Many of us find ourselves learning to balance working from home, keeping ourselves informed and safe, looking after children (or others) and all the while maintaining sanity. Still others are working to keep the lights on, keep their jobs, keep clients and customers and find ways to survive the uncertainty.
There’s no doubt the situation we’re all experiencing requires courage, strength and resilience. There are no roadmaps for how we should act, what decisions we should be making or how we should cope, but there are some lessons in The Best Seller that can offer perspective and advice that applies to many situations, including some you may now be facing.
Step 4: Set the agenda and put the
customer kids in control.
(Quotes adapted to reflect some whose current VIP customers are their own kids. We’re replacing the quoted ‘customers’ with ‘kids.’ Will this work 100% of the time? Nope. But we’ve found that it works 70% of the time and that is good enough for us right now!)
If you set an agenda and keep full control over the entire day, without any of your kids’ input, your kids will respond negatively towards you because they have no buy-in. “Give your kids control over the agenda (timeframe or activities) so that they can relax and enter into dialogue with you.”
Kids are resilient, yes, but they’re also human, just like the rest of us. It’s easy to dismiss them, push tasks and chores onto their plate and become frustrated with their unpredictable behavior when we, ourselves are feeling pushed to the limit. Which is why this is the best of both worlds. Pressure’s off you to come up with all of the ideas, the kids feel included and everyone starts the day off feeling good.
Brainstorm with the kids each morning and give them plenty of opportunities to be in the driver’s seat, guiding them gently with ideas and themes. We use a collaborative schedule where the activities are known but the timing and execution details are not. This method works well if your kids can tell time and listen (most of the time).
Step 5: Build trust through dialogue.
“When you give the control of the conversation over to your kids, then you are the initiator of building the trust.”
It’s not just your life that’s been upended, it’s your whole family’s life. It’s most of the country’s life in many ways, and most of the world’s. We’re all feeling unsettled and out of our routine, and it’s important to make sure you take the time to talk with your kids, your friends and your family (remotely or otherwise) about your thoughts and feelings and ask for theirs in return. Sharing ourselves, being vulnerable and honest creates trust, and trust helps form even deeper bonds with each other. With trust comes peace and acceptance, and with those, a sense of calm as we help ourselves and others deal with our current reality.
Step 6: Communicate the value of your vision in their terms.
Convincing the kids to take a break from Netflix to help you make dinner might seem impossible, but what’s in it for them? Do they get to choose the side dish to go with tonight’s pasta? Maybe they’ll finally get a chance to try out that new technique they learned on Chopped, or put that can of chiles in adobo to good use (after all, it’s been in the back of the pantry for one year already). Whatever it is, help frame the task in their terms. You might be surprised at their response.
The beauty of the lessons in The Best Seller are their emphasis on building and fostering strong, meaningful relationships with others. Taking care of one another is not just a passing fad, it’s not a sales technique, it’s a way of life that makes us better as individuals and as a collective society. If you’d like to explore these lessons further, we’ve released the book on Amazon in both paperback and electronic formats.
Balance is important and can be challenging at times. Are you building relationships (at home or in your career) or pushing (the little) people away?
Katie Bishop and her dad, Doug Reichardt worked together over 5 years to finish a novel to help guide others in business, sales, and life. Their novel, now available on Amazon, follows a persistent young woman struggling in her career who finds inspiration and wisdom in her journey. You need this content! Stay in the loop.