“We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child – it’s the courage to raise one.”- President Barack Obama
I know so many fathers who were barely present when their children were growing up. Yet the father’s role is a most important one because, aside from providing a safe home, he must carry out the duties of fatherhood diligently. That includes loving support, guidance and encouragement in winning life’s battles. Here are 14 things a responsible father will never do.
1. He will never set a bad example.
How many times have you heard a father tell his kids that there are certain things they must not do, like losing their temper and behaving badly? The problem is that some fathers lose it and are not a role model for their kids at all. They lose their temper when driving and curse the other drivers loudly. They forget that kids copy behavior.
“Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice.” – Charles F. Kettering.
2. He will never beat or spank his kids.
An irresponsible father uses physical violence and beating to impose the rules. But a good disciplinarian knows how to use other methods which are far more effective in the long term. Using violence is teaching a child that aggression is one way of dealing with conflict.Advertising
3. He will never cancel prime time with his kids.
Children expect parents to be present. Workaholic fathers never carve out time to be with their kids and they feel neglected and abandoned. Enjoying games, movies and outings together is precious and a really good father knows that and will rarely cancel because of some urgent work commitment.
4. He will never forget important milestones.
Fathers have to remember the milestones in their kids’ lives and make a firm commitment to be there. These can be anything from an important match to a birthday party or graduation from high school. The best way to get to know a child really well is by following his progress and achievements. When fathers fail to turn up, kids are really disappointed.
“It is a wise father that knows his own child.”- William Shakespeare
5. He will never criticize his kids unfairly.
You know the scene. Fathers tend to pick holes and criticize their kids’ efforts and belittle them. They do not realize that when a kid washes the car, they need to encourage them by praising them for doing a good job. If they have missed some dirty spots, the responsible father tells his kids that they should go over the car and check for the smaller spots they may have missed. It is also a way of teaching kids to do the job well.
When I told my father that I was doing my best, his reply was “Your best isn’t good enough!’ It was very discouraging.Advertising
6. He will never let his relationship with his spouse affect the way he treats his kids.
When conflict and tension begin to sour marriages, kids are often the first to suffer. An unloving and uncaring father will let his resentment take over and may well spend less time with the kids as a way of getting even with his wife or partner. A responsible father will always let his precious values dominate family life.
7. He will never show disrespect.
When a father loves and respects his spouse and kids, this sets the tone for family relationships. But when a father allows disrespect and bitterness to flourish and never hides this from his kids, they will never be able to love and respect him. This should be reciprocal and it is an essential element in responsible fatherhood.
8. He will never be authoritarian.
Most parenting experts point out the difference between being authoritarian and authoritative. The former means that the father is always right and imposes the rules in a very harsh and often violent manner. Being authoritative means that the father will offer his kids choices and chances to grow in a warm and supportive environment. You can read more about this is Laurence Steinberg’s book called We Know Some Things: Adolescent-parent Relationships in Retrospect and Prospect.
9. He will never be totally permissive.
The other end of the spectrum is where fathers allow their kids free rein to do what they like and they thoroughly spoil them. This is totally irresponsible because the real world out there is full of obstacles, limits and rules. Being permissive is the worst possible way you can bring up a child because he or she will never function well in society.
“People are saying it takes a village to raise a child, but first it takes a mother and a father, who are understanding, compassionate, nurturing, and responsible – working together to instil discipline, character, integrity, and responsibility in their children.”- Charles Ballard
10. He will never be detached.
Irresponsible fathers put their children at considerable risk. They refuse or cannot be bothered to look after them while playing or when they need emotional support. Such detachment is bound to lead to injury at a physical and psychological level. This is the view of Anita Gurian who is a professor at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry unit at the NYUMedicalSchool.
11. He will never lie to his children.
“So my father was a person who never lied to me. If I had a question, he answered it. I knew a lot of things at a young age because I was intrigued.” – Nick Cannon.
Research shows that by the age of 5, children are expert liars! Many of them have learned the art from watching their own parents lie. The parents sometimes tell them how to do it by suggesting they lie to their grandparents to pretend they like their presents. Another favorite is to ask them to tell callers that they are not at home when they are in. There are even parents who are prepared to lie about their residency to get them into a better school. They risk up to 20 years in prison if they do that. What a great example!
It is therefore a surprise to learn that parents get upset when their own kids lie to them. But who taught them? A responsible father or mother will know the dangers of lying and will always try to tell them the truth.
12. He will never ignore a plea for help.
When things go all wrong, it is terrible if your father is not there or even willing to listen. He never has any time for his kids. The kids feel that they have no one to turn to unless Mom will help out. There is now much debate in the UK about changing the Dickensian laws on neglect of children which were introduced in the Victorian era. The proposed law would make child neglect a criminal offence.Advertising
13. He will never insult his kids.
I know some very strict and rather harsh fathers who make a habit of insulting or deriding their kids. They call them stupid, lazy and untidy, just to mention a few. There is always something to criticize and they are doing this in front of friends, relatives and even colleagues. The responsible father will err on the side of over praising and encouraging their children so that they never have low self-esteem.
14. He will never stop loving his kids.
“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”- Sigmund Freud.
A responsible father will never stop loving his kids in any conditions. Even when marriages break up, a father must always maintain contact, even if he is at the other end of the world. It is so important for the mother not to ruin or pollute the child’s view of his father. The same goes for the father because very often parents use the sad event to denigrate the other partner. This is why parents should always encourage their kids to set up a Skype account so that they can still maintain contact.
Do you have happy or unhappy memories of your father? What made him the best or worst dad in the world? Let us know in the comments.
Featured photo credit: Grandfather and grandson. black and white. Focus on child via shutterstock.comAdvertising
Last Updated on April 11, 2019
How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success
Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.
I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.
I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.
Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.
Table of Contents
How Communication Skills Help Your Success
Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.
Create a Positive Experience
Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:
When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.
What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.
Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.
As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.
Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.
Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.
Help Leadership Skills
It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.
Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.
As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.
Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?
If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.
Build Better Teams
Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.
In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.
If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.
When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.
Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.
How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success
There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.
Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!
Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:
Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.
People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.
Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.
Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.
2. Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.
Here is a good way to think about it:
Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!
You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.
I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.
He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.
Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.
State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.
The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.
4. Over Communicate
So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.
What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:
Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.
Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.
Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.
There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.
5. Body Language
The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.
When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.
In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.
When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.
Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.
Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.
There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.
Now go communicate your way to success.
More Resources About Effective Communication
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- How to Work with Different Communication Styles in the Office
- 13 Best Communication Books for Stronger Social Skills & Relationships
Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com