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Is Your Business Your Family?

May 12, 2013

Daily Read – Is Your Business Your Family?

Let me begin by saying – Happy Mother’s Day! Being a parent brings a lot of wisdom and knowledge to your business that you may not have had before children. The ability to keep a family running smoothly, inspiring your children, keeping everyone strong, healthy and happy and offering guidance is much the same as leading a business. A lot of the same practices you implement at home are the same practices you (should be) implementing at the office. Here are 5 parenting skills that can help make you a better manager or business owner:

Enforce rules. Clearly outline behavioral expectations both in conversation and in writing and make sure employees understand them. Make sure everyone understands the consequences for breaking the rules.

Emphasize values. Creating a positive company culture is not unlike creating a positive family environment. Company owners should model behavior for their employees-including how people are expected to speak to each other, as well as discouraging morale-drainers like backstabbing, assigning scapegoats, and shirking responsibilities.

Call out bad behavior.
Parents aren’t afraid to identify and correct poor behavior in their children. Of course, your employees aren’t children – they’re adults hired for their contributions to your firm. But it’s still up to you to direct company culture and address problems when you find them.

Use your words wisely. Among the very high-functioning family businesses, the parents teach children that what they do and say matters and that the impact of what you do has an impact on other people. When a difficult situation arises, resist impulsive communication. Stop and think about what needs to happen to correct the situation.

Play fair. Employees, like children, perform best when they understand what is expected of them and feel they are being treated fairly. Everyone in the company should face the same ground rules and consequences -employees shouldn’t feel as if a high-performing salesperson or a relative of the business owner doesn’t have to abide by company policies.

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