Hey there! Do you have a toddler running around your house demanding your attention and who is always by your side? Me too! Even more so now that my oldest switched from daycare to preschool and needs more attention from my wife and me. Since we are having to “manage” him and his expectation a lot more, it got me thinking…is there anything from my day-to-day as an account manager that I could pull from to better “manage” my son? Both require patience, understanding and a whole lot of communication. As a manager, my role is to lead the team toward success, and the same goes for raising my child. In this blog post, I will be exploring the similarities between managing a team of employees and managing a toddler—and how you can apply the same principles to both.
You need to make sure everyone’s on the same page—whether it’s your team of employees or your toddler. You also need to talk to them in a way that they’ll understand, and make sure they know what’s expected of them. Let’s be real, sometimes you need to repeat yourself a few times before it sinks in.
Just like you can’t let your toddler get away with something one day and then punish them for it the next, you can’t let your coworkers slide on something one week and then come down hard on them the next time it happens. You have to stick to established rules and be fair across the board.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated, whether you’re an adult or a toddler. So when someone does something well, let them know! Praise them, reward them and watch as their motivation goes through the roof.
You are dealing with different personalities and skill sets, so it’s important to take that into account. Just like you may need to give a little extra attention to a shy or quiet team member, you sometimes need to adjust your approach when your toddler decides to be particularly stubborn.
Whether it’s a last-minute change of plans at work or a toddler who suddenly decides they don’t want to wear pants anymore, you need to just roll with the punches. Being adaptable and open to change is what will help you succeed in managing both a team and a toddler.
So, there you have it! Managing a team of employees and managing a toddler have more in common than you may have thought. Just remember to communicate, be consistent, give positive reinforcement, show empathy & understanding and be flexible. And, of course, don’t forget to have a little fun along the way!