Have you ever had the chance to see a young child when they do something wrong or when they just don’t do what they are supposed to do? Even better, maybe you have perfected the boo boo lip. Maybe you knew that you could use your perfected sad face to get your way. It might not have been the lip but many of us know that there is a look, things we can say, or an action we use to manipulate the situation in our favor.

Have you ever noticed that this does not work all of the time. It works best when you know the person you are trying to persuade. The infamous boo boo lip might have worked great on your mom but when it came to your dad, or a teacher, not so well.

I have noticed that this same thing is used when it comes to leading family or friends. I am not saying that your team will approach you with their bottom lips out, however I will say that I had a team member that told me she had perfected the boo boo lip. It is more the case that for some reason we are all wired to use our relationships as a tool to get our way.

For as far back as I can remember I have been told “It is a who you know world”. We see this when it comes to hiring to selecting teams for softball or when hiring for a position in a company.

When it comes to leading friends of family, we need to make sure that honest communication is able to be expressed without harming the friendship. I have lost many friends over the years because communication stopped. As the leader, I began expecting more from my friend because I did not want to seem as though I was giving preferential treatment. I have also been on the other end where I did not want to harm the friendship so I allowed the person to get away with stuff because I wanted to avoid confrontation.

I have found that it is best, when a friend or family member is on my team, to allow another trusted leader to assist and provide their input. This provides another leader with a chance to lead and makes sure that the boo boo lip does not come out.

This weeks experiment is to evaluate those you have influence over. Make sure that you are not giving special treatment to anyone on your team.