How being a parent is great training for management

Running a business isn’t easy, neither is being a parent. But the skills you need to do both well are interchangeable.  It’s not how you react, it’s all about how you respond!

Anyone who works for a good manager will tell you that they are fair, considerate, acknowledge a job well done and don’t breath down your neck when the pressure is on. In other words they trust you with the role that you have been engaged to do. And when necessary they provide guidance to help you get the job done to the very best of your ability.

Parenting skills

Children respond and are motivated by encouragement and having their feelings acknowledged. This isn’t always easy, it takes time and needs our attention.

Pointing out their mistakes or errors demotivates children, it doesn’t encourage them to persevere and try again.  It’s the same in the work place, you will demotivate your staff and in the long-term even cause resentment.

How to motivate people

Finding ways to keep staff motivated isn’t as difficult as it might seem.  A good training policy and taking an interest in your staff will enable you to find their more natural skills, where they excel and just as importantly which areas don’t interested them.  There’s no point pushing someone in a direction they really don’t want to go.

Finding out about each other at home and at work can be great fun and really help you to understand each other better, which will help you to know how you can work (and play) more effectively as a team.

The Belbin Teamwork Test is great fun and makes it very simple to understand how you all fit together as a team, as well and understanding what roles are more suitable to different personality types.  It can also highlight if someone is in the wrong position and would be better suited elsewhere within a company – you will be surprised just how much difference that can make, both to them and your business.  I know some great managers who swear by it and get so much more from their staff because they are in the right position. Some even use it at interview to determine the qualities and skills needed to fill a gap and for evaluating the most appropriate candidate.

Management training           

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs, but if you’ve taken time to train your children effectively, to behave the way you want them to, encouraged them when they have felt low or when they have thought they have failed. If you’ve paid attention to them when their feelings have been hurt, taught them that it’s OK to be angry and that it’s not how you feel – it’s how you behave that’s important.  If you’ve lead by example, had fun with your children as well as sat with them while they’ve done their homework. If you’ve done all that as many parents do, then the chances are your staff will already say you’re a good manager.

Photo: cc  radioflyer007 via Flickr

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