever necessary. Being aware which is the best one for a given situation.
Tough? Yes. But don’t get overwhelmed. It is all manageable. I will teach you how.
For now, pick three most important ones to you.
For me they are: Father, Coach and Self.
Small hint, “Self” must be on your priority list. I will explain this healthy selfishness in another post.
Once you go through the whole exercise cycle, repeat it for other roles you identified.
2. Describe the roles you are
Second thing, when you have your roles “cast”, it is to understand what those roles really mean to you.
What does it mean to me to be a great father? What does it mean to me do be a great coach? What does it mean to me to be a great self?
What does it mean to you to be a great …?
For each role you picked, write down the character and qualities of it.
Use the Life Puzzle framework. For each role, describe your MINDSET (what you must think), VISION (what you must aim for), HABITS (what you must do) and SKILLS (how well you must do it) when you are in a particular role.
This part of the exercise will give you clarity about your version of the roles that you are.
3. Develop the roles you are
Third, because I believe you aim for constant improvement, the state as of now (as described in point 2) is only the beginning.
Then, you must ask yourself:
What can you do to be a better …?
You have two options now.
The weaker one is that you work on your own, trying to figure out how to improve.
The stronger one, because your roles always interact with others, is to involve them and ask how you can be a better role to them.
It is vital to involve others because their expectations of you being a role to them can differ from your vision.
I assume you want to be a better (best) version of your role by serving others with value you give to them.
And as this value is always in the minds of the recipients, if you want to be a better role, always ask them what it means to them.
Actually, that is the question I asked my son last week: “What can I do to be a better father?” And I got the answer. Valuable hints that – in his eyes – can make me a better father. And I will follow them.
This part of the exercise will give you clarity about your better/best version of the role.
Sometimes, you may find those expectations challenging. Then you must decide: Do you want to act upon them or do you want to discard them? Make a thoughtful decision, weighing the consequences.
4. Have a plan to shape the roles you are
You have your description of the roles you are and you have the input from the people for whom you are your roles.
It is time now to build a plan of action that will shape those qualities in you.
The good thing is that when you map your roles and the qualities they entail, you will see similarities and common areas. It will make it easier to focus on developing them.
Yes, this can mean change in mindset, vision, habits and skills, but that is the only way you can improve on the value you deliver to others and self.
It is the only way you can do better in your roles.
5. Execute the plan and monitor progress regularly
Any plan is as good as its execution. At this stage, you should have defined the roles that you are, the qualities they involve and the plan of their development and application (where, when and how you will show and develop those qualities).
Now, do it consistently. And monitor your progress by constantly asking (self and others) this vital question:
What Can I Do To Be A Better …?
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