I read a quote that said “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”. My children were the inspiration for my book, Making Business Child’s Play and through parenting and watching them develop and grow I have learned so much.
So in a nutshell… this is what it is all about….
Chapter 1: Preparing for a new arrival
Can you imagine bringing a child home from the hospital and only then considering where they might sleep? Or what they might eat, sit on or wear? Of course not. All of this planning is carried out beforehand to make the transition for both the parents and the child as easy and as positive an experience as possible. Chapter one looks at why what happens at work for new starters is almost always the exact opposite and what we should do differently.
Chapter 2: Finding the time
Once we have children, we have no choice but to change our daily routines. Everything we had to do before, from paperwork to tidying the house still has to happen and we instinctively adapt to find the time. We prioritise, schedule, manage distractions and interruptions, organise, multi-task and avoid procrastinating. Chapter two suggests ways in which we can use these behaviours in a variety of other situations, including at work, where we struggle to manage our time as effectively.
Chapter 3: Learning new things
Children have a passion to learn and we behave in a supportive, encouraging and helpful way to ensure they develop and grow. We sometimes forget that the people working for us are striving to achieve and if we had the same attitude as with our children, and gave them the time and support they need to develop it would pay dividends in the long term. Chapter three looks at ways we can ensure both ourselves and our teams at work can continue to learn and thrive.
Chapter 4: Asking why?
Curiosity can jump start the creative process and is critical to almost any decision making, planning or brainstorming activity. But how many of us have stopped asking why? How many of us are asked to do something by people we work with, or our bosses, and just write down the request, walk away and try to get on with it? Chapter four encourages us to behave like children and continue to ask why, even when it is difficult.
Chapter 5: Improving our attention
The ability to focus totally on one thing comes naturally to us all when we are young but becomes more challenging as we get older. We have more distractions, we struggle to focus and concentrate and as a result, we fail to get on with the work we are meant to be doing. Chapter five looks at techniques to help us improve our attention as well as ways to grab and hold other people’s attention.
Chapter 6: Negotiating like children
There are undoubtedly negotiation skills that come naturally to a child that we as adults have lost. Even those of us who have been on negotiation training courses can struggle to replicate these skills as effectively. Chapter six looks at how children use enthusiasm, what if questions, creativity, high initial demands, patience and even throwing tantrums as effective negotiation techniques that we could all utilise.
Chapter 7: Influencing and persuading
As well as being very good negotiators, children are have a knack for influencing and persuading. They find common ground, forgive and forget, are positive and enthusiastic and naturally use non-verbal communication. Whilst these are skills we can all use, as parents we constantly influence our children through making them part of the decision making process, using headlines and telling stories. Chapter seven looks at how we can transfer these behaviours to the workplace.
Chapter 8: Dealing with fear and change
Young children seem to have very little fear and are much more accepting of change than adults. Yet as they get older they become more afraid, perhaps because as parents we try to use fear to control our children. Chapter eight looks at the natural ways in which parents behave to help our children cope with their fears and how we ourselves could exhibit them more at work.
Chapter 9: Listening is caring
With our children, we have an extremely strong and deep bond, but this is rarely replicated at work. One of the reasons for this is that we understand what they want and need (most of the time) because we actually listen and really hear what they say. Chapter nine looks at how much better things could be at work if we listened to and cared about our colleagues.
Chapter 10: Who is really in charge?
As an adult, I like to believe that I am the one in control of my destiny, my wife, my children, my staff, my life! But I think much of the time I am not actually in charge of anything. At work I am told what to do by my boss and upwardly managed by my team. At home I am told what to do by my wife and my children. Chapter ten looks at the similarities between techniques to discipline and control at home and at work and how these can be utilised to make us more effective in both environments.
I hope this intrigues you enough to want to read more…
Amazon.co.uk for real books – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Making-Business-Childs-Play-Margolin/dp/0957176406/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334484336&sr=8-1
Ebookit.com for Ebooks – https://www.ebookit.com/books/0000001638/Making-Business-Childs-Play.html