flowing motion

To be a good manager, teacher or psychologist, I must believe in you fully

Posted on: November 15, 2009

I know that learning is social

I teach.  I know that people learn dramatically more when they feel part of a common venture.

We understand a little about social learning

Social learning has barely been researched but we know a little.

  • We know we can stop people learning very effectively by excluding them – even inadvertently ~by loss of eye contact and they way we tell stories.
  • We know the Pymaglion effect is a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy.   My students will be as good as I think they are.

But the process of learnin begins when I show deep respect for who my students are and what they bring to my life.

E E Cummings on recognition

American poet E. E. Cummings puts it well:

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

To be an effective teacher, to be an effective manager, to be an effective psychologist ~ I must believe in you, 100%, without reservation.



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2 Responses to "To be a good manager, teacher or psychologist, I must believe in you fully"

This is a late comment but too true. As someone new to the workforce there seems to be this tight line between “i’ll trust you but at some point experience takes over” and “this is yours, do everything” which kind of puts you at a conundrum as to when you’re supposed to really ‘think’ and when you’re not supposed to, but just execute.

Good on you, Daryl (as the people further south say).

You are alluding to delegation (and poor delegation). The trick in delegation is to brief like the military at three levels. What does the boss above the boss want (situation – map and the enemy!), the boss’ goal (group mission – we will take that hill) and then one goal for each subordinate all on one piece of paper (so we can see how we fit in together). My post of personal elevator speeches is the most recent using SMEAC – Situation, Mission, Execution, Admin (resources), Communication. Communication in business tells you who to contact when about what.

I once saw a good delegation in an assessment centre which ended – I will be away. You can go to X for advice and counselling but you will otherwise have to make the decision yourself. Clear enuf!

I found that invariably when something went wrong in my team the error could be traced to a poor briefing (by me). I’d have done everything right except mention some critical point in the Situation. My junior would make a decision, but not knowing this point, would make the wrong call. 99% of trouble seems to come down to not laying out information carefully at the outset.

Hope that helps. Suppose, you would like a post on how to work with people who are in too much of a hurry to discuss things fully at the beginning?

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