Kids Will Call You Out

Kids Will Call You Out cover

The amazing thing about kids is that they will call you out for being inconsistent, for bluffing or when you are inauthentic. 

So picture this … 

I say to my daughter that she needs to be in bed by 9 pm, and that she should not have screen time just before going to bed. She acknowledges my statement as matter of fact, as I constantly "preach" this phrase. When it's nearing 9 pm, and I am not even close to sleeping and still on my mobile phone, she throws me a question: Why are you still on your mobile phone? Why aren't you getting ready to go to bed? What about you? 

Erm … 

My first reaction would be … Daddy has lots of stuff to get done and I  just need some peace and quiet. You are not helping by interrupting and going to bed so late. Aren’t you suppose to be in bed by 9?

Yes, I get defensive and I believe many of us do too.

What happens at work is very similar. 

Younger or junior colleagues often see through what goes on in the organization and is able to quickly call out senior managers for being inconsistent, or for bluffing throughout the organization. 

For example …

CEO said we should aim for A
But, manager says we need to hit KPI by doing B

Or …

Senior leadership says they take your feedback into consideration, and nothing happens for months or years. 

When our colleagues come to us with questions, issues, or feedback, it usually is a genuine concern, our first reaction might be defensive, brushing it away, giving excuses, or just ignoring the issue. We should aim to be as consistent, truthful and authentic about responding. Otherwise, it becomes plain we are NOT and it is seen through immediately.

Kids become rebellious.
Kids could also turn away and find “consistency” in addictions.

Junior staff lose interest in their work.
They might also leave the organization though they are in fact leaving the manager/leadership.

It’s usually a downwards spiral from here, unless, there is a change in parenting or leadership style. 

Can we be consistent at different times and across all managers?

I believe it all comes down to having a clear vision for the organization and have already agreed upon guiding principles.
In parenting, establishing clear boundaries is also important and parents should also live by it.

It’s tough, but we can support each other.
Sometimes, we make mistakes, sometimes, we screw up. No one is perfect. That should be perfectly clear. The important thing is to acknowledge mistakes and correct them and move ahead. Having a buddy system to keep each other in check would be super helpful. Parents can support each other and keep each other consistent and authentic. 

Thank them for calling you out.
Go ahead, thank your kid or your colleague for calling you out and giving you feedback. Without it, you would be stuck. Arm with it, you can now grow. Thanking them also lets them know you are open and willing to learn, something they will emulate from you too.

So, don’t be afraid to be called out and don’t be afraid to call out too.

Just be consistent in what you say and do. 

#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #SucceedAtWork #CareerTips #ParentingSkills #Leadership

"Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.

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