We all have heard about the impact of a leader’s modeling on those around her, and Learner Lab’s Trevor Ragan shared a concrete way to illustrate this impact.
Students and the teachers at a school agreed to begin learning something new over a two week period. Participants then showed off their newly acquired skills in an Anti-Talent Show at the end of the time period. What they found was that the core benefit to this wasn’t the gains in harmonica-playing, knitting or juggling. Rather, the key lessons were that the students learned that the teachers also struggled and the teachers were reminded that learning is sometimes hard work and scary. By having the teachers model their wobbly skills, it became a powerful experience for all.
People are always watching the leader and taking cues as to what is valued and what is not. If you work yourself to the bone, wellness decreases in importance, no matter what you say. If you admit your failures, having a growth mindset becomes the standard. If you share information with others, transparency is practiced more frequently.
Ragan encourages leaders to identify what actions they want to see from people and model those actions repeatedly. The teachers in the Anti-Talent show wanted students to know that struggles are part of learning something new and consequently, put their own fallibility on public display. What behaviors do you want to see from those around you? Be intentional about naming them, and more importantly, modeling them, for your family, colleagues, and partners.
Source: The Learner Lab Podcast: How to Improve the Learning Environment with Modeling