My youngest, Luca, has completed his 120 hours of learning driving and successfully passed his driving test to get his driver’s license. Wow, it has been a big journey over the past year with a lot of time, a lot of teaching, and a bit of patience.
It has me thinking about how we teach someone a new skill. Often it can be a simple task that most people can complete and other times it can be a bit more challenging, like sitting in the passenger’s seat when a learner driver starts to drift over the center lane!
Too often I see leaders and business owners expect newer staff to quickly be able to ‘drive’ to the same standard that they do. It often starts with a bit of a task or project that needs to be done and a staff member willingly saying yes they can take this task on.
This happened to my son. As we were driving, he went to change lanes, turned his indicator on and I noticed that he did not do a head check in his blind spot. I let him know this and he replied, yes I did, you just were not looking. After a bit of a disagreement, I decided to let him continue driving. After about 10 minutes he once again needed to change lanes. What I missed the first time was that he quickly would look over his shoulder, then turn on his indicator and move over. He had changed the sequence from what I normally did. It does not mean he was wrong and I was right, just that he found another way to achieve the same outcome.
I am always surprised when leaders do not allow staff to learn on their own and come up with new ways to accomplish things. Too often we try to tell staff everything they need to do and don’t allow them to think and map out their plan. No wonder the younger generation are getting frustrated with many of the older managers!
So the next time you need to help someone learn something new (or learn to drive) make sure you take the time to work with them and allow them the chance to come up with their ways to approach the task.
As a side note, I am very happy to say my wife and I went out for a nice dinner and a nice bottle of wine and Luca acted as chauffeur and drove us there and picked us up. Just a quick reminder of how great it is when someone does acquire new skills and how this allows you to do other things.
Imagine how many more things leaders (& parents) would be able to accomplish if they trained and delegated more!