5 Tricks Managers Can Learn From Parents to Develop Employees

Often in a leadership world, managers face challenges when dealing with their employees. When you are a manager your success depends on a quality of a team, that’s why getting the most out of your people is your day job. No matter how big or small your organization is, a good leader should know exactly how to motivate and inspire.

Mother supporting son

When Management and Parenting Overlap

That is when management and parenting styles collide. Just like a parent any successful organization should not completely rely on straightforward ‘parent-child’ relationships based on authoritative style. Guided by emotions rather than rational senses due to lack of experience, both parents and managers often forget to listen and analyze the problem. Nevertheless, it’s always useful to analyze your management style and if something is going wrong – adopt a more flexible approach.

Today I will share 5 tricks from parenting that can help any manager to develop employees and get the most out of a team.

1. Set Goals Rather than Expectations

That may seem obvious and yet it’s amazing how often we get that wrong. The biggest mistake for parents is to demand too much from their children and to set black and white goals. Such approach would rather demotivate a child as a risk of failure becomes too high.

That’s why good parents, as well as effective managers, always set achievable performance objectives.

If your employee falls short, hold a performance objective meeting where you can both discuss ways how to effectively solve the issue. Naturally not all the goals can be achieved, but the improvements your employee has made can be a measurement of success.

2. Ask Questions and Listen

Every company or organization always has one difficult employee who rubs colleagues the wrong way. At the same time, these people may be good at their jobs and strong contributors. If not dealt with, such employees can seriously harm work environment and even can be the reason why other employees leave the company.

Before the damage is done be responsive to the issue. First, get the specific examples of a bad behavior and speak with your employee. Make sure that the questions are as accurate as possible and give your employee an opportunity to explain everything. It’s how the basic discipline rule works: stop, observe and listen.

3. Challenge Your Employees

A lot of good managers can learn a lot from parents here. Challenge the employees with extra special assignments in areas they are interested in. Do not forget to give them thoughtful and wise feedback as well. Simple ‘needs improvement’ does not work, you should give comment specific to the individual’s’ skills. You will see that your employees will benefit from being challenged as well.

Let them feel empowered through working for you.

Business is like parenting

4. Keep Everything Simple

As a famous composer Charles Mingus once has said, making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. He was talking about the world of music, but that equally applies to the world of management and parenting. Simple does not mean patronizing, it means clear and understandable. Clear communication will simplify the way you interact with employees and make information flow seamlessly.

5. Don’t Forget About Entertainment

Remember that your team is made of individuals and apply the rule ‘work hard play harder’ as often as possible. If your employees show good performance, let the entertaining activities be a positive feedback that you give them. Parents always use this practice as they know well how important it is to motivate, encourage, support and engage.

Find a Balance

Just as parents are not trained in parents camps, not all managers are taught management skills. Furthermore, most managers pick up those skills along the way. Thus a good manager should find a balance between emotions and rational view. This is the most difficult part in management and parenting as any leader should connect with a team at an emotional level and at the same time remain fair-minded with everybody. Not an easy balance to achieve but a good way to develop your management skills and drive the performance of your employees.