Only read this if you will buy a children’s book this week

Coaching a senior finance executive last week, it struck me how the wisdom of children’s stories can benefit adults as much as children. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt reminded Helen that she has choices about how to tackle a difficult situation. She had reserves of resilience to draw on. It took a distant memory of listening to the story on a tape in the car with the children in the back to remind her. And it made her smile despite the stress of her situation.

Her resourcefulness increased the more she put herself in the story, using it as a way of meeting the challenge.

So go to a bookshop this week. To guide you, think of a work topic of interest, such as creative thinking. And select a book. Here’s a suggestion: for creative thinking, Alice in Wonderland. Alice says: “Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” That kind of thinking is bound to get the creative juices flowing in the morning at work.

Everyone wins:

  1. You get some guilt-free time to go to your local bookshop and mooch around
  2. You can think which story might best help you address your most pressing work challenge (e.g. What could we learn from Scrooge about work-life balance?)
  3. You and your child will spend enjoyable time together away from tech
  4. You can benefit from the power of stories. And realise that at work, replaying stories that are not true .e.g ‘I can’t deal with this difficult person’ don’t help

I’ve ‘posted’ this later tonight, and as we enter the festive season, as by now you will probably have finished the bedtime routine with your children. If you’re still at the office working, well, it’s an additional reminder of the power of switching off from work and being absorbed in a different world.

And it would be great to get more suggestions.  How about a children’s book that helps you to be more productive …? I will then put a list together for you….