When you are the world to them

Your words, quickly and thoughtlessly spoken, can rock their world.

Because you are their parent
Because you are their teacher
Because you are their coach
Because you are their manager

What you say and do, can and will have a profound effect on them.

I read this article in Saturday morning’s paper, and once again thought to myself how we who are managers must understand the effect we have on those we manage – intentional or not, it will happen, so make it intentionally GOOD.

I remembered why it was so important to me that Managing with Aloha was written and read.

So much of what is written in this article applies to management.

Experts: Children need positive reinforcement, encouragement
Saturday, April 9, 2005 8:11 AM HST
[A quick and easy free subscription is needed for the whole article:]

Crazed sports coaches are feared and hated by the players they coach, but none is as ugly as the coach who breaks down children emotionally to get wins.

Mayor Harry Kim has seen that coach, repeatedly. As a football, track and soccer dad, Kim watched youth sports coaches in their "subtle ways" coldly cut a player from the team. He listened to them tell players "you’re only here to warm the bench" and "you’ll only play the last 30 seconds of the game, the part that doesn’t matter."

"What’s wrong with today’s kids is what’s wrong with us," Kim said Friday during the "Facilitating Extraordinary Accomplishments in Hawaii’s Youth" workshop’s opening session. "What does this have to do with sports? Every single damn thing."

For 20 years, Kim coached youth sports because it was "the best way I could help kids understand sports and the rules of the game." In the 1970s, he was an assistant coach at Honokaa High, and in the 1980s, he was the head coach for Hilo and Waiakea High schools. "Every single day, every single thing that comes out of your mouth, realize who you are and your importance," he said.

Kim urged participants [in a recent Positive Coaching Alliance workshop] to be aware of the way they treat students, asking them to "honor and respect the haves and have-nots." He admitted his recent apology to a head coach of the University of Hawaii-Hilo Volcans, saying he should have been supportive throughout their losses.

"Do not make them ashamed," Kim said. "It will scar and hurt somebody for the rest of their life. Hurt is hurt. Please know everything you do is for care — not for victory, not for money. It’s for care and nothing else."

The article continues with another speaker’s contribution to the conference:

Jim Thompson, PCA founder and author shared the wisdom of Mr. Rogers: "Kids will coast for as long as they can until something excites them. Then they’ll give everything they got until an adult squelches them."

That’s what is happening in youth sports today. An alarming number of children are dropping out because of the "win at all cost" mentality of parents and coaches, he said.

Thompson explained how that mentality creates a pressure-filled environment, which "children misunderstand too well."

Too many children think that in order to be loved and accepted they need to excel in sports. But regardless of their performance, children need to be happy, he said.

Thompson recommended that participants encourage children to discover themselves and reach high limits, but not threaten them with punishment if they do not perform.

"When he does lose a game, I remind him it’s OK and say, ‘Dinner will still be on the table when you get home,’" Thompson said while recollecting the words of Maria Sabathia, mother of Cleveland Indians pitcher CC Sabathia.

Coincidentally, yesterday I just wrote this comment on a brand new blog written by Tom Lutz, HR for the leader in you when Tom posted on The three sins of management:

"I am convinced that good management must start with good intent. There simply is no other way. Managers who feel that people inherently need to be worked on and reshaped to their own design are dangerous. They shouldn’t be in any aspect of management that affects people at all. To be a great manager is to share the intent of Aloha."

Tom had written,

"I still think the biggest sin of management is treating its people with contempt… I think the three sins are not telling the truth (which includes not telling someone they need improvement), not showing empathy-anytime, but especially when they are being downsized, and not being thorough in investigating complaints, or wrong doing, etc. There are two sides to every story…and I have come to the conclusion that most people lie to make their point seem legitimate."

I know I begin to start like a broken record on this, but it is just so important. Managers matter.

How you matter, is up to you.