Getting management feedback from your kids

Last night on our drive home from school I started asking my 11 year old about his science fair project. I asked him what it was going to be on, what supplies he needed, what was he going to do if his idea didn’t work, what was he going to draw on his poster board, … and he ended up yelling at me “I’M GOING TO DO IT, OK?!”

Then this morning I had a whole series of 1:1 meetings with folks on my team … and I caught myself asking them questions in much the same way. How many people are coming to the doc sprint? Where will it be? Do you have a theme? Did you email the developer teams?

Now Janet, the one planning the doc sprint, didn’t yell at me. But was she just being nice?

So I have some theories:

  • Maybe it’s ok to ask co-workers those questions and not your kid. (I do really want and need to know that information about the doc sprint …)
  • Maybe my way of asking questions is really abrasive (or giving feedback on what I think needs to be done via questions is abrasive) and my kid just feels more free to tell me so.
  • Maybe my kid feels like he’s behind on his science fair project and was just defensive. I expect my co-workers to have answers to those types of questions (and they do) but perhaps I haven’t taught my kid to think like that yet.

It made me think that I need to make sure I get more feedback from those I work with … especially since most of these conversations happen through a video camera.

Oh, and the science fair project is coming along quite nicely. So’s the doc sprint.