With Mother’s Day just past, I wonder how many of us remember the lessons our mothers taught us about life management.
Here are 10 lessons which all managers should learn from their mothers:
1. Love what you do
Passion for what you do sustains you a long way, through challenges big and small, and keeps you persevering towards that 5, 10, 20 year objective you are working so hard towards.
2. Know what’s important
It’s easy to get distracted by little issues that pop up along the way: messes to clear up, paper work submit. But by keeping your main goals in line of sight, if an action doesn’t bring you closer to your goals, drop it and perform more productive actions that do.
3. Remember preferences
Mothers are great multi-taskers. By being able to assess and remember different preferences, managers are better able to work out how to find win-win solutions for different stakeholders.
4. Learn effective communication
As a key hub of the family, mother will find ways to listen to and communicate the language of her family members. Managers should also learn how to communicate in the style that their various stakeholders (customers, directors, workers, business partners etc) are accustomed to, not just through words, but body language and meaningful actions such as simply being prompt, accessible and sensitive to their expectations.
5. Forgive but don’t forget
Remember when you almost made that huge mistake or caused a family delay? Mistakes happen to you and by you. Forgive and move on, but don’t forget to think of precautions to minimise future mistakes.
6. Trade off
Mothers know how to exchange one privilege for another equally or more attractive one. If you know what makes your stakeholders tick, you can negotiate trade offs that leave everyone happier.
7. There’s a time for everything
Mothers know when it’s time for her children to buck up, and when it’s time to rest and recover.
Know your limits and don’t over extend yourself trying to please everyone. A manager is accountable to protect his subordinates and provide a safe working environment for them; don’t take advantage of your workers just to please your boss or customer.
8. Remain positive
As a child is affected by his mother’s moods, workers are affected by yours. Be positive and it’ll rub off on your workers too.
9. Lead, not boss around
Mothers take the lead in teaching children how to be a better person, trying to be role models to emulate good behaviors. If managers don’t take steps to be good role models, it’s quite far-fetched to expect your workers to be better workers over time.
10. Focus on strengths, tackle weaknesses
Mothers encourage children to explore and build on strengths, while understanding how to improve on weaknesses so her children can achieve their full potential. Are you doing the same to help your staff be better workers?