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Tuesday, 04 June 2013 21:24

Understanding Your Authority – The Art of Negotiation

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Understanding and effectively using your authority as an employer, a supervisor, a team-leader or as a parent, almost always means that you have to let go of something you have to gain something you want. The article below was developed by Dolores Hoffman captures my discussion with her on the subject, and was publish in the June issue of South Jersey Mom Magazine South Jersey Mom Magazine June, 2013 - Page 21 under the title "Words of Wisdom on the Art of Negotiation from the Chief Daddy Officer.”  Thank you to both for their great work. For the blog readers' ease of use, the same  is provided below.



picture1As Father's Day approaches, Chris Efessiou, author of the book CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood offers a unique perspective on understanding your authority as a parent and the art of negotiation when interacting with your child.  Here are a few tips from Chris Efessiou that will help you stay in control while negotiating with your child.

Have an Open Mind

“When younger children are displeased with a parental decision, let them know it is OK to disagree with you. You will be surprised how often the opportunity to express disagreement will satisfy your child and enable him to go along with your decision peacefully.  Be open to really listen to the merits of their arguments. If it truly is a better option, consider changing your mind. Allowing your children to speak their minds in a respectful manner encourages them to develop the thinking skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Don’t shut them down like a tyrant, but don’t let them become dictators. Above everything else, listening and observing your children shows them you respect them.  Showing our children the respect of earnest listening, advances this goal like nothing else.”

• Stay in Control

“Children are experts at pushing our buttons. It is easy to overreact to their normal antics, and when we do, we lose our children’s respect and our ability to manage them.  The key to staying in control of our responses is to understand what irritates us more than it should. There are plenty of behaviors that warrant a strong reaction from parents. A child who runs out into the street or steals something from a store is demonstrating serious lapses in judgment that need to be addressed swiftly and decisively. A child who is merely whining for more dessert or stalling bedtime is behaving as all children do at times. While the behavior may be irritating, our job isn’t to vent our irritation. Our job is to communicate to the child that his specific behavior is not the way to get what he wants.”

Take a Look in the Mirror

“Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what your pet peeves are. Is it whining?  Sloppiness? These are weaknesses children can learn to overcome, but only if we teach them. If we react to these weaknesses as if our kids were lighting the house on fire, we diminish the effectiveness of our response. They begin to “tune out” everything we say as background noise. Worse yet, they won’t take a strong response seriously, even when it is warranted.  If whining isn’t OK this morning but is overlooked it the afternoon, we are sending mixed signals to our kids. If a teenager gets yelled at for missing curfew one weekend and has it overlooked the next, she will not realistically know what is expected of her, no matter what the “rules” are.”

“Life moves fast, and it is easy for us to forget how quickly our children grow.  If all this communication sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, the reward is greater than you can imagine. One day you will look at your child and see a mature, confident adult who is taking care of himself and making a contribution to society. You will also have a strong relationship built on years of talking and listening. I would not trade that for anything.”



Chris Efessiou

About Chris Efessiou:  Chris Efessiou is an entrepreneur, business leader, educator, mentor, international speaker, radio show host, and best-selling author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood  based on his own experience from raising his daughter as a single dad by applying his business knowledge to the business of parenting.  Listen to Chris’s weekly Radio Show Straight Up With Chris:  Real Talk on Business and Parenthood on Voice America Radio.  You may connect with Chris on Facebook, follow on Twitter and visit

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