Parenting involves a whole new world of skills that childless men and women everywhere cannot fathom. Flexibility, motivational qualities, problem solving, patience and empathy, just to name a few, are valuable not only at home but also I the workplace. The good news is that they’re also easily transferable.
Whether it’s with your children or your coworkers, dealing with people effectively is a task that requires patience and empathy. Although both these skills would be considered ‘soft skills’ in the business world, they’re essential in the development and cultivation of relationships and the ability to establish and maintain positive relations is seen as a huge asset at work. You can much better understand situations of conflict or any minor obstacles with empathy and patience.
Whatever your line of work may be, when at home, you’re the leader or ‘the managing director’ of the household. Raising kids involves exploring what works in motivating them to succeed – money, praise and even the threat of punishment are tools you’ve tested and you’ve probably found that different children respond differently to eat of these. Being capable of understanding motivators is a quality tied directly to the workplace. And it’s not just one you will use in a management capacity. Learning about what motivates your coworkers and other stakeholders will give you a huge advantage.
While your children learn from you and other adults in their lives, adults need teaching too – and the lessons learnt often come from other adults in the workplace. While at home you might teach your children about practical things like tying shoelaces and theoretical lessons about values and discipline such as how to handle other people’s behaviour, at work, both of these types of teaching techniques will be put to the test when you’re faced with a new colleague or if you’re training someone about something new. Bring your own previous experiences in both roles to help with problem solving.
No job description is complete without the specification of time management skills. It’s no surprise that this is an area in which mums and dads gain an advantage in the workplace. Getting kids out of bed, into uniform, at the table and out the door each morning and reversing the process every night, while squeezing in a hundred other chores and errands in between is no easy feat. But these routines make parents conscious of short deadlines and time management in general because multi-tasking, flexibility and prioritization skills are essential in on the work front as well as in the home.
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