Yesterday as I watched an old episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ the story line was about how the kindergarten teacher enacted lessons in kindness using lessons from her Kindergarten class resonated with me. Leadership lessons at their core are taught in Kindergarten and here’s what I mean.
Say Please and Thank You
When asking for cooperation, which is a key part of every entrepreneur’s life, saying please and thank you should go without saying. When you are standing in front of your staff and asking them to move mountains, try a please every once and a while. I will bet that you will see how much easier it is to get some extra time logged on a project when you appreciate that they have lives outside of your company. As we move further and further into the electronic age, I can’t help but notice how many people end an e-mail conversation or phone call without saying ‘hey listen, thank you for taking the time to hear me out’. In Kindergarten we learned to always say it, can you imagine the change in the business world with that one little thing?
Use your listening Ears
One of the first things we learned in Kindergarten was that everybody would get a turn, and in business we have completely unlearnt that skill. In business we operate under the old adage of the loudest person is the one that gets heard. The truth is that if we don’t listen to what our customers, critics and supporters are saying without interrupting them then we are missing out on valuable information. In business information is power, so why would you let that advantage go?
Don’t run inside
While we have to run to keep up with market trends and customer changes, once we have the customer we should walk not run through their service. By taking our time with customers we learn what they really want and what they will need in the future. That’s business intelligence gold and it’s all learned from taking the time to walk with your client and not race to the finish just to collect an invoice.
Being a business owner comes with its own set of rules and maybe the best thing we can learn is to remember what we only know about leadership, from kindergarten.