07 Aug 5 Business Lessons from a Kindergartener
Kindergarten is a foundational grade, and the lessons learned are fundamental to youth as they begin their educational journey. More importantly, the lessons taught in Kindergarten are basic social interaction skills for our culture. These basic lessons are timeless and can be applied years after the Kindergarten graduation.
1. Lessons in Getting Along
Business interactions are vastly diverse, and businesses that can adapt well to all social situations will not only survive, but thrive. Keep an open mind and quickly accept others and their opinions. Portray a positive and encouraging attitude to everyone. Say “thank-you” often and for everything.
2. Lessons in Coping with Frustrations
The basics of the English language, necessary for reading writing, are taught using a song: “The ABC’s”. A difficult task can be exasperating, which will then challenge productivity. The trick is to tackle frustration early on, and even prevent it with a positive approach. Be prepared in advance to stick with it and smile through it. When in the thick of a frustrating task or project, keep emotions out and focus only on the specific issue. Choices can ease stress, so outline the different options available to proceed. Most importantly, change your perspective. It’s hard to be too mad when singing a song.
3. Lessons on Having Fun
Recess is often the best part of the day – a chance to move around, do things that you choose, and just have fun. While recess at work could be an option, during lunch, it would be more valuable to draw the same theories into the daily grind. The most exciting part of a mundane day is a change of venue. Consider changing the location of routine meetings, or conduct uncomplicated office redecorating. Ask for and implement team member ideas for changing things around. Encourage social interactions by celebrating birthdays, accomplishments, or Wednesday’s.
4. Lessons on Numbers
The skill of counting to ten is still important in daily life, for work, home or play. Become quite intimate with your business numbers. Know what is necessary to track, track it, and review it often.
5. Lessons on Differentiating
A critical milestone in Kindergarten is to master the skill of identifying shapes, colors, and sizes, to organize them in different groups and then to regroup to new criteria. This skill is elementary to businesses. Know the market, your customers, key employees, and available suppliers. Be able to organize each in various different aspects, and be able to regroup when the situation changes.
The idea of a 5-year-old running a business is a bit far-fetched. Not because of their inexperience in business, but because of their anticipated behavior; tired rants, unfocused attention, quick temperament changes, and stubborn opinions. These same behaviors can be found in some adults. A simple refresher on elementary skills can go a long way, be sure your elementary basics are still in place.