“Four score and seven years ago, our Fathers brought forth upon this country a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” … unless you’re 3-years old. And much like those soldiers Lincoln spoke about, my house is engaged in a great civil war pitting families against each other. The battle for control is reaching a climax. The need for the last word and decision on meals are masked by tantrums. I should add that the children are not the only ones throwing tantrums. I’ve had a few myself. At first I thought I had restless kids that needed more sleep or a visit from the Super Nanny. As it turns out I have children who are grasping at any opportunity to be independent.
While the war is still waging, I am learning to compromise. I find that if they get to pick out their clothes, select a few food options for lunch, or decide what book to read I have a much happier house. Kids want exactly what adults want, freedom and respect.
So often, in the workplace, managers fall into the same trap as a parent. They feel the need to control every aspect of their environment. This can result in a stressed manager and resentful employees. Eventually an office civil war can occur.
Below are 5 war neutralizing suggestions.
1. Don’t be afraid to give up control. Chances are you hired, and work with, very competent people who can get the work done just as well as you. This will also free up your time.
2. Empower your team by having them initiate projects. Let them lead the charge. This will allow those complacent workers to develop a passion and excitement for their work.
3. Provide people with a chance to make decisions. When you micromanage, you waste your time and belittle your employees. This will give your team an opportunity to build confidence in their decision making and will let you focus on those neglected projects.
4. Poll your team’s expertise. If your team’s anything like mine they have twice as much experience and talent as you do. This gives them a chance to refine their skills and shine, and you look like a manager that recruits top talent.
5. Delegate meeting attendance and reviews to others on your team. It’s amazing what a fresh pair of eyes and ears can pick up. This will provide a new perspective to routine tasks.
What other war neutralizing suggestions do you employ?