Here are this week’s Life Pro Tips.
1. Parents, never contact your kid’s bosses. Never.
An experience shared: ” I’m serious here. One of my employees, a guy near his 30s, has a mother who constantly butts into his work life, trying to pressure me into giving him a raise or more hours. She has convinced herself that she’s helping but good god she’s not.
Were it not for the fact I’ve seen and heard him arguing with his mother to get the hell out of his work life and every time she does so he apologizes and begs me to ignore her, I’d have let him go long ago, and I see the mental and emotional stress this puts him under. One time his mother went behind his back to contact me… If it was anyone else I’d have assumed they asked her to do it and I would’ve gotten started on the paperwork to let them go right then and there.
For the love of God, get your nose out of your children’s work life. The job market today is NOTHING like the job market when you were their age, your advice is obsolete, you are actively harming your child’s employment opportunities every time you speak to their boss thinking you’re doing it on their behalf and every time I see someone’s mother (its always the mother, never the father) try to harass me into hiring their kid, I throw their application into the trash.
Stay out of your children’s work life. You are barging into your child’s adult life to drag them back into being children in front of their peers, shattering all respect they’ve built up among their peers and setting them up for humiliation and a swift firing.”
2. If someone comes to you upset about something, don’t try to solve their problem right away. Most people just want to feel heard and validated.
Your priority should be to help them process how they’re feeling, then you can tackle the problem later. So instead of immediately offering solutions, try acknowledging the person’s feelings and the legitimacy of the problem they’re facing.
For example, instead of…
- “Why don’t you try to do…”
- “What have you done to fix it?”
- “How can I make it better?”
- “Wow, that does sound really tough.”
- “I can’t imagine how hard that must be for you.”
- “I would absolutely feel sad/angry/frustrated too…”
If you’re not sure what someone needs, asking can be as simple as “That sounds really tough. Is there anything I can do to help or do you just want to talk about it?”
3. When replying to an email, address the recipient with the name they signed off their email with. That’s most likely what they want to be called, and it shows that you’ve actually read what they wrote.
Someone who signs their email “Becky” probably prefers that over being called “Rebecca”, even if that might be the name in their official email address. It just shows you actually read their email to the end and paid attention to the details.