Sometimes it is just plain difficult to manage other people. You get wrapped up in company politics or someone’s personal crisis or a bad attitude that you just can’t seem to influence. You feel overwhelmed enough by your own personal workload before you even think about managing others. But perhaps if you slow down and look back, you might remember some management development lessons from your earlier days that will help you to improve your personal effectiveness as a manager.
Management Development Lessons from Kindergartners
1. Use Walking Feet
You may not need a reminder to walk rather than run within the walls of your workplace, but this lesson may still apply to you. In other words, pace yourself, and encourage your team to pace themselves, too. Pushing too hard and too fast can result in burnout. It can also end with you and your employees embarking on an impulsive course of action that is difficult to change course from upon more reflection. Model a sustainable pace that will give everyone the time and flexibility to be creative and innovative in the workplace.
2. Use an Indoor Voice
Basically, don’t get all riled up and yell when things don’t go your way. Rather than getting frustrated when there are conflicts in the group, stay calm and find a productive way to move forward through any disagreements, just as a teacher might do with a group of young students. Try to see the value in every different perspective and figure out how to incorporate everyone’s voice into the final project or final product.
3. Share with Others
One important management development lesson that our parents tried to instill in us at an early age is to share with others. Being cutthroat can often backfire and will usually cause unnecessary conflict and stress rather than moving us foward. Even if resources are limited, help your employees bond as a group and work together as a team to solve problems and move forward together. Teamwork can improve each individual member’s personal effectiveness if roles are delegated well, and it can improve overall group effectiveness as well.
What leadership lessons can you remember from kindergarten?