Context: Trying to get Katie to be more responsible in the mornings for getting herself ready and out the door.
Me: “Katie, honey, this routine where Mommy and Daddy yell at you to get ready every morning isn’t working out very well. We’ve got to think outside the box and come up with some new ways for you to meet your deliverables.”
Katie: “But Mommy, at the end of the day, I am getting to school on time. I don’t have the bandwidth to take on anything else. What exactly is the ask, here?”
Me: “How we’re doing it, though, is very stressful. I don’t like having to yell at you and it seems we’re always rushing out the door at the last minute. Let’s do a deep dive to get at the root cause of our issues, ok?”
Katie (pondering): “Maybe you could set my breakfast out the night before, right by the door, and I can grab it on my way to the car? That seems like a win-win: I get breakfast, and we save some time in the mornings because I’m eating on the way to school. Great way to optimize some synergies!”
Me: “That’s certainly an option. What are some other easy things we could do – low hanging fruit – so we’re not so rushed in the mornings?”
Daddy: “Can we talk about Katie leaving her dirty PJs on the floor in the mornings?”
Katie: “I don’t mean to throw Daddy under the bus, but he does go over his allotted time in the bathroom.”
Me: “Daddy, we need to take that conversation offline; I’ll move it to the parking lot for now. Our focus right now is about getting Katie out the door in the mornings without a lot of extra stress.” (Turning back to Katie) “What do your friends do in the morning, Katie? Do they have some best practices you could use to make our morning routine less stressful?”
Katie: “Well, I’m not sure … I think Susie maybe gets dressed right after she gets out of bed, and then brushes her teeth, before she comes down for breakfast. Then she gets to watch TV until it’s time to go. We could try that?”
Me: “That’s a great idea! Since today is Saturday, let’s pressure test that approach tomorrow before church and see how it goes. If it works for Sundays, it’ll definitely work for Monday and school. We can then hit the ground running Monday morning!”
Please note: These buzz words and phrases sound no better in a business setting, with adults. They just don’t, people.