I was at my son’s school last night for a parent education evening. It’s amazing what you learn at school! Alexander goes to Montessori school which has a different approach to early childhood education. Hence needing to have parent education nights.
Maria Montessori, the founder of the Montessori school system, believed that education wasn’t just for school but that it should be carried on at home as well. To make the method really succeed it’s important that parents and teachers work together pulling in the same, rather than in opposing directions. Famous alumni of Montessori include Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
The theme for yesterday was independence. What makes an independent child? It came down to being able to do something on their own from start to finish. Anyone with small children will know just how frustrating it can be, not to mention slow, messy and inconvenient, for a child to learn a new skill. Just think about pouring milk into a cereal bowl. I have this image of an upended four litre carton of milk, an overflowing cereal bowl and a huge mess to clean up all before getting to work on time.
Now translate this into the workplace. You run your own business but you’re not a professional salesperson.
Your milk and cereal bowl is making sales calls to potential leads. Are you going to get it right first time?
More by luck than judgement.
When you don’t get it right the immediate reaction is that you are doing something wrong. No one likes to do something that is wrong, so we stop doing it and say it doesn’t work.
Maria Montessori would say to the child that spills the milk “You’re not doing anything wrong. You just need more practice.” How often do we say that to ourselves when we’re running a business? Almost never. We have this illusion that we should be able to do everything perfectly and are masters of our own destiny.
So next time you are trying something new and it doesn’t work out exactly as you planned, just remember you didn’t get it wrong, you just need more practice.