Using parenting skills in everyday management (3/3)

Encourage and develop your employees in much the same way as you would your children.
 
In his book “La compétence des familles”, Guy Ausloos views the role of the 'mentor' as someone who offers guidance within the relationship framework.  “Asking the right questions is all about looking at what you know, but also about discovering what you didn't know you knew.  This knowledge not only influences the way people do things, but also the way in which they live their lives”. 

By taking on board this information, and looking at things from a different perspective, it becomes possible to further develop inter-personal relationships.  As a trainer and coach this has often been my experience when working alongside corporate teams, teaching professionals and parents.

In his book “Between parent and child”, Haim Guinot invested a lot of time into researching the interaction between parents and their children.  Here some of his key-finding that can be  applied to the workplace.

Taking time to listen to a child's feelings makes them feel valued and respected.  The art of listening allows a sense of release and self-expression.  By simply listening to a child, without judgment and without offering personal opinions, you allow them to effectively express their emotions. Once children get to a certain point, when their emotions have almost exhausted themselves, they will then be in a position to rediscover their cognitive function and to find a satisfactory way forward independently.

This approach can easily be adopted by managers when dealing with different emotions within a team (frustration in the workplace is just as common as that which we find among children!).  Learning how to listen is paramount.  Just as with children, not all personal frustrations with employees need to be resolved, but lending an empathetic ear can bring huge rewards.

Autonomy allows a child to realize his own capabilities and to learn from his/her own experiences.

Supporting a child's development involves believing in them, indulging them, being patient and knowing when to take a step back to allow them to grow.  The adult's role is quite simple: to provide a framework, which can be flexible to some degree.  It is then a case of accompanying the child through the learning process.  During this time it is important to provide factual and non-judgmental observations.


It is the same when managing people.  By using this same mindset, you will have a powerful motivational tool at your fingertips.  By allowing freedom of expression and creativity, you will allow your employees to grow and learn self-development tools.  When giving feedback on an idea or project, it will always be more positively received if it is done in a friendly manner, with factual observations rather than opinions.  For example, you would first of all underline the positive points of the idea/project.  Then you would acknowledge the effort that has been put into creating it, and encourage self-evaluation.  It is important to note that this approach does not work in the same way with children - it is usually best to let them draw their own conclusions in their own time.

If an employee is not open to these methods, or is simply too complacent, there are alternatives you can try to effectively challenge them.  For example you can encourage them to reflect on their idea/project by asking questions such as such as “What could you do to make your idea/project even better”?

To conclude, while these methods may not solve all inter-personal relationship problems within the workplace,  it does allow you to nurture a positive environment where everyone feels they have a role to play.  Additionally, employees will feel that their voice is being heard and that they are respected.  Once this framework exists, they will be able to develop and enrich themselves and each other.  Admittedly this will need a deep understanding, willingness and respect from everyone involved.  This transition can be facilitated through training sessions on the subject.  These sessions could include varying professional scenarios to demonstrate how the different approaches work in reality, and ultimately how they can positively or negatively affect the workplace and those within it.

 

 

 

Céline Chatti

 

 

Read More

 

"How the way we are taught to communicate can impact on our interaction with others". (2/3)

 Parent-child relationships – similar to those between managers and their employees! (1/3)

 

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To learn more about "Parenting skills applied to management" and invididual and team coaching we provide, feel free to contact us.

 

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