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Published 5:48 am on December 08, 2008

Learning from Ants

By Althea DeBrule
Contributing Writer

Ants are industrious creatures. They act with diligence and cooperation, and are always in constant communication with each other to ensure the work gets done. There’s a lot we can learn from the ant, including the merits of hard work, communication and collaboration (Proverbs 6:6).

Ants Work Hard & Smart

Ants are persistent and hard working. They use time wisely by gathering and storing sufficient food in summer and harvest to survive the winter (Proverbs 6:8). Ants work smart by not squandering resources. Every part of an ant’s body is used to work, and when a load is too heavy other ants rush to help.

Using work time wisely like the ant can be a hard lesson to learn. According to the 2008 Wasting Time at Work Survey, employees waste up to two hours each workday (not including lunch time) on personal activities. The resulting cost to employers is estimated at $759 billion annually.

Christians are exhorted to work as if the Lord has directly given the assignment (Colossians 3:23-24). We are to commit all our work to Him and do it with excellence and diligence (Proverbs 16:3). Learn from the ant. Stop wasting time and work smart by bringing skill, intellect and physical expression into harmony as each task is completed.

Ants Communicate Constantly

Through the antennae, ants use body language to communicate, and by excreting pheromones they signal danger or make scent trails to food supplies. This constant communication facilitates the colony’s workflow.

What we learn from the way ants communicate is definitely applicable to how we work. Research has shown that from 50% to as much as 100% of any message is communicated through body language. Careful listening and speaking along with the ability to read and understand body language can build trust and lead to positive interaction with others.

Ants Work as a Team

Ants instinctively know to pull together as a team. There are no commanders with egos to get in the way (Proverbs 6:7). Every ant has a specific task to perform yet works jointly to ensure the colony’s welfare.

The ant teaches us how critical collaboration is to successful work relationships. Time and energy are wasted trying to prove co-workers wrong. Acting alone instead of getting input from team members can have disastrous results. Collaborative solutions to problems should be found by using common sense and wisdom for the benefit of the entire team.

The ant knows what to do, and does it without being told. What about you? Are you prepared to work smart, communicate constantly, and collaborate with others? Study the ant closely; learn its secrets and you will be rewarded.

The 2008 Wasting Time at Work Survey


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