Interview with Debbi Sluys

This past week I had the honour of connecting with Debbi Sluys of Dare to Declare virtually. I have been excited to connect with Debbi for many months. Debbi is threading together the worlds of personal and professional development in the early years sector beautifully. Debbi is the director of an early learning centre in Chatham-Kent area and has been leading teams for the past 30 years. She shared that she is shifting her career towards operating her business Dare to Declare full-time. After exploring the world of personal development she began to find that it became who she shows up as in her role as a leader. Debbi shared about the power of declaring a power word for the year. The practice creates intention on an individual level and creates connection when done with a team. "Every one feels seen and heard." She shared her personal experience with her team - this year as a team their word is "believe"- they include their word in supervisor meetings and in weekly memos. Having a core value provides inspiration and motivation for the team. I followed up with Debbi to ask a few questions about personal and professional development as an ECE or child-focused professional. R: Can you share some of your personal and professional habits that contribute to your sense of well-being and success? D: - getting clear on my vision and putting it to paper with images and action plan. - breaking it into weekly and daily goals - getting enough sleep - praying and reading my bible - having a disposition of “what’s the best thing that can happen” - to make leading by listening a priority - to stay curious and kind. R: What advice would you give to ECE’s around personal and professional development? D: Recognize that depending on the season of your life the quantity will be different. Make personal development your priority and professional development will align with it. R: What would you identify as the most important skills to focus on as an ECE? D: Most beautiful important skill is your understand and image of the child. Seeing children as: capable, competent, curious and rich in potential. This lens will guide the ECE in all aspects of their daily practice. Dare to Declare is a transformational workshop experience for women to dig deep into discovering and achieving your dreams. Dare to Declare vision board workshops are available to purchase online for individuals or groups. Debbi also sells a vision board kit with tools and materials to create your own. You can find Debbi on Facebook or Instagram: @debbisluys

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