How do children learn? It is, after all, something we all have to do – and the formative years of kids are fascinating to observe.
Children learn be experiencing new things. By having the freedom – whilst being protected by their carers as much as possible from harm – to explore anything and everything in their lives.
Each object, idea and concept is there for the level of study they feel appropriate, simply by being curious.
We let them be that way without demeaning them. We smile at their odd questions and behaviors and enjoy the moment with them.
Over the years of getting older, as we discover our emotional side, we lose the ability to take risks with new things in quite the same way ever again.
It happens to a greater or lesser extent in every single one of us, as we move into middle childhood and then as adults.
Often in the workplace, this can prevent learning and development, at the very least, with the possibilities to explore and learn by doing falling way behind in the self-fulfilment pecking order.
We protect ourselves from experiencing painful and indeed harmful emotions that hurt our self-esteem, by being a lot less inclined to do things when we have been affected before.
So, unless carefully nurtured, as employees we hold back and stay safe. We’ve experienced the bump on the head or the graze on the knee once too often to try it again, especially when it made us feel not only physically bad, but even more so when it hurts us inside.
As managers, we can really get much more from the potential of our people by making exploration and new learning a very safe place to go.
When we start to appreciate just what it is that we need to do to lighten up our people; to let them make their mistakes; to let them learn from the little bumps and scrapes that children learn from, we offer an enlightening experience indeed.
We are there to nurture our people to ‘find things out’ freely and without besmirching or embarrassing them at all, we do them such a favor. Indeed we develop our teams so effectively as well.
So once again, where we take the time to recognize exactly how each of our employees needs us to be, everyone can become a winner.