“Let’s Play the Quiet Game,” and Other Things Moms Say

See how motherly advice can help you on the job.

This Sunday, mothers will be celebrating their special day with flowers, breakfast-in-bed, hand drawn cards, and all sorts of special treats. We thought we would celebrate this Mother’s Day by drawing workplace wisdom from some of the most frequently heard motherly advice. You’ve probably heard a mom say these phrases at some point or another, but today, we’ll look more closely to see how their words can also help us in our jobs.


“Let’s play the quiet game.”

Most kids figure out pretty quickly mom’s ulterior motive for this “game.” While parents usually say this when they’re ready for some peace and quiet, consider the implications it could have at work. Employees who spend more time listening than talking will better understand instructions, finish tasks more efficiently, and will have more of an opportunity to learn about workplace dynamics and culture.


“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

This is all-around good advice—whether you’re on the school playground or at the office. No one responds well to negative comments or criticisms, regardless of if they are true or not. Your coworkers and supervisors are more likely to like and respect you if you’re known for being positive and encouraging. For more tips on having a good attitude in the workplace, read this blog post.


“I don’t care what everyone is doing, I care what you’re doing.”

Or, another common expression, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” Ultimately, our moms want to make sure we’re consistently making the right choices, regardless of what those around us are doing. Personal accountability is important in the workplace. Make sure you’re following rules and doing the tasks the way your supervisor asked, not necessarily how coworkers are doing things. If you’re unsure of something, ask.


“I’m going to give you until the count of three.”

We all need limits sometimes, and leave it to mom to let us know what they are. Similarly, it’s important to know our boundaries at work. Is there a certain quota you have to meet each day? Figure out what you need to do to meet it. Do you have trouble being punctual to your shift? Read these tips to make sure you arrive on time. Get to know your supervisors and learn what the company goals are so you can be sure you’re working with those in mind.


As you celebrate with your mom this weekend, thank her for all the words of wisdom that she’s shared over the years. Penmac knows that moms work hard, both in and out of the workplace. Thanks, moms, for all you do! Happy mother’s day! (For some more parental advice, click here to read some fatherly wisdom that could help in the workplace.)