Parent “Like A Boss!”
What makes a good boss? What makes a good parent? There are hundreds of books, articles, blogs, videos, courses, classes, seminars, (enough? ok) and more on how to be a great boss. Parenting has it’s own library of media, but consensus about what makes a good parent is not nearly as clear. The answer to “How can I be a good parent?” is as simple as applying great “boss” strategy to parenting.
Successful bosses make an effort to develop strategies that will them effective in the office. Employees who like their jobs most likely have managers who have a style that makes them happy. A few basic elements of good manager styles are:
- Communicate well by listening
- Set clear and reasonable expectations.
- Lead by example.
- Be positive.
- Give constructive, not critical, feedback.
- Thank and reward employees.
- Be flexible.
- Be patient.
- Create a fun atmosphere.
- Encourage independence, risk taking, and learning from success and failure.
- Help others.
- Gather together as a company for networking and core strengthening.
It’s so easy to have a double standard for behavior at work versus behavior at home. A boss probably likes the people they work with, but in most cases, they don’t (and SHOULDN’T) love them. Hopefully, we love the people at home but freely unleash and act anyway we want towards them because “I am the parent.” Imagine going home to the family after a long day of practicing all of the management strategies above . You walk through the door, there is an argument over the TV remote. So, you yell at them to “knock it off” because your tired from a long day. Happens all the time at home, but not in the office.
Sure, kids haven’t learned the office behavior and the expectations are not there for them to behave that way, but new employees come into a company with little or no experience. Even the boss started needing to learn the culture of a new company. After a time, a good Boss will often alter the culture of a company to fit his or her style. A new baby will change the culture of a family, and parents must adjust. As a parent, go through the list again.
1. Communicate well by listening. We often don’t listen to our kids, usually because they are kids. Children who consistently feel like they are being heard, usually are better behaved.
2. Lead by example. Parents who curse, sit around and watch TV all day, eats junk food, never takes a shower or doesn’t get to work on time can expect their kids to have similar core values. They learn through observation, just like employees do at the office.
3. Be positive. Kids don’t like being around cranky adults, just like employees don’t like a boss that’s screaming all day.
4. Give constructive, not critical, feedback. A good boss would never tell an employee that they are getting fat. They may provide gym memberships, incentives for healthy living, and create a competition for everyone to get in shape. Get kids to change by changing yourself, more observable behavior there.
5. Thank and reward employees. Some “experts” tell parents not to reward children. It works in business for a reason. Why not provide motivation for kids to try and accomplish tasks that are difficult? It doesn’t have to be a new pony, although that would be pretty cool. Small rewards work great! Offer them time doing something fun together in exchange for completing their homework. It’s rewarding for both parent and child.
6. Be flexible. Negotiation skills are valuable. Letting kids pitch proposals about changing a household rule they don’t think is fair gives them an opportunity to practice advocating for themselves. Successfully lobbing to get a rule “modified,” builds confidence.
7. Be patient. Parenting takes more patience than any other job. Work on being patient with kids as this models behavior they will eventually need when they work with others at school and later in life.
8. Create a fun atmosphere. Lighten up! Home is not a suit and tie environment. A family should be fun and light hearted.
9. Encourage independence. Risk-taking and learning from success and failure is a prime tool for future success. Children learn best by trying and learning by the outcome; good or bad.
10. Help others. Volunteering, serving and giving back to the community is as good for families as it is for companies.
11. Gather together as a company for networking and core strengthening. Families that play, eat, and work together, are happier and healthier then families who avoid seeing one another.
Parenting like a boss begins with acting like you are in public. ALL THE TIME. Closed doors are not a license to yell, scold and berate an employee and it also applies to how you act as a parent.
If you want to Parent Like A Boss, you need to Act Like A Boss.