How To Empower Others

FEATURED, Speaking

Clue: It’s about with-ness

”We agonise over the gap of who we are and who our children need us to be.” Cole Arthur Riley

In my first 10 years of parenting 3 kids, mum guilt was real. It nibbled at my toes and crept up in the back of my throat and came out through my pores! I wish I’d known that work-life balance is better re-framed as work life blend back in those days.

I had a daily battle with wanting my children to be resilient without going through the hardships I experienced in my childhood. I doubled up on guilt by feeling equally bad when I was working and not with them. Or when I was with them and not working.

If you’re in that same situation, here’s the sentence that totally changed my mindset:

What does great parenting actually look like?

I wanted to be the perfect mum. For me, that meant doing school pick-ups and drop-offs. Coming to all the events, helping with homework, and not freaking out when one of my kids told me at 8:30 am on a Monday that they needed 32 fairy cakes and a banana costume for an event that day!

A friend pointed out my ridiculously high expectations of myself:

“You’re always banging on about resilience Jaz, how do you expect your kids to learn anything if you’re hovering around them all of the time solving their problems?”


Yeah, she is the one who gives me a kind kick up the bottom! It got me thinking and shifted me from doing too much ‘for’ and ‘to’ them in my quest to be everything they needed and more.
Mark Finnis (one of my sheroes) describes this beautifully by describing the power of ‘with’.
As humans, we (generally!) want the best for the people we live and work with. It’s often easy to fall into doing things for or to them, rather than going for with-ness.


Doing things to others takes away an opportunity for them to grow and can breed entitlement.


Doing things for others is great – if they know you are truly for them and not in it for yourself!


’WITH-ness’ is a powerful currency. It’s about walking alongside someone encouraging them while they grow.
Great parenting and great leadership have some things in common. With-ness is the secret sauce to enrolling and belonging whether you’re leading a team or arguing with a smaller version of yourself about the correct way to use the toilet.


Check out my video and let me know what with-ness looks like for you.

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