30 / 10 / 2014 12.01am
By Orlando Hampton
#Blogtober Day: Thursday 30 October
I imagine that I am like most parents in that I have a love / hate relationship with the responsibility. I love my children and (mostly) love spending time with them, but sometimes I hate the way that being a parent makes me feel. One of these emotions, which I didn’t see coming, was the reflection of guilt about my own behaviours as a son, how these must have made my parents feel and what effect it must have had on them. This was based on the evidence that I was now feeling cross / frustrated / bewildered about the behaviour of my child (ren). I felt the need to ring my dad there and then from the supermarket sweet aisle and say: “sorry dad, I really am, for saying I hate you and kicking you in the shins in a sweet shop (Hayling Island, Summer 1979) for not letting me have sweets AND crisps”.
This then lead me to reflect on what I have been like to manage through my career. I could assume that any imperfections in my performance as an employee would be raised through the appraisal process, and therefore if no one has said anything then I must be doing alright. But that’s often the difference between a good and bad report. I would like to improve on the difference between being good employee and being a brilliant employee (a huge assumption by me that my manager thinks I am good!). In a manager’s defence the subtle behaviours we all exhibit when we are tired or being stretched too far can be hard to quantify and feedback. I hope I am not alone in remembering times when I have been curt, sulked, been unclear, excluded people or failed to complete tasks, this probably eroded the relationship slightly and then we all moved on like it never happened.
So how do I, as an adult, make sure I don’t leave my manager feeling like a frustrated parent? There’s a PHD in there for someone, I am going to go straight for the heart, at the end of my next one to one I am going to ask the question, “How have I behaved this week?”
Orlando Hampton is Head of Improvement Programmes at Health Education East Midlands, a school governor, a director and trustee of a charity and a non-exec director of a primary care provider group. His daughters Matilda aka “Tilly” (5) and Florence aka “Floss” (1) are both delightful and terrifying. Orlando can be contacted via Twitter @orlando_hampton.