Manager or Therapist

6.12.19 - Manager or Therapist - Brit.jpg

How was your day?  My husband asks when I come home at night.

Well, I reply, I was somewhat of a therapist today.

In my mom life, even though my kids are little, I hope that when they grow up, they feel that they can come to me for anything.  My own mom always said that she would rather I came to her—for good or for bad--than get myself into a difficult situation or be too scared to talk to her about the tough subjects.  That is one of the many ways I hope I can follow in her footsteps as a mom myself. 

Likewise, in my work life as a sales manager, I hope that I have built a relationship with my direct reports that allows them to feel comfortable coming to me. 

As in my mom life, I need my direct reports to confide in me.  I need them to trust me, and I need them to know that I have their backs.  I hope my kids feel the same.  In order for employees to open up to me about their goals professionally--and to ask for help--I need them to relate to me personally but still see me as their boss, not necessarily as their friend.

At work, like at home, I wear many different hats. I delegate, I coach, I strategize, I empathize, I advocate, I listen.

I try as much as possible to provide a neutral perspective and then be able to advocate for my direct reports.  I try as much as possible to truly engage, listen, ask the right questions, and not assume judgement.  Oftentimes, like in my mom life, I must put down what I am doing and truly focus on my “other kids.”  I try to acknowledge their feelings, and whether I agree or not, I must quickly react to help them come up with solutions.

Sometimes in my working-mom, managerial world, I find myself channeling my mom world.  I often struggle to differentiate between the two worlds, but sometimes being a compassionate, caring, loving mom, who can also challenge and have tough conversations, helps me to be a better manager.  The two roles, jobs, kind of overlap, and I get to hone similar skills for both. I truly think I am a better mom because of my career and a better manager because I am a mom.