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Listening as Leadership

"Servant leaders communicate by listening first" (Northouse, p. 229). Too often, as mothers, our thoughts, feelings, and desires get overshadowed by the ever-present demands of motherhood. What if we listened to ourselves first?

One way to do this is to do what has been called a thought download or a brain dump. It's simply taking the time to write your thoughts down on paper. I know. I resist it too. What difference does it make if my thoughts are in my head or on paper? It matters.

There is no pun intended there, honestly, but putting thoughts down on paper turns them into "matter." No longer are they just thoughts or energy floating through your mind; they are now physical things on paper. You can look at them as separate from yourself.

Once your thoughts are separate from yourself, there are many ways to:

  • think about your thoughts

  • discover your feelings

  • change each according to your conscious desires

I go into more depth on how to do this in my coaching programs, but a starting exercise is to take 5 minutes and simply write the thoughts swirling in your head on paper. If it's easier, choose one specific topic, i.e., thoughts about getting chores done around the house. After you write your thoughts, ask yourself two simple questions posed by Byron Katie – Is this true? Can I know it is absolutely true? Try it today and see if some of your negative thoughts lose their power when you truly question their validity.

As mother-leaders, listening is a vital skill. Let's start by listening to ourselves.


Northouse, P. G. (2019). Leadership: theory and practice. SAGE Publications

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