Experiential Learning

The best kind of learning is that which we can be or do rather than hear or think about.

Teaching is about offering opportunities to try (and fail?), to experiment and to experience.

Of course “students” can do these things without the teacher, too. Providing the conditions for these experiences is a great boost to the learning possibilities, but it’s not necessary.

Pupils will learn about what they care about.

Direct, question, massage the experience and be a great teacher because your people are great learners.

Learning to Talk

We don’t spend time on strategies when learning how to talk.

Mostly, as babies, we listen to the adults around us, we watch as they are communicating and we do the same.

There really is typically not in a how-to guide to communication for developing humans. But there should be for organizations.

Organizations and teams that spend time with specifics–who strategize about how they best communicate–can make themselves into more effective communicators.

Every organization needs their own how-to guide. AND, they need to revise and rewrite it regularly.

Does this org value top-down manuals that tell people what to do? Do you want completely open, everyone-can-say-anything systems? Some hybrid? Decide what you want it to look like, and not look like, and get to work building it.*

*the “it” can really be anything.

To Connect or Not

As a raging extrovert, I get sad and tired when I’m alone for too long.

It’s a status that some have a hard time understanding, and I have to work to get it when people say that they are overwhelmed with the act of being social.

There is no right nor wrong here, and working to understand what you need and celebrate that is a key to happiness.

Creating a team of people who share culture, language and a common lens, as well as goals, is easier when you realize that it’s not about the “kind of person” that’s a fit.

The kind of person a good team needs is the kind that commits to the culture, language and goals.

Simple, not easy.

New To You

You see a quote or Google a concept and get some great info…the you realize the resource is from 2 years ago, or five, or twenty five…

Does that make it a bad, old or tired reference?  Maybe. Maybe not.

Good ideas have been around for a long time (and, you probably have some yourself). For sure you can adopt, adapt or customize such concepts others’ ideas to make them work for you.

Consider the content rather than the source. Use your own perspective and situations to decide what might be good for you.

Meanwhile, add to the universe of good ideas and perhaps make someone else’s world better at the same time.

Sports Aren’t Fair.

Recycled thoughts from 2015…
 
Work as hard as you can.  
 
Do 100% of the things you could do to set yourself up for success and you still might not get what you want.
 
Our society teaches kids to think positively, work hard…and they’ll get what they want.  We’re lying to them.  They still should work really hard, have goals and systems to move them forward. 
 
The lie is that hard work will surely lead to success.
 
In team sports there are only so many starting spots, places on all-star teams and winners.  It’s zero-sum.  For every winner there is a loser. By saying everyone can, with hard work, be a winner is doing a disservice to kids and to the process of working hard.
 
Yup, sometimes you do everything right and someone is still better than you.
 
By communicating this we help kids value the process, really cherish the victories and learn from the losses. Without this clarity they come to think of themselves as losers and many quit trying.  This hurts everyone.

Make It Up

When people don’t know what’s going on, they make something up.

Most are uncomfortable with the feeling, “I don’t know,” so they insert a story into the situation. It’s really a part of the human condition.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“She must just be a &#^&$ ,”, or “He’s just reacting to that thing that happened.”, or “I’m pretty sure that those guys are not the kind of guys we want to hang out with.”  

Things go south QUICKLY on teams when things are not easy and communication is not valued.  Or perhaps good “communication” is not defined well to be understood among the individuals, and so people have to make up stories to fill the gaps in understanding. 

What if coaches made it their top priority to define great communication, display the standards through positive and negative examples and talked about it

every

single

day?

Would that help?


Rule of Unwritten Rules

People have to sign things in order to participate.  From elementary school to the NCAA, one can’t participate unless they agree to do or not do certain things.  This we (mostly) easily accept, and regardless, the rules are really clear.

You likely have written rules for your team, no matter what type of team it is.  Perhaps a handbook, employee guide, posters in the lockerroom or a contract to sign.

On the flip side, many of us have more unwritten rules than written ones.  “Work hard”, “show respect”, “be a good teammate”, are all big picture unwritten rules.

Does everyone on your team know exactly what is meant by those unwritten rules? Do you know?

Perhaps you also have some that are similar to these: “freshman do the grunt work”, or “the head coach is always right”.

It’s time well spent to investigate and know what the unwritten rules are on your team–you may not even know that they exist–and to clarify the ones you like.  Even more importantly, shine light on the ones that are not valid or helpful to your team (“we drink a lot on Saturday nights”), and rid your team of these unhelpful rules.