Caring Parent - Ego and Management Style II

Forbidding a child's adventurism into independence requires less effort from the parent, but is often not obeyed and can result in worse

consequences than if the parent had taken a more reasonable attitude which would encourage the child to ask for help if there were any problems. You might have had such a parent and might be perpetuating this attitude without thinking.

There is a common saying, “it is better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” Is this really the sort of behaviour you want from your subordinates/children? This is actually the inevitable result of a tendency to forbid action. Subordinates proceed to do things any way, and their success undermines your authority, and failure is magnified by not communicating with you immediately. Isn’t it better to know what is happening and to have better control as a result?

This is the worst part of forbidding everything – it has the opposite effect to what you want because it virtually forces a subordinate of quality take action without permission to accomplish anything and reduces your control, although you would still be held responsible by any right-thinking superior. Where does the buck stop?

If you don’t think something should be done, you should always have a reason and be prepared to reconsider if the subordinate cites new circumstances. There should always be a bias towards action. It is very easy to think about everything that can go wrong. This doesn’t mean they will go wrong.

Giving your subordinate permission and holding him responsible for results is the best way to get someone who is closely interested in the results involved. But have report back sessions as well as other ways of monitoring progress in case your subordinate falls at the hurdle of reporting failure for fear of ridicule.

(continued from part I)