How Parenting Has Taught Me to Be a Better Communications Professional

July 19, 2019

Raising two little humans has provided me with a great deal of insight. At timeslike every dayit has tried my patience, tested my boundaries and been utterly frustrating. On the flip side, it’s also been rewarding, fulfilling and the absolute best “job” I have ever had. With experience comes wisdom, and through it all, parenting’s lessons have not only helped me to become a better mother, but also taught me new ways to thrive in my career.

Here’s how. 

Avoid open-ended questions or too many choices 

Apparently, milk tastes better depending on the color of the cup it’s in. Who knew? So, in avoiding an argument based on hue alone, presenting the simple choice of, “Do you want the red cup or blue one?” was all that was needed. Experience has taught me that if you ask an open-ended question, invariably you will be asked for that which you cannot give. 

While we all relish the power of choice, offering too many options or too many decisions can actually be a bad thing. Clients choose to work with us because they value our opinion. They rely on our expertise to take them down the right path by presenting them with clear, concise and thoughtful choices (not an endless menu of options) to successfully achieve their communications and branding objectives. 

It’s not all about you

As a mom, I have said this countless times. So much so, that it’s become a mantra. Being able to instill a sense of empathy and encourage my children to put the needs of others ahead of their own is just “Good Parenting 101.” But it’s also “Good Business 101.” We are in the field of communications and relationship building, which means that listening is just as valuable a skill set as talking. Our personal tastes and agendas need to take a back seat to the needs of our clients. 

Be accountable

This one is pretty straightforward. Finger pointing and playing the blame game gets you nowhere, other than, maybe a time out. We all make mistakes at work—probably more than we care to admit. But fallibility is merely just a symptom of humanity. Owning mistakes, being accountable for them and taking the necessary steps to make things right can quickly diffuse a situation. This open attitude demonstrates humility, fosters trust and shows clients that while mistakes are inevitable, our willingness to do what it takes to correct the situation is what truly sets us apart.  

We are a team

This is key in any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. Nothing tries your patience more than trying to get two kids with all of their gear to two schools in the morning and still make it to work on time. Those moments are where the image of herding cats was born. A clear and concise delineation of responsibilities is essential to creating a well-oiled machine. We all need to do our partand do it wellto ensure that the team works in a coordinated fashion, and thrives to continually move forward.

We are all in this together. Coordinating efforts, continually connecting with clients, being communicative, pivoting when necessary and ensuring that we are playing off of the strengths of each member, are all essential in moving the team in the right direction to achieve client goals and objectives. 

Well, there you have it. Just a few words of wisdom from someone on the frontlines of parenting.
What advice do you have? We’d love to hear from you. 

Allison Hefner
Social Media & Content Development Manager

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