Managing parent – a guide to a successful kids’ CEO
To write an email with crucial directions for the latest structural changes in the company while changing the diaper of your 9-month-old roaring baby and trying to tame the temper of his 2-year-old sister? Those are all are activities you can hardly manage simultaneously even if you are holding multiple masters. It is deciding to take care of your children for building mutual trust and forming their strong character and self-esteem. Particularly in a changed reality. However, quite often all the parenting needs to happen at the same time with a video conference, preparing a presentation for the upcoming webinar, or announcing the current promotions.
Being an effective manager does not necessarily mean that you are a successful parent. And vice versa. Both domains are (under)mined – the first with business challenges and deadlines, never-ending schedules and human resources shortage, and the other – with too many “no, no, nos”, a bunch of “I want it! Now! ” or “Why did you give birth to me if you can’t manage.” Even one of the responsibilities is enough to intensify your nervous senses up to the limit and you may hear your voice rising the falsetto register, right?
However, there are basic guidelines for both areas, professional and family. What matters is your patience, your approach, and your ability to observe yourself. Before screaming or giving up, slashed by helplessness, count to ten and recall these three tips.
• Talk to them and explain. Communication is the best way to the child’s soul, and also to corporate integrity. Even when the little one is raging during an online conversation with colleagues, don’t get angry with it – utilise the situation and add some humour. You will cheer up the looping dialogue, and you will make the others smile. Isn’t it easier to work when in a good mood? No matter how powerful your job position is, never forget we are all humans, and many of us are parents as well – the next level in human evolution. Be emphatic and understanding with the people on the team, too. They may not have got you right and you may have to explain again, simplifying the information. Try this approach instead of making people feel uncomfortable or underestimating them. Being able to listen to others is a sign of high emotional intelligence, and if you control your emotions, you will skillfully manage at home and in the office.
• Provide assignments. Keep children busy with tasks, appropriate for their age. You can ask them to wash the dishes or clean the floor, or you can give them socks to pair. If you offer the duty as a game, you will get 30 minutes. If you need an hour to make your home office a cosy place again, distribute part of the responsibilities to trusted people from your business team, or ask a peer for support. It is important not to overstep the limitations of others. But still, take some space to write that math homework with your child. Solve the math problem of Martin, distributing 5 litres of milk into 3 glasses without spilling it on the kitchen floor.
• Let everyone know who is in charge. Children, especially at a certain age, do know how to get into your head, correct? It is up to you to show them who manages the situation because no matter how free-standing they are, they still depend on your decisions. If they don’t listen up, be patient, and demonstrate you are aware of what you’re talking about and why you request it. Do not step back unless there is an exceptional reason to do so. It is a principle of successful behaviour at work too. Respect is not easy to achieve, especially if you are not a born leader. But being in a high-level position means sometimes you have to comply with your decision. It is your responsibility.
Balancing between work and family, you still have to decide which one is your priority. Regardless of the choice you make, prepare your business briefcase or backpack with care and self-control.