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It’s Okay to be the Boss!

March 16, 2015

 

It’s Okay to be the Boss (of your kids!)

 

As you’ve most likely read before in one of my previous blogs, not only am I a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, but I really try to live true to my strengths daily. My #1 strength is Learner, which for me means that I LOVE learning on my own and from others. And, in particular, I love to deepen my knowledge about leadership, wellbeing, and personal and professional development in general.
Today I had the opportunity to learn from a wonderful leader in our community, and a friend, who I have the pleasure of engaging with on a regular basis. Janet Altman, marketing partner at Kaufman Rossin, is a member of The Commonwealth Institute (of Miami) Forum of executive women that I have the pleasure of facilitating each month. She took us through a one-hour version of It’s Okay To Be The Boss, based on the book by Bruce Tulgan. It was enlightening, and practical, and I can’t wait to put some of these great strategies into action. 
 
But, if you’ve been following me for a bit, you know that I love to take what I learn in my professional life and apply it to my personal life; in particular with my children. I am a firm believer that we can instill leadership principals into our children at a young age, and help them to lead conscious, reflective lives. 
 

I’m sharing this with you today for two reasons:

  1. For those of you who are parents and want to give these tips a try, and 
  2. For those of you who also believe, like I do, that we can empower our young people early on to see themselves as leaders and take personal responsibility for their success and wellbeing. 
Whether you’re a parent or not, I guarantee you’ll have many chances to help our awesome young ones out there (our future leaders, by the way!)
 

Here’s what I’m trying out immediately (or trying to do a better job!):

  1. Manage Every Day.
    I believe in teaching my children to be independent as much as possible, but my husband and I are “in charge” of our children. Every day is an opportunity to check in and be in the know. Even a 5- minute check-in shows we care and are “here” to support and help guide. We may even catch things early that will need some intervention.
  2. Talk Like a Performance Coach.
    I am a coach, but sometimes as coaches we don’t tell others what needs to be done, we encourage those conclusions/outcomes by asking great questions. Well, as parents, it’s our job to do both. Sometimes our kids need us to just listen and ask questions, but other times, it truly is necessary for us to show them how things need to happen. We have to be teachers too.
  3. (Manage) One Person at a Time.
    This one made me laugh, because I can hear my son, almost daily, say, “Mom, why are you saying ‘both of you’ when I didn’t do anything wrong?” Well, he’s got a point! Sometimes I have the habit of saying, “Both of you (my 2 kids) need to stop doing X, Y, Z” when I really am only speaking to one of them. Ever done this before? I can see how this could be frustrating to either my son or daughter who perhaps was not doing anything wrong in that instance. Stay away from “both of you” or “all of you”.
  4. Make Accountability a Process Not a Slogan.
    Just a few nights ago (at 10 pm!!) my son needed to print his homework, when he realized that we have no printing paper. He says, “Mom, why don’t you have paper? Now I can’t print my homework!” Well, that didn’t sit too well with me. I’m thinking to myself, “Yes, I know I’m his mom, but I can’t be in charge of everything and remember everyone’s needs!” Feel me?? So, now, I’m realizing I need to be more clear with kids, in general, about those things that they must be responsible for. From this point on, I’m going to expect that my son keep his own stack of paper and advise us of when he’s almost out so we can purchase more. What are you holding your children accountable for?
  5. Do More for Some People and Less for Others.
    Do you feel you need to be fair all the time with your kids? If you buy something for one, then you feel you have to purchase something for another? My daughter recently asked for chores. I was so excited! She wants to earn some cash so she can both save and shop. Of course I complied! The question, however, crossed my mind, “What if my son gets upset that I’m giving my daughter an allowance?” Well, here’s my answer… he’ll get an allowance when he has chores! Pure and simple. Do you agree?
There are more comparisons I can make, based on these general management axioms, but these were the most applicable for me this month. Teaching our kids (or young people in general) some of these lessons will definitely help them once they go off into what we call “the real world!” Knowing that my son is just a few years away from college, these “lessons” become opportunities to model for him how to better understand what he may encounter in college and in work environments, without taking things personally. I see this as uber valuable (for him/them) and easier on this “leader mom” too!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
It’s your life, lead it well.
Monique
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