As a new mum I have to teach my 1-year old daughter Chloe a lot, but I’m realising this is reciprocal and she can teach me a lot as well. Here are 5 tips you can learn from babies:
1. Smiles are powerful
When I saw Chloe’s smile for the first time it was amazing, I was sending everyone photos and her happiness was infectious. When I take her for a walk or sit at a café, she attracts so much attention just with a smile. This experience reminded me of how powerful smiles are and the impact you can have on other people by smiling and if you smile it can also make you feel happier so it’s a win-win situation. So, the next time you are:
- At a Job interview – smile!
- Meeting a new colleague for the first time – smile!
- Talking on the phone – smile! (you can actually hear the difference on the other end)
2. Practice new skills
When babies learn a skill, they are relentless (I mean that in a positive way) at practicing their skill over and over. As adults we might go to a training course over an hour, a day or a week and think “I have a new skill”, only to think back to the training course down the track and forget what we learnt.
It is so important to embed your learning and practice new skills through repetition. To use a generic analogy to drive the point home; our teeth aren’t clean if we spend 1 continuous hour a week cleaning them, we have to do it every morning and night and be steady and consistent. Skills are similar – we need to practice developing them.
3. Be proud of your achievements
Chloe is learning to walk and when she takes a few steps on her own she looks to me with the proudest look on her face as if to say “Did you see? Did you see? I did it! I did it!” I’m super proud of her too and give her loads of positive reinforcement to encourage her. We all deserve to celebrate our achievements, share them and take a moment to be proud. If someone shares their achievement with you also take the time to give them positive reinforcement for their accomplishment.
Don’t forget to keep a record of your achievements – you can have a journal for these or record them in your phone whatever works for you. This will make it easy for you to recall your achievements when you’re updating your resume, answering interview questions, or doing a performance review.
4. Non-verbal communication is key! You can say a lot through body language and cues
When you have a baby that can’t talk yet but communicates SO much, the importance of body language and cues really hits home. To communicate effectively you want to make sure that what you are saying is congruent with your body language. You may have heard of Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule of personal communication already, but it essentially explains that we put more weight on someone’s body language and tone of voice than their words, when deducing our feelings, attitudes, and beliefs about what they’re saying.
5. We learn without realising it when things are fun
I told my friend yesterday that I had a ‘pumpkin shower’ – she had no idea what I was talking about so I had to explain that a pumpkin shower is when Chloe gets a spoon of pureed pumpkin and showers me (and her and her high chair and the floor and anything that is in a 1 metre radius). There is just no way that I would get Chloe to sit and watch a 1-hour PowerPoint presentation on how to eat with a spoon – learning to eat is a playful, fun experience.
So, what does that all have to do with you? If you’re trying to learn a new skill for yourself, train a new employee or deliver content in a presentation think how you can make learning it fun and playful. UTS Careers has made learning about resume writing fun with an interactive team game which I’m excited to use in the 2019 UTS Accomplish Award.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Katie Novakov
Katie Novakov is passionate about supporting students build the foundations for a successful career. As an Employability Coordinator she facilitates career focused programs including the Accomplish Award to increase the employability of students. These programs help students to identify and articulate their skills, knowledge and experience. She is committed to these programs being diverse, inclusive and accessible.