Perhaps you’ve heard of a famous book by author Robert Fulghum? It’s called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It revolves around a simple yet powerful philosophy that the most basic lessons we learn as children can still be applied to many aspects of our adult lives.
Running a business is no exception. Applying this credo can be just what it takes to help your business succeed. There are five lessons in particular that are highly applicable.
1. Mind Your Manners
From an early age, we’re taught about the power of saying “please” and “thank you.” Being polite and respectful can take you a long way as an adult, and this is especially true if you’re a business owner. Basic etiquette is a must when dealing with employees, vendors, customers and so on. So make it a point to show your appreciation and not tear others down even if you don’t always agree with their logic.
2. Be Creative
Remember when you and your classmates were encouraged to draw or paint? Often, the teacher wouldn’t instruct you to create anything in particular. It was merely an exercise to encourage creativity and to see what you could come up with.
Creativity is an incredibly important aspect of business. Some of the most successful companies are the ones who think outside the box. Make it a point to be creative just for the sake of being creative and let your ideas flow unencumbered.
3. Take Turns
A common leadership mistake is always speaking and rarely listening. You may feel like your power and influence will be diluted if you let other staff members have too much of a say in things.
But, a well-ran business usually has input from several sources. Make it a point to develop your listening skills. Know when it’s time to talk and when it’s time to listen to others.
4. Clean Up Your Mess
We all make mistakes. Rather than playing the blame game or trying to sweep it under the rug, own your mistake. Take full responsibility and do whatever is necessary to rectify the situation. This is a critical part of personal growth and for steering your business in the right direction.
5. Make Time for Play
Remember recess? It was the best part of the school day for many kids and was more than just taking a break from class. It served a much more meaningful purpose and that was to engage in exercise, develop social skills and give your brain a chance to “cool off.”
Even as an adult, taking a breather is important. In fact, a study from Science Daily found, “Those who give in to some kind of diversion or distraction once an hour perform better than those who just keep at it without a break.” Taking time to relax recharges your batteries, boosts long-term productivity and can provide you with some much needed creative fuel.
It’s easy to forget the fundamental lessons we learned in kindergarten. But many of those lessons were pure gold and influenced who we have become as adults. Applying these five lessons can turn you into a better employer and help your business succeed — truly!