I was at my daughter’s school and there was speaker on child psychology. The emphasis was on the damage done to kids by over-parenting and over-managing their lives. It was very interesting. They asked adults about their favorite childhood memory. Only 20% named something involving a parent. It was usually about when they accomplished something new, took a risk, or were with friends being spontaneous. The moments when they were able to risk and grow were their top moments.
Then they asked the least favorite time in childhood. The number one worst memory was the ride home after a sporting event—a parent telling them what they could do better, or what they missed. The parent was trying to help, but the child could sense the disappointment in every word.
One of my executive coaches found that the most disheartening thing I did to co-workers was when they showed me something new, I immediately went to feedback and ideas for improvement. Just like a parent after a game, trying to help, it was perceived as judgment. That is one reason that employee acknowledgement programs are so important to me, to Rising’s culture, and to corporate cultures in general —so we don’t forget to celebrate employees’ accomplishments and improvements in the moment.
It is interesting that as adults, two of the factors that most determine job satisfaction are Mastery (or Perceived Progress) and Autonomy (or Perceived Control).
Our motivations, and what drives us, do not change much over time.
An acronym referenced in the lecture as a tool to control the urge to over-parent, over-manage, etc., was WAIT, or “Why Am I Talking?” Let the child talk, and work through ideas and issues on their own, and only provide feedback when asked. It is a simple and profound takeaway for those of us with children, and at times, in business and life.