Tuesday, December 24, 2013

SoMoms #BetterMe on Donya Problems

We've come of age when yaya concerns always seem to crop up whenever we talk to our friends.

My friend Karrots even started the catch phrase "Donya Problems", which encompasses all our domestic woes.

From funny stories like that of the yaya who poured Coke on a tray because she was told, "Yaya magdala ka ng Coke please, paki lagay sa tray!", to sob stories when everyone's favorite yaya leaves, to horror stories we read on Facebook that we pass on to friends so that everyone is forewarned, there's no denying that our household staff has the power to make our lives a whole lot easier, OR a whole lot more stressful.

This Christmas, I thought I'd gift you with my learnings from our Coach Pia session, so that your relationship with your yayas will be more pleasant and harmonious. 

Because when you've got good people, they are a blessing from above and we've got to take good care of them the way they take care of us.

Some valuable insights:

- Be aware of your employer style. You need to be aware of your leadership style because sometimes, you may come across as bossy, demanding, or worse, a weakling without knowing it! How you lead influences how effective your staff is at home. So if you find yourself frustrated with your staff, you might need to start looking at yourself. Eeeep, right? Find out what kind of boss you are, HERE.

- Start off with the values important to you. Why is this important? Because this is what you will always revert to when explaining the tasks associated with it to your helpers.

It could be cleanliness, healthy living, organization, etc. An examples of tasks associated with say, the value of cleanliness, are daily dusting, clearing clutter, laundry method, etc. 

Why is this important? Because when talking to our household staff, we must associate a task to the value we want to stress on.

Instead of saying, "In this household, you must dust everyday..." we should say, "In our household, we value health.

This way, they understand the principle behind the action. It's not just the master's whim or something frivolous they have to comply with. 

- Which leads to the question, how do we know which values/tasks to prioritize?

Here's a clue. 

Ask yourself, "Where are the arguments coming from?" 

Maybe its your husband complaining about the clutter.

"What's a repetitive cause of an argument?" 

If your husband keep on complaining non-stop about the clutter at home, then you are truly on to something.

"Are there unmet needs at home?"

Maybe your husband feels you need to clear some space for him where he can have his man time.

Then that's where you need to focus on first! Cleanliness, organization, in other words, clear the clutter!

Now, assuming that you have your game plan on clearing that clutter, how do we get everyone at home to work on that goal?

- Direct, support, delegate and give effective feedback.

There is a need to set expectations, both on what you expect your helpers to do, and what their abilities are. It makes no sense to expect great things from someone with limited abilities. You will both just end up frustrated. 

Try to gauge and match tasks to your staff's ability and their willingness to learn. You can assign new tasks to someone who is able/unable but willing to learn. Don't bother assigning tasks to someone who is able/unable and UNWILLING to learn. We all know what that will result in.

Feedback is key here, because how we communicate is very important. It has to be clear. You have to be conscious of how you say it, your tone of voice, your facial expression. 

Let's say you do not feel that their work is up to standard, you need to explain, explain, explain. Patiently.

Go back to the values. If you need them to watch YouTube so they understand how things work, or why they have to do what they have to do, do so! Let them see why dust can cause allergies, why hands need to be clean when handling babies, why pets need to be bathed regularly, etc. 

Get creative!

Special thanks to our SoMoms Session's sponsors:

Gustare Kitchen at the W Building in Taguig for the delicious lunch. I love, love, love their Black Pancit and the Crack Pie (inspired by Momofuku's) was truly insanely delicious! Gustare Kitchen caters and delivers home-cooked meals for both office meetings and condo dwellers as well as prepares sit-down lunches or dinners by prior arrangement.

Tonkita by Arix for the special sale on site! I was able to stock up on sponges, brought home cleaning supplies gratis and discovered this sosy sampayan! Love this plastic coated clothes line. Because nothing can destroy a beautiful home than a sampayan haphazardly set-up with rusty alambre or chunky, colored electric wires.

Marca Piña quezo de bola for the delicious cheese plate we got to nibble on while studiously taking down notes. 

Sarah Ng Chan of Marca Piña shared with us that despite the Spanish name, Marca Piña is actually made in Holland, and its distinct salty taste and crumbly texture is made especially for us here in the Philippines.

The Baby Cheeseball (small) is matured for 16 weeks and the regular cheeseball (big) is matured for 20 weeks. Each year, they bring in fresh shipments of Marca Piña so we can enjoy the cheese without exceeding the full shelf life of 18 months.

It's not only great to give as gifts for Christmas, but also through the New Year, as the name Marca Piña, or Pineapple in English, is a symbolize of prosperity in Chinese. Tradition practically dictates that we have Quezo de Bola during the Holidays because it is round and red, symbolizing luck and prosperity.

Of course, apart from being a symbol of luck and prosperity, it is delicious sliced with sweet ham, cubed and plated on a cheese board to be eaten with grapes and nuts, or crumbled over an oven toasted ensaymada. Yum!

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