Nannies say “I’m worth X dollars a week and I shouldn’t have to settle for less.” Agencies say “Yes, you’re worth that much but you’re not going to get it in this area or this economy”.
Nannies say agencies are being unsupportive and not fighting for what’s right. Agencies say nannies are being unrealistic and too demanding. And round and round we go.
There are merits to both sides of this conversation but what I want to talk about is the instinctive, defensive reaction I see each side have to the other’s input. It’s the “yeah but…” reaction. It’s the “I already know what you’re going to say so let me just tell you why you’re wrong” reaction.
Now a defensive reaction is natural. It’s part of the fight reaction in the fight, flight or freeze triad. But it comes from the part of our brain that’s disconnected from higher thinking. Which means when we’re “explaining” why we’re right, we’re not able to authentically listen, to see the other person’s perspective or come up with creative solutions. We’re just stuck defending. (And BTW, we all do this at different times. Myself included. It’s part of the human condition.)
So while I don’t have an easy answer for the salary dilemma, I do know the first step to finding a solution is to break free from the automatic defensive reaction we have to topics we’re heavily invested in. (If you just read that sentence and had some version of “Yeah right!” run through your head, you’re knee deep in this.) If you’re a nanny that wants to find a great job with a great salary or if you’re an agency that wants to place the top candidates in your area, I challenge you to step outside of your comfort zone and have a different kind of conversation.
Instead of assuming you know what the other side is going to suggest and why it won’t work, be open to hearing new ideas and possible solutions. Instead of focusing on proving your position is justified, focus on seeing the validity of the other side’s position. And instead of assuming the two sides are forever opposed, assume you simply haven’t found the right solution yet.
Are you signed up for Thursday’s webinar An Insider’s Look at What Top Nannies Want From Agencies? The salary issue will be one of the hot topics we talk about. Register here.