Being on the receiving end of constructive criticism can feel daunting. After all, you’re eager to perform well and build a solid relationship with your employers and their children – getting feedback from them can feel intimidating. But here’s why it’s important.
Open, Honest Communication is Key
For the family, it’s important for them to know you’re listening to their preferences and incorporating their parenting philosophies into your daily routine as a nanny. It’s also very likely the parents aren’t naturally inclined to being an employer, at least in their own home, and might be just as nervous about giving feedback as you will be about receiving it. But this is how the foundation for effective communication is built – you’re both learning, after all.
And to learn is to grow – in your position, in your relationship with your employers, with the children you’re looking after, and within yourself and areas that you can improve.
Don’t Grow Defensive
Yes, receiving any kind of criticism can feel like a tough pill to swallow for anyone. That being said, it’s important for you to not feel like you’re under attack. Remember, there’s nothing more important or precious to parents than their children and the family dynamic they’ve established within their home.
Go into the conversation with a positive attitude and the knowledge that anything you will hear is likely going to be said to help you, not hurt you. It’s also likely just as awkward for parents to deliver feedback as it is for you to hear it. That’s not to say some parents can’t improve their delivery or criticism tactics, to be sure. But if you do your part by giving them the benefit of the doubt that their feelings and suggestions are to better your relationship overall, you’ll be just fine.
You’re All In This Together
The one common factor in any discussion between nannies and parents: the children. Keep that in the forefront of your mind before the discussion and during it; never lose sight of the fact that everyone involved just wants what’s best for the kids and their routine. The family home is sacred to the family who lives in it, and the parents probably just want you to feel similarly about working there. Understanding the perspective of the parents is crucial to your success as their employee.
Tips To Help Your Conversation Go Smoothly
- Take responsibility. If you’re getting constructive criticism, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, per se, it means you could be doing something better. Acknowledge their concerns and suggestions and show them how you’ll apply this knowledge for the future.
- Make sure you’re all on the same page. The discussion should be a group effort – collaborative in nature with everyone taking their turn to talk and contribute.
- If you’re presented with criticism or problems, try to come up with a solution. Ask the parents how they’d prefer you to proceed with whatever the issue is, and go from there. Don’t be afraid to add your own suggestions, if the situation warrants it.
- Practice active listening. This means listen to the feedback – fully concentrate, understand, respond, and then remember what is being said so when relaying it back with solutions or answers, you’re fully present and address everything.
- Show respect. This means actively listening and showing you understand, but also offering your own thoughts in a helpful manner.
Ultimately, a healthy dialogue between you and your employers can only lead to a successful working relationship that sets the tone for growth and strength between everyone.