Business Management as Child Management

What can business managers learn from the positive parenting movement?

At first glance it might seem strange that I teach bullying elimination for kids and adults, humanistic parenting, humanistic business management and humanist life skills.  It might seem like my work lacks focus.

But actually, I’m only really teaching one thing: Humanist life skills, just applied to different situations.

When I teach how to eliminate bullies in the workplace, I am also teaching parents how to help their kids eliminate bullying as well.  When I teach managers that abusive management tactics are so incredibly counterproductive to the point that the euphemism for workplace bullying is “counterproductive workplace behavior,” it’s incumbent upon me to teach them better ways to manage, and those better ways are Humanistic business management.

To me, there is no difference between how we should parent and how we should manage the workplace. The skills we need are the same regardless because in both cases we are dealing with a real live human being. Just because the situation has changed doesn’t mean the human at the center of the interaction has.

The reason why positive parenting techniques works is because it’s based on operant conditioning and behavioral psychology coupled with compassion based respect for the child as autonomous. Now, just imagine if a manager used these same principles to encourage voluntary compliance from workers by approaching them with compassion based respect for their autonomy instead of cogs in a machine they have to whip into shape?

What I am after is a cultural shift towards more Humanist based social interactions at all levels. How we treat people in the workplace impacts how they treat their children at home. Social skills kids learn at home and at school, eventually carry over into the workplace.  These are not isolated venues with isolated needs. They are interrelated and the skills to be taught are actually the same.

The same skills a Humanist parent brings to parenting, to encourage voluntary compliance, encourage critical thinking and respectful autonomy, are the same skills Humanistic business managers need to use in the workplace.

The next question is – will you help me with this transformation by encouraging people to learn these important skills? (

Learn more at Humanist Learning Systems. (

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