Becoming a mom has led to some amazing discoveries. I realized that contrary to all scientific research, a person could survive with no sleep for years. And that dried Play-Doh is a weapon of mass destruction. But it has also prompted me to develop some crucial skills and knowledge that help me daily in managing my team.
Watch the video:
To care about someone’s needs more than about my own
One of the first things you realize when you have a child is that their needs supersede yours. And this is also very true for management.
As a leader, it is your job to ensure your team has all they need to achieve the goals you have set for them. And this will sometimes come at the expense of your comfort.
To tolerate distractions
I am sure you can all recall those moments when you are deep into building that presentation or writing that report and a message pops up on your screen “May I call you for just 5 minutes?”. And then, just as you have managed to focus once again – another, and another.
The only way you can survive this without your brain turning into scrambled eggs is if you have the training of hearing the urgent “Mom, mom, mom, mom” twenty-seven times a day shouted with no regard of what you are doing at that time.
To instill values
Apart from keeping them fed and clothed, bringing up little people involves teaching them what’s wrong and right and continuously pulling them back on the right track. The same is true for teams.
For your team to have a solid foundation, you need to instill shared values carefully. They are the ones that will show you and your employees the true North during challenging times. They are also the ones that will keep a certain level of stability in the team even when the team members are changing, or the team is growing.
To repeat things multiple times
Kids love repetition. Their developing cognitive functions require multiple reiterations to fully grasp the meaning of an event or story. Plus, they think repetition is fun.
New managers soon discover that the same is somewhat true for many adults as well. Having to repeat the same explanation or task multiple times can be very frustrating. But you should be aware that people process information in different ways, and some of your employees may need more time.
And if you still feel frustrated after this explanation, just know that I have repeated, “Pick up your books from the floor!” 83 times this week. So consider yourself lucky.
To tell stories
It’s not just “Cinderella” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Children perceive the world best through stories.
The role stories play in our lives is so fundamental that it remains with us throughout our lives. Therefore, stories are and always will be the best way to connect with others. As a leader, stories are how you grasp your team’s attention and, above all else, create and share a vision.
To appear angry even if I am not
It does not happen much any longer, but when my son was younger, he would often create a huge mess or break a rule, and all of it would be accompanied by a hilarious comment or the cutest expression.
I would have to act stern to ensure that I am teaching the proper behavior. But often, on the inside, I would roll around with laughter. And it turned out that being able to display just one of several emotions I might be feeling at a time is an incredibly helpful managerial skill.
When we manage people, and we need to correct behavior or performance, we inevitably need to involve our employee’s emotions in the process. And this would sometimes require us to put on an anger mask even that is not exactly what we are feeling at the moment.
And these are just a few of the things I learned about people management from being a mom. Are there any lessons you took from being a parent and implemented in your work?