I got talking with a maid employer during the week. As my usual practice is, I first of all try to listen to every complaint before I start to ask questions. This particular maid employer had lost so much to her maid’s inefficiency and carelessness. She also had to deal with some character issues. After she had narrated her ordeal, I asked her one question. Have you punished her since she started doing all this, and as I expected, her answer was “No”.
Why did I expect her answer to be No? The reason is because, it will be a very rare occurrence for you to introduce punishment into your maid-employer relationship and still continue to complain about the same things. It always yields results.
So why do you find it so difficult to punish your maid? Firstly, you don’t want to be seen as wicked or too strict. Secondly, it is because you do not understand the concept of punishment, the reason for it and its ability to get you the results you desire. I hear people say, ” I prefer to beat the person and get done with it”. There are several things wrong with this approach.
The first is that beating is wrong and dangerous. You cannot ascertain your maid’s health as at the time of the beating, so you can beat from a place of so much anger that you end up causing much more damage than intended. Also, the pain beating causes is momentary and fleeting and will hardly teach a lasting lesson, therefore there is a huge probability that the negative action doesn’t stop. Beating can also lead into a physical brawl which will create a messy situation you don’t want to be involved in. Lastly, there is a limit to who you can beat. If you have an older maid who is giving you issues, how do you beat her? Because you cannot beat her, you end up overlooking and stomaching something you shouldn’t. You should never be in this position.
So why is punishment a better alternative, and not other methods like using words, shouting etc? In the words of the wisest man in his time, he says ” A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.” Proverbs 29:19. What this means is that no matter how much you talk, shout, scream and so on, it will never be enough.
One common misconception about punishment is that it has to be physical. This is far from true. In reality, like beating, physical punishment has a very short lifespan and impact also. And there is also a limit to who you can punish physically.
So, here are a few reasons why punishment is important and preferable.
- It’s Impact is Lasting: The good thing about punishment is that it can be spread over a period of time. You can impose it for a number of days or months depending on it’s gravity. For example, if you are deducting a certain amount of money to cover damages your maid has caused, you can spread it over a period of months.
- It Defies Age Limits: Look at big corporations, and see how they make Senior Managers, Directors and even MDs pay for costly mistakes. Sometimes, they do not fire them immediately, but they impose certain sanctions on them, fines or give them poor appraisals that affects their career advancement. What this means is that regardless of age, position or status, punishment can be given to the person.
- It Always Teaches and Imprints a Lesson: The goal of punishment is not just to inflict pain or cause harm because your maid hurt you. It always teaches a lesson and gets you it’s intended result. It makes your maid have some time to think back and re-evaluate her actions, see from your perspective and try to do better.
- It is Proof that You are Well Prepared: What speaks better organization and structure than you giving well thought-out punishments?. Beating is a spontaneous action, and it doesn’t take any thought process to execute. Being able to administer punishment shows that you have taken time to think about the situation and what it is required to bring about solution. Your maid will respect you for that.
I’m all about helping you find solutions to the things that bother you the most in your maid-employer relationship, so if you have done everything you know how to and haven’t seen changes, one thing I can assure you of is that – this would work. Before you put it off as just another idea, I’ll advise that you put it to work and I’ll be waiting to hear your feedback.
So, if you are interested in going further to learn how to effectively punish with practical examples of constructive punishments, I have a full training video on this topic. In it, I teach you:
1. The characteristics of an effective punishment. I explain three parameters which you must weigh the punishment through to determine whether you are giving a commensurate punishment for the level of wrong done.
2. Ideas on punishments you can administer and
3. An insight into areas you need to punish, because not every wrong done can be solved by punishment. Some can only be solved by training.
You can get the video at a very small cost of N2000 (Two thousand Naira only). If you would like to have it, please send me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you within an hour giving you the details. This offer is only open for one week.
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