Are you a Helicopter Parent in the Office?


You’ve probably heard stereotypes about a “helicopter parent.” This parent is someone who nervously hovers by their child on the playground to protect them from the smallest scratch. Or it’s a parent of a college student who calls the professor to question a low grade.

Did you know that this parent could also show up in your office?

These helicopter parents are given such a name because they are overly involved in their child’s life, removing much of the child’s responsibility to create their own success. The parenting style is perceived as unfavorable, damaging, and downright micro-managing. Yet, the parent is often acting out of a deep love and wants only to keep to their child safe or to help them succeed.

The same unintentional, negatively-perceived, hovering can happen at the office when we’re not in tune with our talents. We can become a helicopter parent to our employees!

If we’re aren’t regularly self-reflecting on our own strengths and behaviors, or we’re in an unhealthy state, say overworked or tired, we can begin to demonstrate signs of our strength themes’ “basements;” the place where we prohibit our strengths from being most effective.

For example, a leader with the Command theme can be inspirational, direct, and easy to follow, which can create strong leadership and a healthy team environment for employees. Yet, when left unchecked, the Command theme can create ‘basement behavior’ that’s domineering, overly critical, or know-it-all focused, which in turn removes shared accountability from employees and the group dynamic can be stifled.

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