PostHeaderIcon What I Learned From My Toddler: Clear-cut Guidelines Keep Everyone In The Clear

Note: “What I Learned From My Toddler” appears at every Friday.

By Terez Howard

“But Daddy lets me do it.”

That’s what my 2-year-old told me when I caught her getting into her dresser drawers. I looked at my husband, and he reassured me that this was true. I backed off and let my daughter open her drawer, get what she needed and close it by herself.

I had never let Micah get into her drawers before because I feared she’d treat everything found inside like a toy, tossing socks and underwear across the floor. My husband didn’t see an issue with letting her get something she needed. The problem was that our daughter did not know what was right and what was wrong.

The truth was this: neither did we. Getting into her drawers had not yet harmed anything, and her drawers and the contents therein could not be regarded as toys. Both points were true.

What do you want? 

Do you employ a freelance writer, graphic designer, video editor? For each business, these roles mean something different. For example, ABC Inc. hires a writer to put together a killer sales page, while XYZ Inc. uses one writer to create its entire 60-page website, sales page, weekly blog and run a social media promotion campaign.

When you contract out for a job, the chosen candidate is aware of what task she is to perform. She knows that she has to write a weekly column for your construction business blog. He knows that he must create a web design that will appeal to female 20-somethings. It’s not that simple, though.

Here a few questions you want to answer before your employee begins an assignment:

  • What are the details to the project?
  • Can the employee enlist the help of others, or is it strictly a one-person show?
  • What computer program should the employee use?
  • How much will the finished product cost? Are there any additional fees?
  • What is the deadline? Is it strict, or can it be extended?
  • Where does the employee send the finished product?
  • Does the employee allow for edits?
  • What are the best ways to contact the employee quickly?
  • Does the employee retain the rights to her work?

Of course, these very general questions apply to any contracted position. More specific questions related to your niche also must be answered.

So, before you hire someone for a one-time job or an extended position, write down a list of questions the employee might ask. Then, write down your answers. Use details. This exercise might result in the formation of a mini-manual for your employees.

The benefits to clear-cut guidelines 

If you have a mini-manual to send off to freelancers, you benefit both yourself and the freelancer.

  1. You provide a clear-cut picture of what you want from a freelancer.
  2. A freelancer knows what you want and can refer to your mini-manual when they have questions, rather than e-mailing questions to you every five minutes.
  3. You save time by not having to re-create your mini-manual if you hire more than one person to do the same job.
  4. When additional questions arise, you can simply add these questions along with their answers to your mini-manual for the next employee.
My toddler teaches 

My toddler is allowed to get things from inside her dresser drawers only after she asks. This rule has never failed us. She gets to feel independent, pulling out her little shoes for an outing or grabbing her favorite blanket before going to bed. We get to monitor her actions before she pulls out one too many blankets. We have an organized agreement that gets results.

You can run an organized, successful business and get the results you need when your employees are armed with clear-cut guidelines.

About the author 

Terez Howard operates TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clients’ authority status and net visibility.

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One Response to “What I Learned From My Toddler: Clear-cut Guidelines Keep Everyone In The Clear”

  • Laura Sheman says:

    Interesting! I too have toddlers and really believe that they should have control over their toys and clothes as much as possible. It is theirs, not mine. If I want them to respect my things, I have to let them have their things. If they break a toy, it is gone. But it was theirs to break.

    When I supervise a project or manage a team, I also feel that their area should be theirs. Not to say that I can’t guide and advise and correct, etc (like I would with a toddler), but I also can’t stand over their shoulder and micro-manage. Delegation is the key to success I think. If you have trustworthy team members it works!

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