Learn to Observe and Grow

People are incredibly impressionable, absorbing and processing the world around them on a daily basis. From the peculiar way a stranger sips their coffee to witnessing interactions that challenge our moral compass, these instances shape our perceptions.

These influential moments extend back to our early years in school. Teachers, gifted with insight, observe struggling students and skillfully guide them toward success. It's a remarkable process. Recently, I witnessed this magic during my son's music lesson. The teacher, much like an adept manager, identified a challenging segment and encouraged my son to choose a piece, fostering a sense of ownership. While he may not fully grasp it now, she knew how to motivate him to tackle the less enjoyable parts by focusing on the challenging areas of the pieces he liked.

However, many people only recognize the value of a good manager once they've moved on or when employees decide to seek new opportunities. Some individuals attribute their dissatisfaction to the company or manager, often labeled as having an "entitled" mindset. So, what's the solution? Reflect on the teacher's approach – instilling a sense of ownership to foster self-motivation. While this might not resonate immediately, it's a message that we absorb and process unconsciously over time.

Here are a couple of tips to learn from observation:

1. Positive Perspective: When encountering a teaching moment, try to process it positively. Consider what the manager is trying to teach and what you can take ownership of. Trust that there's a purpose to the methods and timelines.

2. Avoid Defensiveness: Some individuals resist taking direction, assuming they can do things better. Drop defensiveness and recognize that experience doesn't equate to doing things the same way. Be open to learning.

3. Seek Improvement: Identify areas for self-improvement. Request expectations tied to competency levels within a specific timeframe. This proactive approach helps you understand what to learn and how quickly.

Ultimately, you have a choice – play the blame game or be accountable to yourself. Blaming external factors won't change negative outcomes. Instead, view yourself as a battery, either recharging with new knowledge and skills or letting your energy drain away. Just like a drained battery, it's crucial to replace old habits with new ones. Don't let your professional energy fizzle out.


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