Who Is The True Teacher?

To be able to see things from the perspective of your children, a new staff member, or your customer, gives you a serious advantage over your peers and any competition! This article was going to be about the best things I have learnt from my tween daughter when I realised there is a wider opportunity and a much bigger story. 

Just a few of the things I have learnt, or re-learnt from my daughter Saskia are:

  • See the beauty of a daisy flower with a fresh appreciation.
  • Listen more.
  • Swearing lets me down.
  • The pleasure from simple things, like going for a swim.
  • How your self-talk influences your opportunities.
  • The value of not knowing you can’t.
  • How young enthusiasm is contagious.
  • How empowering it is to have someone depending on you.
  • Relationships and friendships are incredibly important to them.
  • Being able to rely on people and what they are told seems very important. 

We should all be learning from our kids, but we are also missing an incredible opportunity if we aren’t learning from everyone around us! The reason this is so incredibly important is that they have different perspectives of the world we are living in, and if we are open to it we can share what they see. A fresh new world not viewed through our scarred and damaged filters, may be a world with more beauty and hope than we can see?

Write down at least two things that you have learnt from your kids, a customer, or someone else in the last 24 hours. 

If you can, you are open to learning from your environment and are likely to have an inquisitive and engaging manner with the people around you. But if you can’t, you may find you are missing a rich and fertile source of helpful insights and learning. The very world we are living and doing business in is changing at an incredible pace, and you have to be open to new possibilities and motivated to keep changing. If you think you are there to teach your kids, or your staff at work or the soccer team you coach you would be partly right. But the problem is, if that is all you think, you will miss a much more superior teaching / learning opportunity for yourself. To transition to this new space you need a change of mindset, and rather than think that you are the teacher, consider it as leading the learning. This may seem subtle but it is significant and will help you to appreciate each person’s uniqueness in what they could teach you.

Sit down with your kids this coming weekend and ask them to show you what they have learnt in the last few days on their phone, ipad, computer, in fact just about any technology and you are bound to learn something new. It is good for them to experience that they can teach you new things, it will motivate them, but more importantly it builds emotional intelligence. When they learn to share what they know they are learning to collaborate and work together or work towards a common goal that will facilitate subtle changes in your relationship. 


Mark Collins