Teachable Moments

Everyday has its teachable moments, it is up to each person as an individual as to whether or not they choose to take advantage of those moments.

In education, it is expected that teachers and administrators are always providing those teachable moments for their students.  In the workplace it is expected that supervisors are always providing those teachable moments.  In sports, it is expected that coaches are providing those teachable moments.  Unfortunately, in all of these scenarios, those teachable moments do not always occur.

The question I pose is why are those teachable moments not acted upon.  There are a myriad of reasons as to why they don’t, in my opinion, but at the end of the day it comes down to WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).

I have had the privilege of being associated with individuals that thought less about the WIIFM, and more about the impact of not taking advantage of a teachable moment.  As a student, in retrospect, I learned the importance of creating a baseline for future learning.  As a youth sports coach, I learned the importance of setting a high bar, and to focus on fundamentals.  As a rising leader, I learned the importance of controlling what I could control, and not put as much effort into negativity in the workplace.  The important aspect of teachable moments is for leaders to be open to these moments, either as a learner or as a teacher.

If you expect excellence from those around you, you need to demonstrate what excellence looks like.  Take the moments, personally and professionally to not expect A+ efforts, but give people insight as to what A+ effort looks like.  What’s in it for you?  A stronger organization, a better way forward, buy in to the vision, commitment.

I saw a great teachable moment by a group of law enforcement officers having lunch together.  Two younger officers were giggling and making comments about a very overweight officer from another department.  The older officer that was with them told them to knock it off and presumably that their behavior was inappropriate.  You could tell that the older officer was very direct as the giggling ceased immediately.  This example is where an experienced professional took advantage of a teachable moment, and hopefully the younger officers will remember their experiences.

Take advantage of teachable moments every chance they arise.  You never know when one of these moments will be life changing for you.  I have had several of these and each one of these A-ha moments has been more valuable than the last

Have a great week!


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