Help Young Professionals See the Gray in The World & Embrace It

Help Young Professionals See the Gray in The World & Embrace It
In efforts to shield our children from the realities of the world, we sometimes hinder their ability to navigate real-life scenarios without even realizing it. The New York Times describes this new phenomena as snowplow parenting. It’s a parenting style where parents try to remove any obstacles in the way of their child’s success, so that their children don’t have to experience the pain of failure. Perhaps one of the biggest issues with this parenting style is that it lends itself to making decisions for your child, which in turn, makes them less capable of thinking for themselves or navigating complex scenarios on their own. They will never realize that not every decision is a black and white choice or that each conclusion they come to often needs to incorporate multiple points of view or perspectives.

Why Embracing Gray Space is Important for Career Development

This mindset and inability to make decisions that snowplow parenting inspires in our children is detrimental to their overall growth, but especially their career growth. Decision-making helps us learn how to navigate the gray space of life. Young professionals who aren’t well-versed in making tough choices will never be able to sit in the discomfort of ambiguity and exploration, they’ll act impulsively without thinking things through and they won’t listen or consider other perspectives.

In business, there are so many variables that impact business success and the organization as a whole. As a young professional, if you want to have more influence or impact, it’s important to be able to take those factors into account and show that you understand them and use them to make decisions in your role. This practice allows young professionals to show a level of professional maturity that’s highly regarded in a team setting.

Without the ability to consider variables and other perspectives, your child may miss out on opportunities due to their narrow mindset and inability to see the bigger picture, because they never had to as they made life decisions growing up.

They may become resentful of managers because they don’t take the time to consider the manager’s perspective. That becomes a downwards spiral, where they start to internalize things and take decisions personally rather than understand that there are a whole lot of variables that likely went into a manager’s decision.

You don’t want your child to enter the world of work unprepared, so start teaching them in high school how to make tough choices, how to be analytical, and let them forge their own path.

How to Teach Your Children How to Embrace Gray Space at Home

Popular author of How to Raise and Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success, and former Stanford Dean, Julie Lythcott-Haims, said it best, “The point is to prepare the kid for the road, instead of preparing the road for the kid.”

You must allow your child to make their own decisions, which may lead to mistakes. But you have the opportunity to teach them that mistakes are a learning opportunity, showing them that the world isn’t always black and white. They may face setbacks, but isn’t that how we learned back in the day?

At NimblyWise, we believe that one of the best ways to help your child embrace the gray space in life is:

Allow them to understand your decision-making process from a young age.

A lot of times our kids, at any age, think decisions are just magically made. Why we make certain decisions as a parent can be a bit of a mystery to them—it’s our job to remove the mystery.

Planning a vacation? Have them help! Give them your budget, share factors like whether you want warm or cold or how far you’re willing to travel, and let them help plan. Allow them to realize that decisions, even fun ones, mean making hard decisions!

Beyond that, share what factors led you to a new job, explain to them why you’ve decided to move houses, ask them why they chose one sport over the other, or why they’re considering certain colleges. Don’t shield them from all the steps it took to make a hard decision. At the same time, inspire them to think critically about their own decisions!

This will not only help them make their own life decisions, but it will also allow them to see the world with an open mind and understand that everything isn’t as cut and dried as it may seem, in life or in work.

Need Help Inspiring Your Child to Grow at Home? NimblyWise Can Help.

We realize that sometimes as a parent, it’s hard to break our habits of shielding and sheltering our children, even as they reach adulthood. At NimblyWise, our personality-based career prep programs can help your child reach their full potential and embrace the gray space. Let’s chat to see what may work for them! Let’s chat to see what may work for them!