What makes a good boss? Of course there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that. But tech-giant Google set out to answer that question within the context of their own company. They called it Project Oxygen, and ran a piece in New York Times about their findings.
After sifting through enormous amounts of data, the Googlers behind Project Oxygen were able to identify some key traits that all managers should have. They are:
1.Be a good coach
2.Express interest and applaud team member’s success
3.Be a good communicator and negotiator
4.Help your employees with career development
5.Have a clear vision and strategyfor the team
Let’s extrapolate that to parentingand see what that means:
Be a good coach: Moms are constantly teaching and coaching their kids on something. Be it homework, games, chores or simply manners, they always havethe “coach” cap on. Not only are they a coach, in a lot of situationsthey are also cheerleaders and the audience ever ready with an applause. It is said that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. Being a good coach could help you retain your key employees.
Express interest and applaud team member’s success: When you become a mom, the words “good job” become mandatory inalmost every conversation you have with your child. From cleaning up after oneself to straight “A”s to making it to the play-offs, moms are there to encourage, applaud and celebrate. Laszlo Bock, Google’s Vice President of “People Operations” said, what employeesvalued most were bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, and who took an interest in employees’ lives.”
Be a good communicator and negotiator: If you are a mom, youhave negotiated bedtime, curfew rules, amount of candy allowed, sleepovers, parties, allowance andthe list goes on and on. You are so used to it, you almost suspect something is up if there is no negotiation. You are constantly striving to communicate better with your child, trying to understand each child (read individuals on your team), and find ways to create balance between what your child wants todo and what needs to be done.
Help your employees with career development: Regardless of how different each person’s parenting style and values may be, one goalthat all parents share is to make their child financially independentand help them find a career best suited for them. This goes hand inhand with being a good coach, and helping them understand their strengths and limitations; a trait that is very helpful in developing team members.
Have a clear vision and strategy for the team: While most moms might doubt that they have a clear vision and strategy for their families, I am certain that it is something they think about. Eachmom shapes her family to be uniquely her own, and has a sub-conscious road map and a picture of how the family would look in the next five years, ten years etc. That same mind-set and that same kind of investmentin your team will go a long way inmaking your work-family “feel at home“.
There is already a lot of research about how women have many desirable soft-skills that they get from their role as a homemaker (multi-tasking, time and budget management etc.) and with more and more companies offering flexibility and work-life balance, itwon’t be long before “being a mom” would actually be considered a preferred qualification to become a manager.
Published in: Family