Back in 2009, researchers in Google’s People Innovation Lab spent an entire year finding the answer to one question: “What makes managers wildly successful?”
According to this Inc. article, Google put all the resources at its disposal into data-mining “performance appraisals, employee surveys, and nominations for top manager awards.” In the end, Google statisticians had gathered more than 10,000 observations about managers—across 100 different variables.
Interestingly, Google’s research on managers is 100% applicable to parenting.
Whether you manage employees during your work day—or a house full of teenagers at home, the answers Google uncovered are applicable, inspiring, and encouraging.
Here they are. Google’s 8 qualities of great managers, listed in order of importance:
1. They’re good coaches
2. They empower their team and don’t micro-manage
3. They express interest in their team members’ success and personal wellbeing
4. They’re productive and results-oriented
5. They’re good communicators and they listen to the team
6. They help employees with career development
7. They have a clear vision and strategy for the team
8. They have key technical skills that help them advise the team
If you’re a parent who routinely takes your kids out of the house for enjoyable one-on-one time where you ask kids questions and listen carefully to their answers without judgment, you’ll be especially happy to hear this: Google’s research emphasizes the importance of “regular one-on-ones, and using the pull, not push, method of asking questions rather than prescribing answers.”
If you’re managing a houseful of teens these days, take some time to think:
1. How can I be a great life coach for my teens?
2. Where are opportunities for me to stand back and let my teens make (and learn from) their own mistakes, so they can learn how to make great decisions all by themselves—and I can get relief from the exhaustion that comes from micro-managing them?
3. What can I say to express sincere interest in my kids’ success and personal wellbeing?
4. How can I set goals, be productive, and get enjoyment out of being results-oriented—in my home, where my kids can see good management in action?
5. How can I create space and time to really listen to my teens?
6. How can I help the teens and 20somethings I love with career development? (Pages 133–151 of my book walk you through exactly how to do this.)
7. How can I articulate clear vision for (and strategy toward) things my family would like to accomplish?
8. How can I be more consistent about taking my teens out of the house for enjoyable one-on-one time where I ask them open-ended questions and listen thoughtfully to their answers—without judgment or correction?
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No question, one of the most important aspects of parenting is setting your kid up for successful college and career life.
For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids through college debt-free and into careers they love afterward, get your copy of my book:
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Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.
And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26, their parents, and the professionals who serve them. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free, ready to jump directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.