Blog: Business lessons children can teach us!

Learning & Development

Business lessons children can teach us!

What business lessons can one learn from the pigheaded determination and stubbornness of children?
Business lessons children can teach us!

To every parent, their child will forever remain the ‘Apple of their eyes’. Children bring about a sense of completion in their lives. When my daughter was born in 2012, my joy knew no bounds. Like most parents, I also have dreams and ambitions for her and I often imagine myself following on from what my parents had done for me. However, I have been quick to realize that almost none of it works with my daughter. In fact, I've understood, that with the birth of a child it is not time to teach, it is in fact, a time to learn. Over the years, I've observed in her some traits which would make great sense in a professional environment. 

Influencing is one such skill which has become a hallmark of today’s children, no matter what their age. I remember growing up as a child, my ability to influence anything or anyone was miniscule. However, even at the tender age of four, my daughter understands how, why and with whom she will manage to easily get her way. As business professionals, this is something we need to do more often. Understand our target audience, empathize with their needs and aspirations, and then look to leverage all the resources at our disposal to achieve our intended goals.

Four year olds also realize that they will pretty much get their way with anything. Now I'm not condoning this behavior however, being stubborn may not be that bad a thing after all. When you analyze this from a behavioral stand point you may perhaps realize that just like the ability to influence, being able to stand firm on what you want is something worth emulating. Great leaders in some ways need to be stubborn and show a sense of conviction with their abilities and their plan of actions. We often see that service providers simply don’t show enough of gumption for a fight and end up giving in to the customers’ demands. Perhaps it’s time for roles to be reversed. 

Stubbornness coupled with the correct logic will mark you out as someone with far more credibility.

Over time, I've seen my daughter grow into a four year old who will mingle with one and all, though not very easily. Once she’s grown up close and comfortable with you, she knows exactly how to leverage this to her advantage. Her ability to network is amazing. She is constantly looking at the W.I.I.F.M or “What’s in it for me?” as we call it, before she takes a plunge and gets up close and personal. When seen from a professional perspective, this is class networking at its very best. Every organization wants their employees to be able to develop good, strong internal and external contacts (networks) for themselves. It is no secret that employees with strong networks are able to get things done faster. There is a reason why children succeed at most of the tasks they attempt. For one thing, they don’t fear failure. They haven’t been taught or told that things cannot be done, or even worse, that they should not be done. Their minds are uncluttered and not corrupted by the thoughts that complicate most adult minds. This is one reason why I firmly believe that children make far better tutors than what they’re credited for. My four year old is surely an inspiration for me. What about yours? 

(The views expressed in this article of the author and the author’s employer does not subscribe to the substance or veracity of the views presented)

Topics: Learning & Development, Leadership

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