With Mother's Day on our minds, let's extract somelessons from Mom. While parenting your employees can get you into trouble, borrow some techniques from enlightened mothers to treat people well.
When workers bicker, think about how Mom avoids taking sides when her two kids battle over a toy. She doesn't assign blame or rush to scold the combatants; instead, she says, "Maybe it's time that the toy takes a timeout."
This creates a safe environment for the children to cool down without feeling at fault. Like experienced managers, mothers know that there will always be time to apportion blame later (if necessary) under calmer circumstances.
Another admirable trait of the best mothers is their sensitivity to all of their kids' feelings. If Jimmy wins a ribbon for his soccer skills, Mom will congratulate him with pride. But she also praises his siblings for their accomplishments so that they can share in the limelight.
When one of your employees wins a prize or earns kudos from a key customer, that's your cue not only to salute the high achiever but also to recognize the rest of your team for their accomplishments.