“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin
Never has the above quote been so true than 9 weeks ago when my wife, Caroline, and I became very proud parents to our baby daughter Amelie.
In the weeks leading up to the birth so many people shared their experiences/hints/tips/old wives’ tales/etc. Attending the local NCT classes taught us some great practical skills…….right down to the marmite filled nappies on a doll – strangely I do still like marmite!!
Despite all the excellent input, nothing could quite prepare us for what was to follow. The overwhelming feeling of love for this new little person in your life, the crippling sleep deprivation, the enormity of being 100% responsible for your precious little baby and that feeling of panic of how will you know what to do. We needn’t have worried though as through the day to day hands on experiences of doing something you have never ever done before, making the odd mistake and then seeing the daily improvements that you make, our beautiful little girl is flourishing. The reward of Amelie’s smile and the general look of contentment on her face keeps you so motivated to continuously improve, which is a good job because I think as she grows we will never stop learning, eager to keep getting those rewarding smiles.
So is the above really any different to work, the boss who just tells you what to do or the course that you attend, after which you think you are an expert or fully experienced with the particular skills. It is only with strong day to day coaching or mentoring sessions, the hands on practice of your new skills, failing on the job and understanding why…..it is this experience that truly allows us to learn.
With lots more for us to learn in this wonderful role of being a parent, I keep the following in mind; “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young” – Henry Ford…… which, considering how I look after a sleepless night, is a good job!!!