How learning to crochet prepared me for management

I have never been a very creative person, I can follow instructions but making something out of nothing has never been my forte. I’m more the active type.

I hate to sit around, I am pretty much constantly on the move and even when I’m sitting my mind is racing. It’s why I love having my own business, there is always something to do, especially in HR!

So, when I got frustrated with not being able to be so physical when I was pregnant. My mum thought it would be a good idea to teach me how to crochet!

I had to really focus on the task in hand, I couldn’t watch TV and get the stiches right the way my mum could. However, I found that having some STILL time meant that I progressed pretty quickly and soon made some scarfs and a blanket.

I loved the progress that I made. Don’t you love seeing the fruits of your labour?

I started to use those focussing skills at work and during family time. It meant that I stopped ending people’s sentences, assuming what they wanted and seeing them as a distraction. 

Have you been there? Say it’s not just me!

I learnt that when someone says “Do you have a minute”, the most productive thing to do is to close everything and really focus on the individual, not just on their words but on the non-verbal cues too. This meant that I got to know my team better and was better able to motivate and lead them.

I know as business owners, we are great at listening to our clients. But when was the last time you sat down with your team and focused on what they were telling you, not what you wanted to tell them or mentally preparing for your next meeting?

Next time you are interrupted by Sue, try:

  • Not making assumptions
  • Closing your laptop
  • Switching your phone to airplane
  • Making eye contact
  • Listening
  • Taking notes (if necessary)
  • Asking pertinent questions
  • Taking time to response/investigate
  • Following up

It’s vital that staff feel that they are listened to and that their opinions or issues are taken into consideration – even if you disagree, go back to them with a considered response.