Written by: Rachel Murdoch
As I sat at my computer plugging away, I received a text from my daughters care provider along with a picture. The picture was of my two-year old daughter and her friend sitting down to a warm bowl of Kraft mac n cheese. Adorable – this was their first official lunch date!
The care provider offered this caption along with a photo: “My daughter uses a fork with her mac n cheese. Your daughter uses a spoon. The girls are baffled by each other’s decision. Sorry for introducing this alternate worldview.”
This simple story from toddler land got my wheels turning and made me slow down and consider what I might be able to learn from the next generation though simple every day encounters such as this. After some careful consideration, here are my takeaways:
Lesson 1: Tool Selection
There are a lot of tools and resources available for the tasks in front of us. A lot of times I get stuck using the same tools over and over again. What other tools are out there and available? From forks and spoons to graphics and metrics, observing others and asking questions about their best tools may provide an opportunity to learn, grow and expand your toolkit.
QUESTION: How do you want to expand your toolkit?
SUGGESTION: Identify a few people in your network and inquire about the tools they use to accomplish the tasks you need to accomplish more efficiently.
Lesson 2: Broadening Perspectives
My perspective and worldview broadens when I take a posture of curiosity toward others and different ways of doing things. From the lunch table of toddlers to the conference table of executives, we must seek to be charmed by our friends and colleagues, open to learning from those we rub shoulders with every day.
QUESTION: In what ways/areas do you need a broadened perspective?
SUGGESTION: Initiate a conversation with someone who is very different from you and ask questions with the intention of seeking to learn and understand.
Lesson 3: Building Relationship
Relationship sits at the center of true and dynamic productivity. Working together. Sharing. Playing nicely. Communication. These are the basic toddler rules for having a fun play date! Conversely, Working against. Hoarding resources. Pushing. Poor communication. These are sure to end a play date and impair relationship in no time! From the sandbox to the executive suite, we must set building relationships at the center of our strategy for productivity and play.
QUESTION: What am I doing to build into the important relationships in my life and work?
SUGGESTION: Identify 2 key relationships that you want to improve and make a list of 3 things you can do to improve and strengthen the relationship.
In closing, this is what I know: Sometimes the most profound learning opportunities are waiting right in front you, its just a matter of taking a little bit more time to slow down, notice and reflect.
Rachel Murdoch is a Project Facilitator with Snow Consulting Services. She has extensive experience in Student Services, including housing and student compliance. She has worked nationally, and brings her professional network and vast expertise to Snow Consulting to represent the Program Focus area with our clients.