Many people believe that family life and their career are not compatible in any way whatsoever, and you may try to keep your parenting persona and your business persona separate at all times. However, there are, in fact, many advantages to applying the lessons that you have learned as a parent to the way that you work. This article covers some of the top ways that you can apply these skills and ideas to your organization.
1 – The Value of Inclusivity and Diversity
As a parent, you learn to understand the emotional value of inclusivity and diversity from the perspective of your child. For instance, your child may be left out of certain activities due to their abilities or their differences. If you wouldn’t want that for your child, why would you promote it within the workplace? Not only this, but most parents try to teach their child about diversity and equality as much as possible in order to bring them up with an open-minded perspective. However, the lessons that you learn through watching your child on the playground can also be applied to the workplace, where inclusivity and diversity can help to make your business a thriving and creative place to work.
Employing people from all different backgrounds can help to bring new ideas to the table, and can even help you to offer new services. At Global Health Education, they have compiled a list of reasons why diversity in healthcare is so important, and this inclusivity of minorities is as important to any organization, regardless of which sector you operate in.
2 – Empathy and Emotional Maturity
Although you might believe that emotions and personal lives are best left outside of the office space, it is inevitable that at some point, a colleague’s work will be affected by their emotions and what is happening at home. Rather than simply brush off or distribute discipline to this employee, you should learn to have empathy and an emotional maturity that can allow you to sort out problems in a humane and understanding way. Luckily, when you are a parent, empathy is one of the first things that you learn as having a child forces you to look at the world from their point of view, and to sympathize with them when things go wrong. Not only this, but as a parent, you often have to be the adult in a situation, learning to put your emotional needs behind those of your children. You also learn how to stay calm for them, something which you can readily apply to your working life.
3 – Communication
Communication as both a parent and a business leader is paramount. As a parent, it is vital that you are easily able to communicate with your child in order to help you to understand them, hear about any issues that they are having, teach them about the world, and tell them when they are misbehaving. Communication can help you to set clear boundaries and can help them to understand your reasoning behind decisions.
For much the same reasons, communication is also important in business. Communication can help you to stay on the same page as your employees, can reduce the number of errors that are made, and can allow tasks to be completed correctly and on time. Not only this, but communication at work can also help you to implement policies and ensure that your employees know what they are doing and that they have been trained well.
4 – Planning and Organization
Planning and organization can be dreaded by both parents and business leaders, and especially by those who are both. Juggling being a parent with other commitments takes a lot of planning, from arranging childcare to working around school hours. Not only this, but who hasn’t spent months planning birthday surprises and parties for your children’s big day? When you have a kid, there are mountains of school forms, paperwork, and toys scattered around the home that need organizing, and great organization skills are also needed simply to get the kids ready and at school on time each morning.
The ability to stay organized is also paramount as a business leader, and can be applied easily through keeping all of your files under a certain system, installing a vast number of storage facilities in your office, creating a schedule and using calendar applications to keep track of meetings, and performing tasks in a certain order. Planning is also needed to enable you to create financial forecasts and great business plans that can pave the way for the success of your venture in the future.
5 – Strength of Conviction
As a leader, you also need to be sure of your own ideas and be able to stick to your guns against opposition to these. Although you need to be receptive to ideas and queries about your plans, knowing when you are right and being able to have the drive that you need to stand by your opinion is important. As a parent, you will have to have strength of conviction on a daily basis, sticking by your opinions and what you believe is best for your child, against opposition by parents, parenting manuals, and even your child themselves. This is both part of a child’s discipline and necessary in order to keep your child safe.
To increase the strength of your convictions if you do not believe that you have achieved this yet, you should eradicate negative thoughts from your mind, back up opinion with facts, and ensure that you know yourself what you stand for and your opinion on important matters. These are all skills that you need if you want to make sure that your pitches and business meetings go your way.
6 – Flexibility
The need to be flexible may be the bane of every parent’s life, and yet the lessons that you learn from this can be a make or break in business. Not only will flexibility help you to work around problems when things go wrong, but the flexibility that you will have learned the value of as a parent may make you reconsider the normal working day for your employees. For instance, you may consider opting for a work-from-home or flexible working week which can cater more to the needs of your team.
Parents need to be flexible for many reasons, whether this is sudden childhood illness or a parent's evening that they had completely forgotten about, and many have to work these familial catastrophes around their career. However, having flexibility in business can allow you to try out new ideas and products, to stay calm when things go wrong, and to adapt to any external issues in your industry that might affect you.
7 – Negotiation
Have you ever stood for minutes debating with your child whether they can do a certain activity only to come to a compromise or a deal? What may be frustrating and time-consuming as a parent can be invaluable as a business owner. Negotiation can help you to come to a conclusion that both parties are happy with and can allow you to get a deal that benefits you, regardless of the circumstances surrounding it.
8 – The Importance of Learning
Parents directly see the value of learning through the growth and curiosity of their child and how it can open doors for them as they get older. Learning can help your child to be independent and to understand the world more clearly, which allows them to make fact-based decisions. However, learning is as important for adults as it is for children, and you should make sure that you never stop educating yourself as a business leader. You should always be looking for workshops and tutorials that can help you to learn new skills, as well as courses and online degrees that could help you to progress. You should also make sure that this love of learning extends to your employees, with training programs and benefits for those that seek to gain new skills and expertise.
9 – Leadership
If there is one thing that being a parent can teach you, it is how to be a leader. Your children look to you to set an example of how they should behave, to instruct them, and to motivate them to succeed. This is a lesson that you can apply in the office, as, similarly, your employees look for a leader who is dynamic, who takes care of their needs, and you can praise and encourage them. Being a great leader can be difficult, and yet the majority of the different qualities that are important to leadership are lessons that are often learned naturally as a parent.
10 – Budgeting
When you have a family, budgeting becomes even more important as you have to take the needs of your children and the cost of raising a child into account. As a parent, you may have to make financial sacrifices to support your family, and this is the same in the business world. For instance, you will need to budget to make sure that you have enough revenue to reinvest into your company and to make sure that you have the start-up costs that you need for your business to thrive.