Tips for Getting Kids, Spouses and Employees to Share
It often strikes me that children, spouses and employees act in surprisingly similar fashion when it comes to sharing. More accurately, when it comes to not sharing. Whether toys, money, responsibility or attention need to be divvied up, sometimes we're all children deep down. So how can we help our loved ones and co-workers discover the wisdom of sharing? Here goes.
1. Let them duke it out. Too often, we intervene too early and prevent people, even little people, from learning valuable lessons on their own. Toddlers can sometimes find the right compromise if parents step back. Ditto for competitive co-workers.
2. Make them take turns. Set a schedule for a favorite toy, seat next to mom, etc. With co-workers, it's time, attention and prized/hated jobs that need to be alternated.
3. Be fair and don't take sides. It's nearly impossible for anyone, of any age, to play fair in the sandbox in the shadow of blatant favoritism.
4. Be generous with the scarce resource. Figure out what the real fight is over. I once saw my children fight over a dirty dishrag -- proof that something else was at stake. If it's love and attention, make it clear there is enough to go around. At work, it's often public praise and recognition of each person's unique ability to contribute to the organization that's needed.
5. Make them execute a project together without you. Last week, I sent my two oldest children off to Kung Fu Panda alone. They had to walk to theater, buy tickets and popcorn and walk home together without me to keep the peace. As they left the house, I said, "If this works, you get to go to the movies together again." I also once had two managers, vying for the next promotion, work together on a complicated cost-saving plan. Zero fighting.
6. Don't sink to their level. Don't take credit for someone else's work or success. Make sure you set a good example.
7. Secretly tape record them fighting and play it back. (I've never actually done this, at work or home, but bet it would work.)
8. Share your toys. Let employees give part of an important presentation or give your co-worker the holiday basket from your biggest vendor. Do your spouse's most hated chore for a change.
9. Praise good sharing -- if you catch your kids or co-workers sharing, make a big deal of it. Compliment someone else who readily shares credit with others. In my family, I give kids an extra dessert serving or another small reward when they practice good sharing.
10. Make it fun. Gotta share chores? Fill a squirt gun from a solution of a gallon of water and a drop of dish soap. Let kids squirt windows and mirrors and wipe dry with paper towels. The work version, of course, is the employee picnic or off-site. Fun works.
What's worked for you, at home or work? Do you have good stories about times you or someone around you refused to share, no matter the cost? How did you resolve it?
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Songster | June 16, 2008 8:10 AM
Posted by: Songster | June 16, 2008 8:22 AM
Posted by: FloridaChick | June 16, 2008 9:16 AM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 9:20 AM
Posted by: Songster | June 16, 2008 9:28 AM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 9:36 AM
Posted by: Ishgebibble | June 16, 2008 9:46 AM
Posted by: DandyLion | June 16, 2008 9:48 AM
Posted by: dotted | June 16, 2008 10:09 AM
Posted by: MN | June 16, 2008 10:21 AM
Posted by: Shandra | June 16, 2008 10:37 AM
Posted by: anne | June 16, 2008 11:00 AM
Posted by: DandyLion | June 16, 2008 11:12 AM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 11:24 AM
Posted by: anne | June 16, 2008 11:28 AM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 11:41 AM
Posted by: quark | June 16, 2008 12:26 PM
Posted by: NewSAHM | June 16, 2008 12:38 PM
Posted by: Fedmom | June 16, 2008 12:43 PM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 1:13 PM
Posted by: dotted | June 16, 2008 1:32 PM
Posted by: Kate | June 16, 2008 1:39 PM
Posted by: Kate | June 16, 2008 1:47 PM
Posted by: MN | June 16, 2008 1:59 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 2:52 PM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 3:46 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2008 4:29 PM
Posted by: Liz D | June 16, 2008 5:08 PM
Posted by: Leslie | June 16, 2008 6:38 PM
Posted by: Sue | June 16, 2008 7:13 PM
Posted by: dotted | June 16, 2008 8:09 PM
Posted by: babsy1 | June 16, 2008 9:59 PM
Posted by: dotted | June 16, 2008 10:26 PM
Posted by: derek | June 18, 2008 4:52 AM
Posted by: jhg | June 18, 2008 5:01 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.