(7 lessons we’d love to teach our spouses, team members and children)
From the moment we are conceived we teach.
We teach the world around us through our smiles and our tears, our fussing and our gurgling, a billion different things.
We were not conscious of what we taught our mothers as they carried us in their wombs and changed in their perceptions and expectations.
As we crawled and as we screamed and as we grew we became even less aware of what our parents learnt about us…. things we did not even intend to teach.
Teaching it seems is mankind’s most natural activity. We do it without even trying to do so
Learning too, most often happens unintentionally.
We learn for example how to keep our distance from people. A boss is surprised that he doesn’t possess ‘team’ and can’t figure out for the life of him why team doesn’t exist. He is such an inspirational, intelligent, competent and able person. It is impossible to conceive that he does not possess team.
And yet he is victim to two things: (a) He is blind to what he is teaching (b) His team is blind to what they are learning.
What he intends to, he is unable to teach. What he doesn’t desire, everyone is learning effortlessly.
We all suffer in the same way – our spouses, our children, parents, friends, colleagues and neighbours – we are all blind to the many things we teach and remain ignorant of the many things they have learnt about us.
Parents are always shocked by how their ‘loving children’ are responding or behaving as independent adults. “What did we do wrong?” needs to be read as- what were we unknowingly teaching, and what were our kids unknowingly learning about us?
Is there a way for team leaders, spouses, parents, children and team members to effectively teach and manage learning?
I think there is.
The fundamental difference between teaching/training/counseling/mentoring and coaching is this – the ability to see yourself in the context of:
(a) What you have unknowingly (and most often unwantedly) learnt.
(b) How you may teach what it is you want to teach about yourself to those you want to teach it to.
(c) How you may manage the learning’s of others to ensure that they are learning only what you intend.
The 7 lessons perhaps, that every team leader, spouse, partner and parent wants to teach and discover that their team members, partners or children have learnt are these:
~ 1.To seek the ability and competence of being independent.
~ 2. Bearing responsibility/accountability for one’s actions.
~ 3. Choosing dependence when one is completely independent, without compromising the sense of freedom or choice.
~ 4. To experience and display fulfillment in the independent choices one has made.
~ 5. Enjoy being in the presence of and communicating with.
~ 6. Grateful for yesterday.
~ 7. Hopeful of a better tomorrow.
How we learn to complain, be bitter or resentful of the person/people we are dependent on is not a mystery.
Why we teach them to be so is.