I interviewed Rosanne Dausilio who discussed Managing versus Parenting Staff.







It’s nice to speak with you today, Rosanne. I’m looking forward to hearing your views today on the topic of managing versus

parenting of your staff. Before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?


Yes, I am an industrial psychologist by profession and president of Human Technologies Global. What we do is human-performance management. We do customer service skills training, consulting, with a specialty in the content center industry, but we’re also in other industries as well. We do a lot of executive coaching, I’m a customer service expert. I have a bias on the people’s side; I have written now ten books on the subject of customer service with, as I said before, the bias on the human. I’ve been doing it for about 20 years already now.


What is the difference between managing and parenting your staff?


My working definition is managing means to handle or direct with a degree of skill, to exercise, to executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of; to direct the professional career of a person. As compared to parenting, parenting, the raising of a child by his parents; raising, rearing, motherhood. By these two definitions, I believe the distinctions are apparent. It’s important to keep those distinctions in mind as we keep going here.


Which do managers tend to do and why?


Our experience shows that people are parenting rather than managing their staff more times than I’d like to report. The why? Here are some reasons. It might be because they’ve moved up through the ranks and are now the boss or the manager of someone they sat alongside of, maybe a former peer, and they’re uncomfortable in that position. It may be because they feel awkward or uneasy pulling rank. It may be because they had no management but were promoted into the job where assumptions were made that they could do it, that it would be no problem. And it may be that their modus operandi is parental from the get-go and any combination of all the above.


That’s interesting. To see if they fit in, what are some questions they can ask themselves?


If you want to know if you are managing or parenting, you want to ask yourself these questions. How does my communication affect the way the person’s responding to me? How does the person’s communication influence my response? In other words, am I being a parent? Am I using words like should or shouldn't, always or never? Am I being a child and using words like I want, I need, I wish, I won’t, I can’t. Am I being an adult? Am I being respectful, open, assertive, and sensitive to the person. Additionally, you can create some baseline and benchmarks by saying, in retrospect, what went well, what didn't go well? How can I improve next time? What can I learn from this? What’s not perfect yet?


What are some tips you can suggest for a good manager to do or to be?


In a perfect world, here are ten tips I’d like to see a manager do or be.


  1. Give me constructive feedback when or if there’s an issue with my performance.
  2. Be specific in what I do best so I can take ownership and continue in where I need improvement.
  3. Set boundaries and guidelines for expectations.
  4. Create a relationship of trust with me so I can count on you when I need you.
  5. Generate a career path with and for me.
  6. Give me reassurance of confidentiality in all our communications.
  7. Treat me with dignity and respect.
  8. Motivate and inspire me.
  9. Model for me; lead by example.
  10. Please don’t treat me like a child.


What’s the best way to support these managers?


We believe the best way, or at least one of the best ways, is coaching. To support the relationship by addressing topics like: What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? Are the goals that you’re setting realistic or outrageous? What’s the crystal-clear vision? How to prioritize and delegate. What are the internal and external expectations? Boundary setting; articulate communication; influencing, empowering others. If you’re asking yourself, as the manager, all these questions I put and then you hear what it is I think those tips are, you might think about having a coach. With a coach, you get really committed to your well-being and to attaining your goals both professionally and personally and then turning that to your staff.


I think the last thing I want to say about people who are interested is that you want to finish strong as a manager, and you want to support your people to be strong. If you don’t have the tools and techniques to do that, how are you going to do that? We always encourage people at all levels, whether it’s management, upper management, or up to CEOs, to get coaching to enable them to provide the best that they can do, because the better you take care of your employees, the better they take care of your customers. I don’t know if it’s okay to say this or not, because I know you’re going to take what you want, but if anyone is inserted in coaching, we have a site at www.DrRosanne.com/Coaching.htm.


Thanks, Rosanne. I’ll include the link in the blog post.


Oh, that’d be great.





About Rosanne Dausilio



Rosanne Dausilio

Customer Service Expert, Industrial Psychologist,

Master Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Coach,

Pres Human Technologies Global


LinkedIn Profile