I’ve taken another stab at an audio about what happens when a parent talks to me about their situation. For a variety of reasons I prefer to call what we do “consultation” rather than “coaching.”  Our conversations help parents be more instinctively comfortable, and – most importantly – maintain their confidence and focus on the parental tasks in front of them.

Everything is better when parents step up and “be” parents to the absolute best of their ability. They both truly help the children they love, and they affirm pieces of themselves that help their own lives be fulfilled no matter what else happens on their journey.  Here’s the audio:  

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It’s more common than you might think that encounters between exes in public can generate a ton of anxiety and trepidation. I’ve been asked about this scenario many times:

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This audio briefly summarizes why you don’t want to give in to your frustrations and the ex’s provocations.

 

 

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As a new supervisor in today’s workplace, you certainly don’t need to sprint toward your people with fire in your eyes and a club in your hand to convince them you mean business.

But it is also true that supervisors, especially line supervisors, really are the equivalent of early responders. They’re the ones whose early response to problems and opportunities, good and bad, can deeply affect what happens at work – in the near term obviously – but those ripples can travel a long way down the road.

The best managers have an ability to anticipate the problems most likely to occur – from both hard-won experience and the accumulated knowledge of how their workplace works.

How did they develop that “proactive” capacity? They wanted to,  and knew they needed to. They saw right away the obvious benefits of prevention. They walked around and asked, they listened, then followed up with more questions – they conveyed to everyone they were serious about the work, and getting it right. Ironically, they’ve also figured out, (if they didn’t know already,) that sometimes “I don’t know” is exactly the right answer.

What can sometimes make it hard is that a manager also needs to avoid becoming a control freak. Some managers have learned the wrong lessons, and go from feeling responsible (which is good) into over-emphasizing their direct responsibility for the work product, and end up taking the path of controlling things early and often. Way too early, and way too often.

Great managers want to know that you (the employee) know what’s going on, which means that manager will be coming around to check in, stay on top of things, and be helpful when possible.

Getting it right also means that, working with actual humans, mistakes will occur – which is also where too many workplaces go wrong. Instead of having everything that happens be an experiment toward figuring out what does work, unhealthy workplaces succumb to turning mistakes and miscues into crises and scapegoating opportunities.

So, being proactive doesn’t mean you never have to say you’re sorry, but it certainly minimizes the number of times anyone might have to. Many problems simply get headed off at the pass.

Otherwise, those problems that do occur get taken up – sooner rather than later – before they metastasize and generate more dire consequences.

A proactive manager discourages passivity, avoidance, kicking the can down the road, etc. The habit of being proactive becomes contagious within the workgroup. The workplace culture is energized and less risk averse.

By the way, this all gets easier and easier once it gets rolling. You won’t go back.

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Workplace Coaching and Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) are tools managers should be aware of and utilize to deal with situations in which all the stakeholders are good people, but the problems can’t simply be ignored.

by Shaun Kieran

One of my favorite examples illustrating the many benefits of “coaching” a line supervisor also happened because of the engagement and flexibility provided by a good Employee Assistance Program (EAP.) A supervisor who had only recently become the Office Manager of a very busy State bureau came to the EAP to see me (supposedly) about a […]

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Not a natural authoritarian boss? It’s not necessary.

by Shaun Kieran

Here’s a classic, common situation for line and new supervisors: for whatever reason, an employee has begun having trouble managing his or her feelings, it’s tending to spill out, and may be affecting customer service. From the outside it looks relatively minor. It’s not blatant or outrageous – not a firing offense – but it’s […]

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You’re on a professional “desert island” when real-world, very human circumstances drastically limit available alternatives – you’re stuck.

by Shaun Kieran

“I can NOT believe I’m in this situation!” She was putting her coat on at the end of our session, sounding pretty exasperated, but then – more sadly – she said, “I feel like I’m on a desert island.” The situation she was referring to is one I’ve encountered with increasing frequencey: professionals “stuck” in […]

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Accused of being a Micro Manager? It might be true – and you should definitely try not to be one – but some workplaces do make that hard.

by Shaun Kieran

I’ve done a few workshops where dealing with the accusation of being a “micro manager” has taken up a lot of time in the Q & A. It’s a topic that can really get people cranked up. Very often, what’s going on when that topic gets broached is that a supervisor is in the middle of […]

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Reflections upon a Red Cross Disaster Deployment

by Shaun Kieran

My recent deployment to Houston on behalf of the Red Cross was eye-opening: very sad for so many of the victims, a fair taste of how the Red Cross operates, a good use of my way of providing service and, overall, an affirmation of what’s inside human beings in a crisis. What was slightly unexpected […]

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Why Being Too Busy and Too Tired To Stay on Top of Your Kids’ Behavior Ends Up Causing Problems – and What to Do About It When It’s Already Gotten Started

by Shaun Kieran

  Here’s an MP3 I recorded to illustrate what can happen when things get away from a parent.  The situation and the person are real; the name has been changed. http://springpointcoaching.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MaryParenting2.mp3 Shaun Kieran ShaunKpro@gmail.com  (207) 767-3864

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