Cultivating your family team
Just like in organisations, we work together because we know together we can achieve more. The same is true in the home.
Teams require set up, development, understanding and most of all, empowerment. An empowered team goes to lengths to achieve goals set, often without needing to be asked.
Now think about your family. How much time have you spent on fostering a team? Do you have a family team that feels empowered…?
An empowered team can keep things going even when you’re not there.
As a working parent in today’s world, it is essential we create a healthy team environment at home, otherwise we run the risk of doing too much and then burning out. It’s also important to note here the distinction between a manager and a leader in the home.
I used to be the manager. I would do the washing, shopping, cooking, organising activities, ensuring everyone remembered when and where they were supposed to be. If I went out or if I was at work, the dishes weren’t done, the clothes remained unwashed and I’d be seething when I got back home at everything that was left for me to do. I felt resentful and bittersweet about taking time out for me. And I wasn’t enjoying my family time nearly as much as I now know is possible today.
The thing that changed is evolving my leadership and developing my leadership skills by looking at the habits that were preventing my family team (my husband and my children) from stepping up and out.
Here are some habits I discovered:
Problem focus over goal focus
Being overly critical about the way the kitchen was cleaned and wanting it done my way eventually led to my husband not wanting to clean at all. Focusing on the goal I was after, i.e. getting everyone to pitch in, led me to acknowledge any sign of the behaviour I was after and praising it quickly. “I love that you picked up your dishes and have taken them to the kitchen after your snack, this really helps us maintain the common areas in the house.”
“Those little things can add up to make a big difference.”
You can’t eat an elephant all in one go
Rushing my children when they were learning according to my expectations of how long it takes to learn a skill rather than letting them learn at their own pace, had the potential for them not to want to learn at all. SO rather than expecting them to learn the whole task in one go, breaking the learning into chunks, whilst initially slower, was much better for the family in the long term when they had learned a skill for life.
can vacuum whole house ❌
can hold vacuum cleaner ✔️
can vacuum a patch of a room ✔️
can vacuum one room ✔️
and so on…
Worrying too much and getting too involved in children’s school responsibilities. Taking their lunch, remembering their drinks bottle, prepping for a presentation. Obviously, there is an age appropriateness to how much you support and as kids get older it’s imperative they feel capable of managing their possessions, schedules and tasks.
“Teams are made up of humanity…and humanity lifts teams up.”
Keegan Luiters, thought leader and creator of Team Up
Not everyone is good at everything
Create a space where everyone can play to their strengths. One of the things I love about human beings is that we are all so different. We have little quirky things that make us amazing at some things and not so good at others. If I’m in the supermarket and suddenly remember an item I want, I’ll ask my son who can easily spot a brand he is familiar with who returns with it quickly. As opposed to my other son who sees a sea of brands and often struggles to distinguish the item we want and ends up coming back empty handed. Allowing someone to play to their human strengths lifts everyone up!
What skills, tricks and tips do you have that foster your family team?
PS – Whenever you are ready, here are four ways I can help you thrive as a parent:
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