Kindergarten is the first step of two decades-worth of learning. Where the foundation is set for future education. When a kid breaks away from the everyday care and support of his or her parents and becomes more of an individual. Needless to say, it’s a time when we’re all being taught things that we’ve never seen before; like our ABCs. And, while there are a lot of complexities in the world of business, some of the most simplest of lessons can be learned from a kid in kindergarten. And, no, we’re not joking.
While your life may have disappointingly less finger-painting and dinosaur chicken nuggets than it used to, there are still a lot of valuable lessons you learn in kindergarten than can be applied to everyday life — and the workplace. Since we think simplicity is always the best approach in life, here are a few things that’ll remind you that kindergarten taught you, at a very early age, some personality traits that businesspeople should be practicing each and everyday, too.
Sharing Your Things
No, this doesn’t mean giving the background story behind that questionable Snap. It means not being afraid to speak up in meetings when you have a creative idea or a new way to approach something to help the company culture thrive. Sharing credit in a group project and giving kudos to your team for a job well done in important. This is about emailing around an article that you find interesting, or tweeting a link to someone you admire.
Admitting Your Mistakes
As we get older, we grow less comfortable with the idea of being wrong. It can be hard to fess up when we make a mistake at work, whether that’s being late on an assignment or blaming someone else for a bad decision. However, there’s a reason why you’re taught the importance of saying “sorry” in kindergarten. Everyone makes mistakes, and you’ll earn a lot more respect when you own up to it and let your team know it won’t happen again.
Using Your Words
Remember when your teacher encouraged you and your friends to talk it out on the playground? The same goes for work. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your colleagues. Never assume that someone will know exactly what you mean — just like your partner, your coworkers aren’t mind readers. Instead of falling into the passive aggressive trap, let your teammate know when you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed. Give praise just as often as you give criticism, and make sure both are constructive and genuine.
Does it seem like every kindergartener has an infinite number of friends? When we were all younger, it was too easy to walk up to someone and instantly becoming best friends. While you might not be able to bond over your matching Lisa Frank binders, there’s no reason why this can’t carry over into your professional life. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with someone at a networking event, or invite the new kid to lunch.
One of the biggest lessons that kids learn in kindergarten is how to be kind to one another. You don’t need to become best friends with everyone you encounter, but remembering basic manners can take you far at the office. Remember to say please and thank you, lend a hand when you see a coworker struggling or send a funny email when someone is having a bad day. Even a, seemingly, small act of kindness can turn someone’s day around and create a more positive office environment.
Lead image via Getty