1. Listen to what others say. The late, former Texas governor Ann Richards, who raised four children before she went into politics, once said the most important thing she learned from her family was never to let anyone leave the table feeling they hadn’t been heard.
2. Inspire with a “gold star” system. A key parenting skill is to do their best, which some do by awarding a gold star. Create your own gimmick for calling out people who do outstanding work. Example: Embellish a paper crown and proclaim a king or queen for the week to recognize stars. Sounds simple and silly, but most people crave visible recognition.
3. Persuade others to do what you want by making it look like their ideas.
Example: At work, you might say, “Would you like for me to start work on this new project now, or finish the report that was due today?” That way, you’ve avoided work overload by having your boss make the decision about what work can wait.
Caveat: Don’t be too overt a “parent” in the office. Treating people as if they were children is sure to breed resentment. And avoid becoming the Office Mom, the person in the office who props up people when they need emotional support. Office Moms can find themselves working two jobs: one they are paid to do and the other they are expected to do and are not really rewarded.