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Archive for Tuesday, September 2, 2008

5 ways to use principles of management at home

September 2, 2008

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Here are five workplace management techniques that experts say can bring harmony at home:

¢ Mission statements are not only for corporations. Patrick Lencioni, author of "The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family," says households should establish first what makes the family unique - its core values.

Then, they should figure out the family's top priority - its rallying cry - right now and finally figure out how to use the answers to those first two questions in their everyday lives.

¢ Break down the household into manageable parts. Family manager coach Kathy Peel divides the home into seven departments: Home and Property, Food, Family and Friends, Finances, Special Events, Time and Scheduling, and Self Management (keeping the household manager healthy).

¢ Get help. Either delegate, outsource or practice what Peel calls "executive neglect." Perfection can be the enemy of management.

"When Dad dresses the kids, you can usually tell. As a mom you may want to make fun of that ... but unless you want to have the responsibility to do that all the time, you have to let that go," said Sarah Rottenberg, working mother of 3-year-old twin boys.

¢ Develop systems. Whether it's a whiteboard with children's schedules or a spreadsheet, it helps to set standard operating procedures. The goal is to get certain tasks to the point where every member of the household knows how to do them, and does them like clockwork, said family manager Sarah Zeldman.

¢ Evaluate progress. Family meetings can be as short as a five-minute conversation or longer discussions about goals and discipline. For example, Lencioni and his wife use a red-yellow-green system to communicate whether chores and goals for their four boys are being completed.

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