Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Are You a Parent or a Manager?

Focus: Management Success, Management Insight 

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Are You a Parent or a Manager?
Wc: 365
Transcript - print now

I bet there’s been a day or two when you have thought that or felt that way. When I conduct a management training workshop, sometimes I’ll ask, “How many feel like you left the kids back at the office.”…..many people raise their hand.

Here are two issues related to parenting that would be useful to be aware of, if you are a manager:

Issue #1: How you were parented influences how you manage. That might sound odd, but its true. Your experience and conditioning in the context of authority and power as a child have all been recorded in your subconscious mind. When you are put into that situation again, now with you as the authority figure, what will you naturally draw on to direct your behavior?....the resource or reference point already developed in your brain, your pre-mapped experiences. What’s important to realize is this is not necessarily done on purpose or consciously. You may be quite unaware that this is even happening. 

In fact how many of you have said, “I will never be like that when I grow up” and then find yourselves acting the same way in certain contexts the same as your parents…see?

Now, depending on the kind of behaviors, reactions and responses you want to have as a manager those pre-mapped experiences might serve you well…or not. 

What’s important? aware of them so that you can determine on purpose the kind of behaviors you want to have as a manager.

Issue #2: If you are a parent at home, sometimes those same relating styles get exhibited at work. Again this not necessarily good, bad, right or wrong, it’s just important to be aware of this and determine what’s useful or not.

In the case of moms for example, “mom behaviors” in excess can prove to be harmful. For example: being over protective of a team member, doing for them rather than helping them do, being too controlling vs. realizing they are adults with adult boundaries….etc.

Tip: Try to identify what of these two areas are currently influencing your management style/ behaviors and determine what’s useful and what’s not. Then take steps to adjust them.

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