Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 160

The best #leaders help others get better.  They don't force them to. #QuoteADay #Day160 #edchat #edu #Collaborate #DontUseTheForce

You can’t force anybody to do anything.  It’s that simple.  If I’ve learned anything as a parent and an educator, it’s that the learners in your life need to want to do things; no matter how many times you put that spoon near a baby’s mouth, or no matter how you package that assignment, if the learner isn’t into it, it isn’t going to happen.

That’s something the best leaders intimately understand.  No matter what, learning has to happen by choice, not by force.

When we’re presented with a learner (or a leader) who needs development in a certain area, an area where we have expertise to assist, we have to lend a helping hand, rather than a full-force push.  We have to meet the person where he/she is, and be willing to support them as they struggle through the situation.

This helping approach usually takes more time and requires much more effort than a push would, but the end result is much more positive.  While a shove and a helping hand may result in the same visible outcome, the potential damage we do by pushing or shoving may be internal, and may make it more challenging for the person needing help to put the trust in the leader in the future and may work counter to the leader’s vision.

Even those who struggle mightily should be given the helping hand first.  If, even with the assistance, the person cannot succeed, there are other options.  Maybe a different setting may work best for the person.  
Maybe the person is struggling with personal issues and needs some time to collect their thoughts.  Maybe the person needs to further develop their background knowledge or skill set before they take this task on again.

Regardless, as leaders, we owe it to those we serve to extend a hand for people to grab a hold of, rather than one that pushes people away.

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