3 Things Parenting Has Taught Me About Management

By Kandace Greene, Executive Assistant to the CEO

I can’t be the only manager who has thought to myself, “managing is a lot like parenting.” In fact, there are three key strategies I find myself using both at home and in the office.

Female manager speaks to her team.1. Consistency and stability – All people thrive with consistency and stability, not just at work, but in life. It provides a sense of security and when people feel secure, they are more likely to try new things without a fear of failure. This builds a great foundation of trust for both sides and encourages growth, innovation, and creative thinking.

2. Do not dictate – You can’t “bark out orders” to your children or your employees and expect a positive reaction. Sure, they may do what you ask, but likely with bitterness and out of spite. To create the best results, a manager must provide guidance and be willing to take the extra time to coach, not just tell people what to do. This respectful exchange aids in learning and helps to build a stronger bond between manager and employee.

3. One size does not fit all – As a mother of three (ages 10, 12, 16), I’ve learned from experience that I yield better results with each of my children when I tailor myself (tone of voice, body language, etc.) toward their individual needs. I cannot talk to or treat all my kids the same way. The same rule applies when managing people. For example, if you have two completely different people (different ages, personalities, lifestyles, etc.), it’s not always practical or beneficial to treat them exactly the same. Recognizing individuals will help you build a better personal rapport with anyone. Everyone should always be treated fairly, but not necessarily the same.

Essentially, the strategies above are helpful inside and outside of the office. It’s important to remain consistent and respectful, while also recognizing that the needs of one may not match the needs of another. Stay flexible, fair, and respectful at work and at home to maximize effectiveness and human-to-human connection.