Saturday morning – family is up and waiting for a common breakfast. Kiddies are asking – Daddy –

can we help you, can we help, please can we help, … did I mention that I like the way kids discover the world. Without pressure they like to intrinsically try things and are able to manage it, often far beyond parents believe.

Now I had to make a tradeoff between a fast and perfectly arranged version (at least in my eyes ;-)) or a knowledge sharing session with some more chaos, more necessary coordination and maybe some broken dishes, dirty tables and for sure discussions among my 3 kids (for orientation: Conny 4, Hanni 6, Lenny 9 years old).

Just a thought … Doesn’t that fit to our work place in many ways? To decide whether doing it alone with our expert knowledge or doing it as a team including all the necessary team topics.

We decided for the way of preparing the breakfast together – with the following arrangements. My eldest son went to the bakery to buy some bun. Was it easy to convince him to help? Seeing that everyone had a task and asking him directly without to much preparation I guess it were some lucky circumstances and worked really fast 😉 Fast decision making prevented having Conny to much involved asking if he can follow Lenny (what for sure means a delay of at least a quarter hour)

Hanni started cutting Kiwi, Banana and some other fruits with enthusiasm. Including some knowledge sharing how to best protect fingers, avoid not necessary fruit lost through strange cutting behavior and eating on the fly and putting fruit juice everywhere. I guess we addressed mastery and autonomy perfectly.

Conny already asking – and what can I do – started moving plates, cutlery, jam and all the small things you need during breakfast. We arranged it in a serial way – to mitigate risks of losing all at once and to keep him engaged.

In the meantime I had time to prepare some vegan kind of scrambled eggs, avocado cream and some vegetables including some knowledge sharing with Johanna – what makes it yellow, what time it needs and how to mix things together.

All in all it took around 15′ to have it prepared. With a just in time arrival of bans, the fruit and vegetable plate prepared, my wife arranging the table and arrangements and everyone happy having contributed and breakfast ready. Luckily no losses, less to cleanup, all fingers still in shape.

Some learnings:

  • you need some more coordination time to organize the knowledge sharing in a young team, but it’s worth the effort to reduce stress on one team member and prepare future involvement
  • asking for help and let everyone decide where they can contribute best leads to engagement and less discussions (autonomy)
  • stress on a single person is reduced as everyone contributes and takes responsibility.
  • the individual strengths have to be considered and workflow should be adjusted to address mastery without overloading
The future vision … We as parents sleep until lets say 9 o’clock, kids are self organizing and knowledgable and prepare everything together in harmony. Breakfast starts at 9:30 energizing and everyone happy. Parents clean the dishes to keep the balance 😉
A possible alternative way – avoiding team work:
  • One family member stressed without a move forward to escape it in future.
  • Maybe faster and perfect but with the price of setting engaged members down. 
  • Less harmony in enjoying the final product as it was prepared out of balance.