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Management works: children are human resources, too.

suit and tie, close-upChildren, like ourselves, respond to the same kinds of motivation we ourselves do – and, whether or not you’re currently in the workforce, chances are very good you HAVE been.

Chances are also good you’ve experienced both good and not-so-good bosses.

To a kid? YOU are the boss, among many other duties.

If you try taking a management-style approach to children’s behavior, you’ll find yourself concentrating on the behavior, and not the child.

Good managers, when faced with an employee who is, for instance, having a lateness issue, will use a technique called “sandwiching.”

An example:

Jones, you’ve got the best sales technique I’ve seen in a long time.”

The manager starts off with a tangible, specific positive comment.

It would be really great for the company, though, if you could make it in on time, so you could put that technique to use for the whole eight hours.

Then, after the positive, the manager relates the necessary critique, gently.

If you could work on the lateness? I bet you could make the most sales of any employee.”

The manager wraps up the talk with a goal.

Parents can translate this technique fairly easily.

Positive:

Jack, you’re really good at sharing your toys; especially at preschool.

Critique & goal:

I bet if you tried sharing some of your stuff with Isaac at our playdate today, you’d have more fun. You might even make a new friend.”

You’re still letting your child know what behaviors are acceptable, and which are not. You’re just doing it in a way that starts out more positive, respectful, and lets your child know there is, at least in the beginning, a choice to make.

It’s a start.

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