3 quick ways to stop being the mum (or dad) at work

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of being the ‘go to’ person at work. The person who solves all the problems, makes or ‘clears’  the decisions and the person who jumps in when something goes wrong. The problem comes when this becomes your full time job, leaving you feeling completely exhausted with no time to actually lead the team properly.

So how do you make the jump from resident parent to leader?

1.  Keep a record of what your team are asking you for

By keeping a record of what your team are asking you can start to see if there are recurring issues and common problems. If so, gather together the answers and communicate them to the team so that everyone knows what to do going forward. You could even put a FAQ list somewhere they all have access to.

 2. Stop yourself jumping in

This might sound like an easy thing to do, but when you’re busy and you just need something sorting so you can move on you’ll be tempted to just do that. But don’t.

Ask the person what they think they need to do, or to come back in 5 minutes with some solutions. Here’s the thing with this though – be prepared to work through the answers with them. Don’t give them the answer straight away, coach them  – or point them in the right direction so they can find it themselves.

3. Recognise the right behaviour

Changing behaviour is going to take effort, and there’ll be times when you will feel frustrated. Even so, you’ll start seeing moments when your team are being self sufficient and much more confident in their abilities. When this happens, recognise it. Pretty soon, everyone will understand that this is what you expect going forward.


If you’ve any tips that you want to share on how to get a team to be more self sufficient please do leave a comment.

1 Comment

  1. Tilla Brook

    This behaviour is common among the nurses I work with. Great post Barbara


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