The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™ workshop is ideal for organizations that seek a short-length fatherhood program. And that’s exactly why it’s been such a great fit for the Man2Man Fatherhood Building Program in Akron, Ohio.
I recently interviewed Frank Williams who started Man2Man in 2006. When I asked him why he chose to use the workshop, he said, unequivocally, its short length (8 one-hour sessions). By moving to a shorter-length program, Man2Man dramatically increased retention compared to the longer program he had used before learning about the workshop.
But it wasn't only the length of the workshop that caused him to choose it. Frank pointed to the foundation of it—the integration of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People with the concept in National Fatherhood Initiative’s 24/7 Dad® programs of being a good man before you can become a good dad. Quite simply, learning the 7 Habits within the context of being a 24/7 Dad creates better dads.
Frank pointed in particular to Habit 1: Be Proactive and the two key concepts it teaches about being a better man:
- Understand what you can and can’t control.
- Stop being reactive. Be proactive instead.
These concepts have far-reaching, positive consequences for many dads’ most pressing problems. Frank emphasized, for example, how they help dads better manage their anger. When dads realize their anger often results from reacting to things they can’t control—and they learn to focus instead on what they can control, such as their reactions—they increase their ability to get their anger in check. Frank says the workshop is the best tool Man2Man has used to help dads manage their anger, especially formerly incarcerated dads and dads who grew up without their own dad (or an effective male mentor).
These two concepts are so powerful, in fact, that Frank, and his fellow Man2Man facilitators of the workshop, ask the following questions at the start of every week when they introduce a new habit:
- How often did you live last week in the “Circle of Control” versus the “Circle of No Control”?
- How were you proactive versus reactive last week?
These questions remind the dads of the importance of these concepts. Frank reports that he and his fellow facilitators see the progression each week in the dads’ ability to focus on what they can control and to be proactive.
Frank also pointed to Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind and how it helps Man2Man emphasize the importance of dads leaving a positive legacy for their children. This habit teaches dads to focus on what they need to do now to be a good dad for the long haul, such as how to care for their body, mind, heart, and spirit. It helps them see the positive consequences of caring for themselves holistically, and how caring for themselves benefits their children (e.g. by being a role model of holistic self-care).
After dads go through the activities that drive home this lesson, Man2Man introduces the concept of leaving a positive legacy for your children. Most of the dads, Frank says, have never thought about the importance of leaving a legacy. When they see its importance, their concept of responsible fatherhood expands beyond the here and now.
The following feedback from Frank and two of his fellow facilitators about The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™ underscores how valuable it can be for any organization:
“In 2006 I started the Man2Man Program with Pastor Drone. I am a firm believer in NFI Training Manuals. I am basically one of their disciples. I am certified in all of their books, but The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™ best fits my program and covers all the basic needs of our fathers from anger to forgiveness, and gives us the option to have six weeks of two-hour classes. We also have great feedback from the sections on Being Proactive versus reactive, and…the Circle of Control.”
“[Regarding the] benefits of using The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™, we found that using the information and the framework presented in the guidebook fell perfectly in line with the message we were trying to get across to our clients. Integrating our material with the 7 Habits enhanced the combined material in a synergistic manner. It makes our sessions more clever, memorable and fun for us and our clients.”
“Using the 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™…allows the facilitator, after assessing the participating fathers’ hurdles, to apply Being Proactive and Put First Things First in scenarios and reflections of personal experience that fathers may be able to directly relate. Using diagrams and videos to get and keep fathers involved using the 7 Habits has been a positive influence on our participants and facilitators alike.”
To learn more about The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad™, click here.
Could your organization benefit from a short-length fatherhood workshop?
Have you searched for another learning experience for dads your organization can use before or after dads complete a more comprehensive program, such as 24/7 Dad® or InsideOut Dad®?