Take 5 minutes.
Let the baby cry. Let them soothe themselves. Let them learn to fall back asleep independently.
Let the child fall down. Let them feel the full impact of the fall. Let them feel the pain. Let them feel the emotion: fear/anger. Let them learn to get back up. Let them learn to continue playing.
The kid does/wants something not right. You begin to muster a “No!”. You decided to not yell. You inform your kid to let go. You tell each other to go to the room. And, you calm down. Before “re-grouping” to discuss the pros and cons of that “no-no” thing.
This is the power of pause. The power not to react to the situation but to positively manage a situation.
Mastering this skill will aid parents to have positive, respectful and healthy relationships with their children. Yet, mastering this skill takes time and effort; as parents need to re-think their roles of raising children from that of over-protection and instruction to one that is nurturing and freedom to learn.
Translating this to the workplace, managers who practise The power of pause, too will nurture young executives that will be respectful, independent and positive.
So, why pause?
1. Experience the full experience
The pause allows the child to experience the event and the emotion in totality. Be it anger, be it fear, be it excitement, these are all useful emotions for the child to experience. Only by experiencing it, will they know what it is and how to manage it the next time they encounter it.
In the workplace, executives will learn to experience a difficult situation: challenges from cross function teams, threats from colleagues, excitement of a new project, etc … and will help them to develop better Emotional Quotient (EQ) to better cope in similar future situations.
2. Independent learning
When a parent pauses for the child to pick himself up, to find the toy themselves, to fall back to sleep independently, the child will be learning a skill for the future. They will also learn independence, which is extremely important in society.
Similarly, independence in the workplace is highly valued. The ability for an executive to independently problem solve, complete a task and manage a situation is a fundamental skill that most to all hiring mangers look out for. So, don’t rob the opportunity to learn from them, by hurrying in to “save the day” on every occasion. If you can “afford” the mistake, financially or physically, give them the space to fall down and pick themselves up. Allow them to learn from their mistakes.
3. Failing is ok
Everyone wants success. Yet, we all know that before every success there would be many failures. Each failure is a learning experience and an opportunity to grow emotionally, learn new skills and develop a strong and resilient character. By pausing and letting the child or the executive fail, can be painful to watch, but in the long run, you know that it is beneficial to them. After all, society doesn’t only need successes, we also need people who are able to pick themselves up and keep on going … independently.
Think about who around you at work do you need to give pause to.
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"Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column combines of 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.