As you grow older and become more established in the business world, you are expected to be a serious, professional adult while performing your job. Seriousness and professionalism are both valuable qualities in the workplace, but you might be surprised by how you can apply the simple life skills you learned in kindergarten to your current job and organization. Getting back to basics can improve your approach to leadership, management training courses and personal accountability, and the results will benefit your company as a whole.
- Play fair and be nice.
Remember the old adage “treat others as you want to be treated”? It is just as true in business as it was in school. Be respectful of your colleagues, superiors and employees, and show appreciation for their time, talents and ideas. Avoid office politics and gossip; if you have a problem with a co-worker, address it calmly and honestly or seek mediation and conflict resolution assistance if needed. Employee development courses will serve you well.
- Use your imagination.
Once upon a time, you were able to imagine a pile of sheets and pillows formed an imposing fort—drawbridge, moat and all. Now you can use your imagination to think of creative business plans, innovative solutions to problems and new products or services for your organization. When you are in need of inspiration, gather your team around a blank whiteboard or easel and let the ideas flow. Don’t be afraid to draw outside the lines and take some risks—you may be handsomely rewarded.
- Clean up your own mess.
This rule can be interpreted both literally and figuratively: 1) Keep your work area tidy, and be respectful of shared spaces, and 2) Accept personal accountability when you make a mistake, and do everything you can to fix it. Learn from your errors, take responsibility for your actions and try not to make the same mistake twice.
- Lead a balanced life.
As a child, it’s easy to find the balance between work and play, activity and rest. As an adult, the lines get blurred as you work long hours, take projects home and eat lunch at your desk. Recognize that giving yourself time away from work to rest and recharge is necessary for increased productivity and efficiency. Take breaks throughout the day, work reasonable hours and encourage healthy habits among the rest of your team.
What life skills did you learn when you were young that you still use as an adult? Add to the list in the comments below.
Learn more about personal accountability in the Powerful Choices program.