Having bunch of cute little kids running around the office on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day this week probably did more than boost your mood.
Your child can also teach you something about how to approach your career. Incorporating some childlike freedom at work could be the push you need to level up.
1. Stay inquisitive
Young kids aren’t afraid to ask questions — and you shouldn’t be either.
Tom Pohlmann and Neethi Mary Thomas of big data analytics and decision sciences company Mu Sigma wrote about just how question-focused kids can be in a 2015 Harvard Business Review article.
“In a recent poll of more than 200 of our clients, we found that those with children estimated that 70-80% of their kids’ dialogues with others were comprised of questions. But those same clients said that only 15-25% of their own interactions consisted of questions,” they wrote.
Instead of backing down, remember to ask questions in the office— whether it’s asking for clarification or asking for what you want directly— even if it makes you uncomfortable doing so in front of your team.
2. Use your imagination and take creative risks
Kids dream that they can be anyone (and anything) they please, and you encourage them to — so why shouldn’t you?
The next time you find yourself in a rut or frustrated with work, set aside some time to daydream. After all, science says that it can be good for you. You might even realize what you really want to strive for in your career, and come up with a plan to go after it.
Ditch the jaded outlook that takes over on long, cloudy days for a more optimistic perspective.
3. Have a sense of humor
Lynn Taylor, workplace expert and author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant, told Forbes that workers tend to save the humor for their coworkers (not their managers). But keeping an inclusive sense of humor every day, with everyone, can be a big boost to your career.
“Humor creates an upbeat atmosphere that encourages interaction, brainstorming of new ideas, and a feeling that there are few risks in thinking outside the box. All that leads to greater productivity…It also stands to reason that if you’re in a more jovial atmosphere, you’ll have more passion for what you do. Your work ethic will increase, and your enthusiasm will likely be contagious. It’s a win-win for you and your employer,” Taylor told Forbes.
But cracking the right type of joke (properly) might even help you during a salary negotiation.
4. Remember the golden rule
In this case, treat your coworkers how you’d want to be treated— with respect.
The Harvard Business Review teamed up with Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, and Georgetown University professor Christine Porath on a study of more than 19,000 employees, which she wrote about in an HBR article.
“Those that get respect from their leaders reported 56% better health and well-being, 1.72 times more trust and safety, 89% greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs, 92% greater focus and prioritization, and 1.26 times more meaning and significance. Those that feel respected by their leaders were also 1.1 times more likely to stay with their organizations than those that didn’t,” Porath wrote.
When parents step out of the driver’s seat for the day, their kids can teach them a lot.