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16 Aug 2011

3 Mom Skills to Use At Work

By Marisa Cohen, REDBOOK
When you're negotiating with your 3-year-old over using the potty, it may not feel like you're earning a graduate degree. But early parenting is the perfect boot camp for learning how to manage employees, says Shari Storm, author of Motherhood Is the New MBA. A financial executive and mother of three, Storm offers these examples of how your mommy skills can segue into work skills worthy of the corner office.

1.Reading the Situation
As a mother, you become accustomed to reading your toddler's body language and mood to interpret what she's trying to say. In toddler-speak, "tootie peas" means "cookie, please", as opposed to similarly sounding phrases such as "I hurt my knees".
At Work:
Interpret your boss's body language to figure out exactly what she needs. For example, if she crosses her arms and gets distracted when you ask if she's read your report, she's saying "I'm not happy with this draft and need you to give it another try".

2. Organizing Memories
Have you ever recorded parts of your baby's life? You most likely have. Creating a scrapbook in which you write down your baby's first words, first tooth, first knock-knock joke… These are all ways of preserving moments in time and remembering them for the future.
At Work:
Use your recording skills to your advantage. Keep track of all the achievements—and setbacks—of your employees so you can give constructive criticism during annual progress reports.

3. Directing a Group

Taking care of children can be hard, especially when they refuse to listen. Most mothers have realized the power in the all-purpose reason of "Because I said so!" Asserting your ultimate authority over your children might make them pout, but it also makes them listen.
At Work:
You can use your authoritative skills at the workplace. Avoid getting drawn into endless discussions and analyses that waste valuable work time, and take charge of the situation instead. "It's my decision to use this computer program for this project. Now let's get on it."
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