Not many might think of business as they do of parenting. But, the thought might just help. Both call for multi-faceted skills, a great deal of firefighting and, tons of patience.
But whereas most of get by with successful parenting, many more fret it out with business. But what if we could – consciously, perhaps, if not – apply some parenting skills to business? We could get a whole lot better at business.
Just how do you stack up right now?
1. Multitask in mayhem
Most parents can cook dinner, hold a baby and help their older kids with their homework. Being able to manage multiple priorities and achieving more with less are essential in a home. But managers find this hard. The key to success might mean learning to manage competing priorities, and recognizing, or accepting, that it comes with the territory.
2. Leaders always leverage
Parents don’t expect toddlers to wash fine china but, on occasions, they could ask them to load the dishwasher. The point is: People who consistently deliver results find the right balance between stretch and strain. They understand that status quo is really just comfort zone with good PR.
3. Clarify the crisis
Parents don’t put a body cast on a skinned knee. They can tell a real crisis from a false one. In business, too, pursuing the right thing at the right time is critical to achieving the right result. Catastrophising to appear more capable merely detracts from the real work that needs to be done. Leaders will listen but rarely act.
4. Pick your battles
Parents may let a preschooler wear boots on a sunny day, but they draw the line at wearing sandals in the snow. Competing priorities and conflicts will be part of your work because it pushes pre-existing boundaries. Knowing what you stand for will prevent you fighting battles that erode precious enthusiasm and energy.
5. Recognise and reward
Great parents recognise good behaviour when they see it and tell their kids so. Catching people doing something right is an underrated tool for driving peak performance. Performance psychology has proven this endlessly. However, our social psychology makes this hard to achieve when we feel we are wronged. Results are paved in the times you provide high levels of praise and positive feedback.
Andrew Horsfield is the director of Thrive Group and a speaker, coach and writer. He is the author of “Check Up from the Neck Up” and co-author of “Ideas.”