Have Kids? You Have Management Experience

I recently invited Eric Bloom, author of Manager Mechanics: Tips and Advice for First-Time Managers to join us as a guest blogger for today’s post. Here’s what he’d like to share with everyone:

Have kids? You have management experience.

Believe it or not, caring for your children is good management training. As a parent, you learn to praise and discipline your children, as well as providing guidance, direction, leadership and a pleasant living environment. You teach your children new skills and provide them with additional training via teachers and trainers. You provide them with the supplies needed to perform various tasks, like crayons, scissors and paper. You teach them to minimize unneeded risks, like running with scissors and looking both ways before crossing the street. You learn that each child is an individual with his/her own personalities, likes, dislikes, motivations, skills and abilities. Lastly, you realize the need to treat each child as an individual and the importance of being part of a family and the responsibility that being part of a family brings.

Another thing that a parent quickly realizes (or at least I did) is that you don’t have all the answers. As a parent, you find that you must learn new specific skills, like changing diapers, food preparation and family budgeting. You also learn the importance of decision-making. Questions such as, “What to make for dinner?”, “Does the child need to see the doctor?”, “What school is best?”, “Should a child be punished?”, “Is it ok for my child to go to a party if the parents are not home?” have to be answered. You also have to learn how to properly react when your children whine, yell in restaurants, throw their food and/or complain about their siblings.

Now let’s talk about being a manager. As a manager, you have to lead and motivate your staff, administer praise and discipline, provide guidance, provide work direction and facilitate employee growth through on-the-job training and formalized instruction. Being a good manager also requires good judgment, fairness and the ability to foster teamwork among your employees. Get the message?

Eric P. Bloom is the President of the management training firm Manager Mechanics, LLC which can be found on the web at www.ManagerMechanics.com

For another great management read, check out Soundview’s summary Managing by Henry Mintzberg.

0 thoughts on “Have Kids? You Have Management Experience

  1. Eric’s point about applying parenting skills to business situations is on target.

    I really enjoyed his book, Manager Mechanics. It is full of useful information, particularly for new managers.

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