Take a look at the average woman in business. At the very least she’s knowledgeable, competent, strategic, communicative, passionate, well dressed, confident and driven. These are all terrific qualities to have and it’s the reason she’s a force to reckon with in business. Yet, if you pried into the life of the same woman and found out that she may be experiencing marital problems or has gone through a divorce, you might actually find that in this area of her life, she’s been less of a leader than she actually should be. In this article, we explore how the 5 C’s of Leadership can be applied best to separation and divorce and how women can use it to come out of the rut, in the absence of proper support from family and friends.
Nothing is worse than neglecting to put plans in place when you have decided to separate or divorce from your spouse. Too often, we are hasty and in the thick of emotions make all sorts of short-term plans based on overwhelming emotions. When you first realize that you are headed for a divorce, don’t be pushed into making decisions about your life immediately. Take the time to deal with what you feel first and when you are stronger make calm and permanent decisions. This is wise especially if there are children involved. Once you have your compass in place and you are sure that the direction in which you are headed in is the right way for you, then proceed to make other, more permanent decisions like where you are going to live and how you are going to handle your daily life. Make a list of the adjustments you will need to make and work out what you will have to do to make that happen. In this way, when the time comes, you are not further stressed out about details you didn’t plan for. It’s probably a good idea to sit down with your estranged partner and work out financial and other details at this point, also.
Before you take any action, you are probably going to need to summon the courage to do them. What does that really mean for you? It means that you have to reach deep within yourself and mentally prepare and propel yourself into action. Where does courage come from? It comes from YOU. Yes, it can be encouraged by family and friends and you can feel strengthened by that, but you have to understand that courage comes from the strength that you can summon at any time. It’s innate, a God-given gift given to you. The internal conversations that you will have with yourself at this stage are imperative to the steps that you will take next. That internal voice is your sixth sense giving you clues about what is right for you to do. You are not insane, you are sixth-sane. Your intuition will speak volumes so you should listen, pay attention and act accordingly. Mostly, there is nothing to fear. If you can acknowledge that, then proceeding further with minimal challenges will not be a problem for you.
Communication is key when you are going through a divorce and there are so many people to communicate with like your estranged spouse, children, your immediate family, your friends and well-wishers but be careful about what you communicate and how. What you say about the situation you are in, will say a lot about you as a person. Be kind in your communication about your spouse and don't engage in mutual mud-slinging. No one should be privy to details that are painful and sometimes ugly, except your counsellor or your therapist. The truth for lots of women is that the stigmas they find themselves attached to after divorce comes from word of mouth marketing courtesy of families and communities. You have no one but yourself to blame for that. Had you not shared details, it would have boiled down to speculation and what we know about speculation is that it dies its own death eventually. Today’s gossip becomes yesterday’s news very quickly and is less memorable than the smell of dirty laundry.” Simple phrases like “It simply didn’t work out,” or “We had irreconcilable differences,” are akin to you releasing a press statement in which you diplomatically reveal that the CEO of XYZ Limited resigned due to personal responsibilities that could not be further delayed. The press statement keeps the dignity and reputation of the CEO intact. You must aim to keep as much of your dignity as possible intact, also. If you must communicate, let it be honest. Lying will only mean that you compromise your dignity and respect further down the line. Be consistent in your communique, decisions and actions throughout the divorce.
Show character in the decisions that you make with regards to the in-laws, the children you share and even the friends you share. Don’t draw battle lines. Your issues with your spouse have nothing to do with anyone else except the two of you, even if there is an interfering mother in law or a deceitful friend. Deal with all of them in the same kind and respectful manner as you dealt with them during the marriage.
Your children are not to be used as war hostages. Be careful what you communicate to them about their father and ensure that they are encouraged to love and respect him just as they did when you were together. Don’t use the children for extracting information about their father every time they go for a visit or holiday with him. Your children are perceptive. They know what you are doing and suffer deep emotional stress when they feel like they are letting either parent down. They will resent you for it and you will ruin your relationship with them in the long run.
You will have good days and bad days but manage them by using the stress management tools and techniques that are so readily available in communities and even online today.
When your marriage has ended, you have to make a commitment to yourself and to your children. You see, whilst the D word (Divorce) is given too much of negative attention already, and the S words (Stigma and Survival) are given undue amounts of unwarranted gossip, women ought to make a commitment to the T word (Thrive). Commit to learning and educating yourself further, love and be kind to yourself, nurture your health and wellness, work towards a financially free future, live in peace and harmony and achieve your goals and dreams. You owe these things to yourself and though there may be another Prince Charming who may come along and offer to give you these things, it may also be that he gets lost on his way to you and never arrives eventually. And you know what? That’s quite alright also.
If someone is going to hit you, you can probably prevent it by physically restricting it. The truth about talk and gossip is that you can’t hold anyone’s tongue. It’s probably best for women, therefore, that if they must be spoken about, they should give people something more significant to talk about. Thrive women thrive !
Nasreen Variyawa was born and raised in South Africa where she completed her Post-Graduate Diploma in Education Leadership and Management from Regent Business School. Most followers would know her as a trainer, coach and mentor. Having worked at some of South Africa’s biggest education and training brands, Nasreen has touched thousands of lives through her work and learning material. After spending 10 years in the trenches, she swapped life in suits and stilettos for the classroom and chalkboard, wander-lusting through Turkey where she now resides and teaches English as a Second Language. Nasreen is also a graduate from Ledge International where she pursued a Mastermind Programme in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell. She is the author of 2 books and hit the # best sellers list on Amazon recently for Ignite the Champion Within and Inspire Others to Begin.