Did you ever have imaginary friends during your childhood? I certainly did!
Perhaps it was because I didn't have siblings until I was three and a half, or maybe it was just the boundless nature of a child's mind. Regardless, Michael and Karla were my companions 🤝, my biggest supporters 📣 and my trusted confidants 💝. However, by the time I entered secondary school, Michael and Karla had faded away, replaced by an unnamed voice that revelled in mockery and sarcasm.
I haven’t thought of Michael and Karla for a long time, but as I find myself reliving countless childhood memories through the lens of being a new parent 👶 they've reappeared in my thoughts. I ponder how my teenage and young adult years might have been different with them by my side instead of the cynical voice. I think about this for my baby too: How can I create an environment that encourages children to be children for as long as possible - and why not all the way into adulthood?!
As I gear up to return to work, this question lingers in my mind, extending its relevance to the workplace. Isn't it more enjoyable to be in an environment where laughter and camaraderie thrive (and you’re encouraged to be a bit childish)?!
An unconventional education
I’ve studied human development from a scientific and psychological perspective 🎓 however the education I’ve received in the past year has been far from academic. My dive into the realm of human development has been emotional, incredible, relentless, rewarding, and a rollercoaster of experiences 🎢. Observing my baby navigate the journey of growth, learning, falling, and standing up again (and again and again and again) has deepened my appreciation for the untapped potential within us all. The challenge lies in maintaining the same levels of perseverance and positivity into adulthood.
"Resilience" has become the word of the decade, or rather, the lack of it seems to trouble many entering the workforce. Whether blamed on the pandemic, schooling, social media, nanny-state, or parenting styles, we often forget that we start life strong 🦾 battling against formidable odds just to arrive here. Babies are resilient. Children are resilient.
Children eagerly raise their hands in class 🖐️ (unlike shying away from being seen in meetings), vie for the lead role in the Nativity play 👼 (instead of dreading presentations), and openly ask, "Would you like to be my friend?" 👯 (rather than tiptoeing around socially awkward small talk). So, when and where does the change occur, taking us from bold, fearless children to anxiety-ridden adults?
Embracing childlike confidence
I'm on a mission to de-educate people: to challenge the socially constructed norms that make us doubt our abilities and give up too easily. At Razor, we embrace failure, learning, and positive conflict (anyone who's spent time with kids knows there's no holding back!). Here, we've created a space that's fun, creative, and more than a lot weird. But let's push the boundaries further and embrace our inner child: more daydreaming, painting on the walls, making weird noises, and introducing me to your imaginary friends!
When workplaces foster a culture that encourages childlike behaviours (and by that I mean tenacity, growth, play, laughter, confidence, and resilience) and individuals allow themselves to tap into their childlike essence, I think that might just be the magic spot where our true potential lies✨
Returning to Razor, I bring with me a newfound appreciation for our collective capabilities, limitless potential, and resilience. 🤸♀️ I'm laser-focused on zeroing-in-on Razor's magic spot: helping each of us rediscover our inner child and gaining the confidence to be a bit childish!