Making Business Child's Play
When my wife Elisa first fell pregnant with our daughter Jolie, my life began to change irreversibly. It changed further when we brought her home from the hospital. It changed even more when our son Fraser was born a few years later. Now, I am a husband and a father and this has affected how I behave at home and at work in more ways than I could have imagined.
Then I started writing this book, I had been married for five years, was the proud father of a beautiful little three-year-old girl Jolie, and had an eight-months-pregnant wife. Fatherhood is a challenging, eye-opening and enlightening experience but what I never expected was to wonder why I don’t approach things like Jolie or her friends. When and why did I (and other adults) lose the ability to ‘behave like a child’?
The motivation and inspiration for writing this book came from personal frustration and a growing sense of how things could be different if I learnt how to stop compartmentalising my life and applying what I knew in my home life to my working identity. After all, so many of the skills needed to organise, guide or mentor our children would deliver more in the workplace than many of the techniques we practice.
Making Business Child's Play will hopefully make you sit back and think. It demonstrates the importance of mastering the skills and techniques we possessed as children and exhibit as parents. By identifying the parallels between what goes on at home and at work, it demonstrates how you can transfer behaviours to be more successful within a business environment.
Who is it for?
Making Business Child's Play is for people looking for practical, action oriented ideas about business behaviours in an accessible entertaining style.
It is written to be read in less than two hours, ideal for your next train journey or flight. It is not written as a textbook but provides lots of insights, hints and tips across a wide variety of topics through a very personal series of stories and analogies about myself and my two young children.
The book is for all types of people across all types of industries but is perfect for aspiring managers with young children working in an office environment.
So, if you are interested in a book which takes a fresh innovative look at common subjects then this book is for you. Once you have finished reading, you will have discovered an array of practical tips and techniques giving you a changed and enriched perspective as a manager and/or a parent.
Publication: Making Business Child's Play
No of Pages: 128
Size: 198mm x 129mm
Reading Age: General Adult
Sales: Worldwide sales opportunities
Distribution: Worldwide distribution for print and digital versions
Also available as an Ebook
What's it all about
I read a quote that said "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about". My children were the inspiration for this book and through parenting and watching them develop and grow I have learned so much.
Preparing for a new arrival
Can you imagine bringing a child home from the hospital and only then considering where they might sleep? Or what they might eat, sit on or wear? Of course not. All of this planning is carried out beforehand to make the transition for both the parents and the child as easy and as positive an experience as possible. Chapter one looks at why what happens at work for new starters is almost always the exact opposite and what we should do differently.
Learning new things
Children have a passion to learn and we behave in a supportive and encouraging way to ensure they develop and grow. It is easy to forget that the people working for us are striving to achieve and if we took the same attitude as with our children, and gave them the time and support they need to develop it would pay dividends in the long term. Chapter three looks at ways both ourselves and our teams can continue to learn and thrive.
Improving our attention
The ability to focus totally on one thing comes naturally to us all when we are young but becomes more challenging as we get older. We have more distractions, we struggle to focus and concentrate and as a result, we fail to get on with the work we are meant to be doing. Chapter five looks at techniques to help us improve our attention as well as ways to grab and hold other people's attention.
Influencing and persuading
Children are have a knack for influencing and persuading. They find common ground, forgive and forget, are positive and enthusiastic and naturally use non-verbal communication. As parents we influence our children by making them part of the decision making process, using headlines and telling stories. Chapter seven looks at how we can transfer these behaviours to the workplace.
Listening is caring
With our children, we have an extremely strong and deep bond, but this is rarely replicated at work. One of the reasons for this is that we understand what they want and need (most of the time) because we actually listen and really hear what they say. Chapter nine looks at how much better things could be at work if we listened to and cared about our colleagues.
Finding the time
Once we have children, we have no choice but to change our daily routines. Everything we had to do before still has to happen and we instinctively adapt to find the time. We prioritise, schedule, manage distractions and interruptions, organise, multi-task and avoid procrastinating. Chapter two suggests ways in which we can use these behaviours at work, where we often struggle to manage our time as effectively.
Curiosity can jump start the creative process and is critical to almost any decision making, planning or brainstorming activity. But how many of us have stopped asking why? How many of us are asked to do something by people we work with, or our bosses, and just write down the request, walk away and try to get on with it? Chapter four encourages us to behave like children and continue to ask why, even when it is difficult.
Negotiating like children
There are undoubtedly negotiation skills that come naturally to a child that we as adults have lost. Even those of us who have been on negotiation training courses can struggle to replicate these skills as effectively. Chapter six looks at how children use enthusiasm, what if questions, creativity, high initial demands, patience and even throwing tantrums as effective negotiation techniques that we could all utilise.
Dealing with fear and change
Young children seem to have very little fear and are much more accepting of change than adults. Yet as they get older they become more afraid, perhaps because as parents we try to use fear to control our children. Chapter eight looks at the natural ways in which parents behave to help our children cope with their fears and how we ourselves could exhibit them more at work.
Who is really in charge?
As an adult, I like to believe that I am the one in control of my destiny, my wife, my children, my staff, my life! But I think much of the time I am not actually in charge of anything. At work I am told what to do by my boss and upwardly managed by my team. At home I am told what to do by my wife and my children. Chapter ten looks at the similarities between techniques to discipline and control at home and at work and how these can be utilised to make us more effective in both environments.
What others have said
"Children are often an inspiration and continually help us learn by giving us startling insights. Adam has undertaken a structured analysis of his experiences and how they could be translated into more effective strategies at work, which are simple but effective. Whilst much of the read is common sense, which makes it easy to relate to, the real challenge is living it every day and not just talking about it".
— Alison Hutchinson, CEO, The Pennies Foundation