So i have just returned from a five day trip to Center Parcs. This was our third consecutive yearly visit and once again we had a fantastic time but came back more tired than when i left. I don’t think there are any relaxing holidays with young children and we all had fun, so that’s all that really mattered!
One of the things that i have written about in my book but that echoed true once again was the desire we have to ensure our children continue to experience new things. During this trip we took Fraser to messy play, went swimming and left him for the first time ever for 3 hours in a kids club. Jolie went pottery painting, swimming, to kids clubs and tried tennis and archery for the first time. I believe one of our roles as parents is to keep trying to introduce new experiences. This is also true of our role as managers.
The way in which we help our children learn is also important. For example, when we went to tots tennis, we did not sit her down on the court and explain to her the principle of playing tennis, walk across to the other side of the court and say “Come on, get up, your serve” and then get annoyed when she had no idea what to do!
So what did we do? Support, encourage, help and guide. In our 30 minute session, we worked on ball skills (i.e. throwing and catching), racket skills (i.e. forehand, backhand and smash) and a short game. At the end of the session, she had been introduced to tennis. If we persevered she would improve and learn to play. It would take time and commitment.
I do not think that we generally treat the people we work with and more specifically the people who work for us with the same level of respect and support. We brief or train people badly, assume they know more than they do and then when they make mistakes, we get annoyed and blame them. We should actually blame ourselves as managers.
For example, if you ask someone to write an agency brief and they have never written a brief, is it surprising that they write it badly or get a bad response from the agency? Of course not. Could we do it ourselves quicker and better? Of course. But this doesn’t help anyone in the long term. If we worked through the process, the parts of the brief, let them have a go and then went through it in detail, metaphorically holding their hand and walking them through the process would we get a better result? Of course we would. The challenge is finding the time to do so. However, if this employee was your daughter learning something new you would find the time and would feel proud when he or she achieved their goal.
The reality is that most of us don’t spend the right amount of time with our team, we don’t give them the support they require and they do not come first. We fail to realise that if they did, our lives would actually be easier in the long term. We see them as a necessary burden and we behave as such. The harsh truth is that it is only by giving our teams and children time and support that they can learn and develop.