Fathers and sons, and sometimes the family dog, have weekend walks, sharing of wild tales, wishes, and wisdom. We seize the day to nurture and hold onto what is often just moments with our adult children, deeply connecting our generations, and treasuring sweet time.

We get the privilege of hearing their challenges, disappointments, and joys. Of truly sharing in their lives. Those precious moments are right before us, if we are awake to the possibility, but often we miss them in our busyness, preoccupations, and focusing on our own needs.

Sometimes it starts with hearing the call, the invitation, the need for a conversation. And other times, it reveals itself as a result of a family ritual, like a walk on a summer’s day, hearing a story and listening intently for what is being said, and what is left unsaid. It’s recognizing the safety, security, and trust that have to be present for the mind to allow the vulnerabilities of the heart.

It requires the gift of uninterrupted time and the capacity to love without control, judgement, or power. It takes leaving your power, titles, ego, and needs on the sidelines to truly be there for another human being that you are called to lead and serve.

I am reminded of this quote:
“People grow when they are loved well.  If you want to help others, love them without an agenda.” — Mike Mchargue

The power of one conversation can positively or negatively impact a life.  Here are some ideas to help you manage to a positive outcome:

Hear – Pay attention, be present, open, and available for the invitation, the need, the request.

Listen – Listen with all of your senses. Your eyes, your ears, your intuition, your heart.  There is always more to be learned.

Ask – Genuinely ask deep, open-ended, and thought provoking questions, and then wait. Walk in silence and wait. Don’t rush the answers, they will come. Silence can be golden. It can bring clarity, insights, and reflection.

Share – Sometimes lead with your own story, be vulnerable. Your story may open the door for their story to emerge, but don’t let your story or your needs take over the conversation.

Manage yourself – Make it about them. Give them your total and undivided self. Don’t insert yourself into a situation and create drama by trying to fix everything. Your job isn’t to fix, it is to listen, ask, love, challenge, guide, mentor, encourage, and nurture. Let them control the outcome, take the steps, and lay the course. Let them grow.

Deepen the Connection and Relationship – Human hearts long for connection and meaning.  Leaders in families and business who model Courage, bring Hope, show Compassion, and deliver Significance through their actions and words are grateful for the relationship and live to be in service to others.

Welcome them home – “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” — Barbara de Angelis



Wanda Ortwine
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