Today’s blog is about parenting “the next level”. In my opinion this can also be directly applied to your approach to developing the next level employees. The reason I am sharing this is to challenge you on what you consider to teach/ coach/critique at various levels of skill. The blog speaks to both the parenting side and corporate side. Keen to hear your additional suggestions.


My boys are 13 & 14 years of age.
When children are little, there are some clear skills to teach them; fundamentals to help them for the rest of their lives. Hold up their head, sit, stand, walk, hold a utensil, learn the alphabet, say please and thank you, tie their shoe… the list is a massive one and many people are around to ask and encourage you on it. “Has Johnny started walking yet?” “How many words can Lizzy say”? Once kids get to a certain age, this specific “teach them list” feels to me like it fades away. To me it can also be like this at work – you join a company, go through orientation, new job training, first year review & results… then what? How many employed years at a company before feeling like you’re not learning or being challenged?
This family/age reflection got me thinking “What’s important for my boys to learn before they move from our home?”.

Now before I share this list let me acknowledge:
Every household and parent runs things differently. This is only my subjective thoughts on what I’d like my kids to know to be responsible and respectful individuals.

The reason I am sharing this list with you is that I think sometimes we lose our momentum for teaching moments with our kids. I also think we can lose our coaching momentum with certain level employees. SO I share my list to challenge you to think about “what else could I teach my kids to help them with life?” and for those of you who are people leaders “what are you doing to continue to grow your people, at various skill sets to keep them be stimulated and challenged, while bettering our culture and engagement levels?”

Please share your suggestions for any additions to this list with me at or in the comment section (depending on the social media platform you are reading this on).Parenting list comes first, then Work list.

Parenting List –some ideas to get you started
1. How to create & manage a budget
2. How to make 5 dinners from scratch (sample site for meal ideas)
3. How to iron a shirt and pants
4. How to clean a fridge
5. How to meal plan for a week including making a grocery list (to a budget)
6. How to study & proofread
7. How to handle a tough conversation
8. How to introduce self (including what to say, eye contact and handshake)
9. How to introduce two people to each other
10. How to bank (online, teller, and ATM) – deposit, withdrawal, pay bills
11. How to create/send a succinct & professional email
12. How to create a resume
13. How to prepare for an interview
14. How to level two listen + how to HOLD silence
15. How to say no/ advocate for themselves
16. How to do basic first aid
17. How to plan an event/ outing, start to finish
18. How to contribute/pitch in (i.e. clean up after a meal, group project, packing up the cottage)
19. Know the timing of required professional services i.e. annual Doctor appt., semi annual dentist, Eye doctor
20. How to wrap a gift
21. How to write a thank you card, letter, and address envelop
22. How to help a neighbour/ pay it forward
23. How to use hammer & nail, shovel, rake
24. How to make coffee/tea
25. How to tie a necktie (a skill for BOTH genders)
26. How to build a campfire
27. How to shine shoes
28. How to parallel park
29. Have 2 clean + good jokes memorized with easy delivery
30. How to change a flat tire
31. How to unclog a toilet
32. How to read and use a map
33. How to make “small” talk
34. How to make a toast/ give thanks
35. How to carve a turkey
36. How to make a pony tail & a braid
37. How to BBQ a steak
38. How to protect passwords & back up files
39. How to tip (for service)
40. How to live/make decisions based on values
41. How to give and accept compliments and objective criticism
42. How to time manage (organize, prioritize, schedule & SINGLE task)
43. How to unjam a printer and replace ink cartridge
44. How to change fire detector battery and furnace filter
45. Learn the words to Auld Lang Syne

For interest, here are some the boys and I have already done if you want this list too:
1. How to pack a healthy lunch
2. How to set a table
3. How to clean a bathroom fully
4. Make their beds daily
5. How to slow dance
6. How to shuffle cards
7. How to throw a ball/spiral like their Momma
8. How to use all major appliances (Dishwasher, washer/dryer, oven, BBQ, vacuum) including cleaning them after use
9. How to order at a restaurant
10. How to sew on a button and fix a hem
11. How to “properly” greet someone on the phone
12. How to clean a car inside and out
13. How to whistle, snap and blow a (gum) bubble
14. How to clean a house (dust, wash floors, counters,etc)
15. How to use a can & bottle opener
16. How to apologize (fully)
17. How to put up Christmas tree and hang Christmas lights
18. How to change a lightbulb
19. How to set a (SMART) goal
20. How to put on and dispose of a condom
21. How to pump gas into a car and clean windows
22. How to make and keep friendships
23. Making 4 sessions of physical activity a week a habit
24. Packing for travel
25. How to take public transit


Work List –some ideas to get you started
1. How to introduce self and make connection with the the other person versus simply: Hi. I’m Nancy
2. How to introduce two people, linking them to a start of a conversation i.e. Jeff – This is Frank Smith. He’s just back from a week of scuba diving the Bahamas. Frank – this is Jeff Newton. He’s been in his role now for 5 years and has a background in science and technology.
3. How to network with ease
4. How to close a deal/ get to agreement on an idea
5. How to have a tough personal conversation, well. (i.e. layoff, acknowledging hygiene issue)
6. How to have a tough client conversation, well. (i.e. sharing poor results, missed timeline)
7. How to get to the root of a situation within 5 minutes
8. How to hold others consistently accountable
9. How to hold self consistently accountable (to agreed to actions)
10. How to objectively self- evaluate (again… consistently)
11. How to confidently voice an idea/opinion in a meeting
12. How to listen only (versus talk) in a meeting
13. How to listen with curiosity versus judgement or to problem solve
14. How to give and accept compliments and objective criticism
15. How to time manage (organize, prioritize, schedule & SINGLE task)
16. How to energy manage
17. How to stop an email chain succinctly and positively
18. How to tackle office politics without finger pointing
19. How to create a positive culture
20. How to develop employee engagement
21. How to present with impact and interaction
22. How to speak to people as human beings, not titles
23. How to say a thank you that people will remember
24. How to run an effective 1-on-1 meeting

25. How to give credit /sincerely acknowledge another employee’s / subordinate’s contributions to a project


Keen to hear what you would add. Share your ideas with me at