In certain situations, perhaps if we’re struggling with a particular aspect of our job, it can be worth adopting the same sort of approaches we did when we were children. It can show us a new, potentially better way of doing our jobs and have a real impact on our professional lives and, as a knock-on, the growth of our businesses.
Our imagination knows no limits when we’re children – whether it’s something as simple as imagining that the floor is actually red-hot lava or a fully imagined re-enactment of battles from Peter Pan or Robin Hood, we can imagine anything, exercising our creativity and having fun at the same time.
Although you might not be in the sort of job that requires you to be overly creative on a regular basis, even the most repetitive tasks can be made more fun and improved in terms of their effectiveness when you use your imagination. For instance, if you have to write a blog for your company’s website, you can employ a more creative approach while still staying on-message and retaining a strong sense of focus – this will garner more robust results in terms of people reading and sharing it while establishing and promoting you as a strong, knowledgeable and innovative writer on this topic. Your business’s reputation will grow as a result and could eventually result in its perception as a leader in its industry.
While you might not remember it, your parents probably have a few well-worn anecdotes about the time you innocently told Grandma that you thought her new shoes were really ugly, or the time you told your little brother Father Christmas didn’t exist and made him cry.
When we’re young, we haven’t learnt about tact and the way it’s sometimes better not to say anything that might be taken the wrong way, so we communicate honestly with whatever we’re thinking. However, while tact is obviously a very important thing to remember when communicating in business, a little more honesty and clarity can go a long way.
If, for instance, your business is relatively small and you have just started taking on employees, you need to be extremely clear about what their roles are, what you expect from them and how their work will relate to the growth of the company. This increases their engagement with the company and will help them make a strong start that immediately establishes them as an asset to it. You also need to be honest if you’re unhappy with the way someone’s going about their role, either so you can help them improve or let them go before you lose too much momentum.
Learning is a social activity, and it applies to the way we learn professionally now more than ever.
As children, we learn all the time, mostly by watching our parents do the things we’re not able to. We watch what they’re doing and find out from them how to do everything from opening a door to walking. As we grow older, we start to ask questions about everything (which can lead to some awkward parental conversations!) because we’re naturally curious about the world. Learning is a social activity, and it applies to the way we learn professionally now more than ever. The development of knowledge and employee capability is vital for a company’s overall growth, but there are many types of L&D intervention that can be utilised.
One thing that training and development departments are increasingly doing is incorporating social learning techniques into their interventions. Participants aren’t just sent on courses and training days now – they are encouraged to learn from each other in a variety of ways, from discussing problems on internal social networks to receiving physical demonstrations. That idea of asking questions rather than struggling on is actively encouraged, and it stems from our childhood learning frameworks.
Pocket money (and the desire for more of it) was one of the overriding themes of everyone’s childhood – we never seemed to have enough to buy all the things we wanted, whether it was sweets, Barbies or video games. That meant we had to either save up or do our best to stretch the little we had in order to make the most of it.
One foolproof way for businesses to grow is to take the same sort of approach to their finances. Tight control on your finances is an absolute must these days, and ensuring that you don’t spend any more than you earn prevents the development of cash flow problems and further financial difficulties. If you can afford to spend less than you’re bringing in, then your accounts will start looking extremely positive and the company should go from strength to strength.
By Ben Gallizzi
Ben Gallizzi is a Content Writer at RocketMill. He is passionate about researching and producing valuable content for his readers. Ben is enthusiastic about writing on a number of topics but his main passion lies in business and development, focusing on ways to improve an individual’s skill set.
Photo: Asian Children by Shutterstock.com