6 Parenting Mistakes You Should Not Replicate As a Manager🎯

6 Parenting Mistakes You Should Not Replicate As a Manager🎯
Photo by Daniel K Cheung / Unsplash

"As a mother, I am a self-professed ninja when it comes to safeguarding my little one. I have a hawk's eye on her whereabouts and who she spends time with. I am like a CIA agent when it comes to her food intake, because let's be real, there are just too many allergies around these days. I am determined to make sure she stays healthy and safe. And don't even get me started on park incidents. I am like a secret service agent when it comes to watching out for potential bullies or mistreatment by other children. Letting her make decisions on her own? Not a chance, she's still learning and I am her overprotective mom!"

Of course, the above text is a pamphlet and you should treat it accordingly. I am not describing myself, at least not my full self, ha :)

Let's forget about parenting for a moment and talk about the relationship between employees and managers. Have you ever had a manager who acted similarly? A manager who wants to be omnipresent and have knowledge about everything?

I'm willing to bet you have!

If you have read some of my previous articles, you may have come across my discussion on the similarities between parenting and leadership. I believe that there are many parallels between the two, and despite not being born as a parent or a leader, we can learn to excel in these roles over time.

Today, we will discuss the top 6 mistakes that parents commonly make and how you can avoid replicating them in your leadership role. Let's get started.

Be the helicopter parent

A "helicopter parent" is a term used to describe a style of parenting characterized by overprotective behavior, excessive involvement in their child's life, and an intense focus on their child's successes and failures. The term "helicopter parent" comes from the idea that such parents hover over their children, constantly monitoring their activities and swooping in to intervene at the first sign of trouble, much like a helicopter hovering over an area.

Does this ring any bell? Do you recognize this description in some of your managers' behavior? I bet you do. If so, you might have a micromanager on your hands. Similar to a helicopter parent, a micromanager has a strong desire to know and control everything. They fear missing out on important details and want to oversee every task. Micromanagers don't want their employees to make mistakes, which is why they insist on overseeing everything. "Just in case" :).

Not listening to your child

I mean, come on, it's Friday evening, and everyone is tired after a long week, who wants to pay attention and listen to a talkative child? But as you have might guessed, most of the time our children simply want their voices to be heard. And they want us to hear them, not someone else.

Whenever they come to speak to you, try to listen to them first before jumping in and offering solutions. A connection is the foundation for sharing, respect, trust, problem-solving, and responsibility. Yes, you guessed correctly. I am referring to the individuals you manage here.

The smiling sisters
Photo by Caroline Hernandez / Unsplash

Being inconsistent

One way to ensure that your children respect your authority is by following through on promises. Consistency is key, as inconsistency can lead to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty in children. By establishing clear expectations and maintaining consistency, parents can foster a positive and respectful parent-child relationship.

It's important to be consistent with the information you share with the people you are managing. If you send mixed messages, such as reporting that the company is struggling one day and then reporting that everything is fine a few days later, it can damage your relationship with your audience and make them question your credibility. This can put you in a difficult position, especially if you're trying to maintain their trust.

Underestimate their problems

Underestimating your children's problems can have significant consequences on their emotional well-being, and ability to cope with challenges. And you can miss some good opportunities to understand their problems and be able to intervene when necessary.

The people you manage also face problems. Minimizing or underestimating their situations erodes trust and may discourage them from coming to you the next time they are facing challenges.

Avoiding rules and limits

You may believe that you are being helpful to your children by allowing them to do whatever they want. However, most children, especially younger ones, find it difficult to live without any guidelines. Establishing consistent routines, setting limits, and providing limited choices will help your child anticipate daily events.

It is important to communicate clear rules and expectations to the individuals you are managing to maintain a positive work environment and improve productivity. These rules may refer to the quality of work, professional conduct, compliance with policies and procedures, or performance expectations. It is crucial to establish boundaries and guidelines to ensure order and efficiency within the workplace.

Neglecting to fix problems

Ignoring problems will not make them disappear; in fact, they often become more serious when left unaddressed. Trying to fix a problem requires hard work, but most problems that you face as a parent can be worked through and changed or fixed.

You are not doing anyone a favor if you are neglecting the problems the people you are managing are facing. Neglected and unaddressed problems can only become bigger and can create even more frustration for your people and can harm your business. Don't let them alone in trying to solve the challenges they are facing, and be bold and jump in and mitigate those problems.

What to do instead

Parents and managers may both fear tantrums, but being aware that a child or employee might have a tantrum can help you take steps to avoid upsetting them. Just as you would do everything possible to prevent a child's tantrum, you can also try to prevent an employee's outburst by offering support and understanding. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, someone may still have a tantrum at work. In these situations, it is important to be there for them and offer the support they need to get through it. With empathy and patience, you can help your team overcome these difficult moments.

You are doing an excellent job, and it's essential to recognize that. At times, we may not meet our expectations as a parent, manager, partner, or individual contributor, but that's okay. Take the lessons you learned from those experiences, improve upon them, and do better next time.

Hugs, M.🤍