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Nature and Nurture – how to influence

Submitted by on September 14, 2009 – 10:58 amNo Comment

shutterstock_33660070I could smell the autumn this morning, that damp almost musty aroma of old wood. Makes me recall the smell of my father’s aftershave and his scratchy woollen sweater which used to be prickly on my face when he gave me hugs as a child.  His presence was comforting but he was a man of very few words and certainly not ones of praise.I always know that my parents desired my success but what they couldn’t do, simply because they did not know how, was to provide the kind of nurture which I needed to help me blossom into the person I wanted to be. 

My blossoming came much later through wonderful coaches and mentors who believed in me and provided me with a nurturing that had been missing in my early years.  This awareness made me start to reflect on my childhood this morning, in fact the whole weekend seems to have had some connection with the past. My aunt and uncle had had help to clear their loft of a surprising number of suitcases – they buy them and then next year buy another – I have a new motto for them ‘Buy one Forget one’ – lots of bags of paraphenalia, old photos and clothes.  In amongst the contents of a beaten up red box, pinched from the Foreign Office by my grand dad in 1949, was a photo of me aged about 6. How sweet I look , innocent of the future and the great ups and downs to come.

So, I have perched the photo by the side of my screen to remind myself of the child in me who still needs  me to nurture her and make sure she has the opportunity for fun and joy, laughter and silliness. 

We talk a lot about happiness these days but very little about nurture. Being loving and positive to yourself and to others is a tremendous challenge.  In their book – ‘Becoming a Person of Influence’ John C Maxwell and Jim Dornan they gives some tips on how to become a nurturer.

Commit to them                                            Love always finds a way to help – Indifference finds excuses  

Believe in them                                              Give people your trust and hope

Be accessible                                                   You can only do this up close

Give with no strings                                      If you need you cannot lead.

Give opportunities                                        Always encourage growth and development

Lift them to a higher level                          Nurturing their foundation builds their potential

To develop this environment in your work or home make it your goal to help others feel respected and secure. Eliminate all negatives for one month and only say positive things to others.

Give special encouragement to two or three people and expect nothing in return.

Rebuild bridges. Think of one person with whom you have been negative in the past and look for ways to rebuild that relationship.

Make sure you nurture you – its difficult to give from an empty vessel. This means getting enough rest, right diet, time with friends and family.

And remember:

For most people it’s not what they are that hold them back, it’s what they think they are not.

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