You want to make a difference. Your experience can help others. However, you don’t want to create little clones of yourself, you want to empower others to have their own experience and live into who God created them to be. Discerning the core principles from your own experience is the key to translating your experience to empower others.
Did you miss last week’s post, Translating Your Experience to Magnify Your Impact? You may want to start there.
Discerning the core principles from your own experience is the key to translating your experience to empower others. Click To Tweet
Start with the best parts
Before passing along anything, we should stop to reflect on its value to ensure we are passing along the right things… the best things. Take some time to reflect on your own experiences in the area in which you want to teach others. For instance, if you are a kindergarten teacher, what have you learned through that experience? Use questions like these to help you reflect:
- What do you enjoy doing?
- What seems to be making a difference?
- How have others encouraged you?
What makes it work
Once you identify the best parts, it’s time to sharpen those learnings. We often focus on methodology, which is certainly an important piece, but also dig deeper to discover the principles beneath your success. Let’s return to the example of the kindergarten teacher, who is skilled and experienced, and begin with a clear and simple goal: learning to read sight words (e.g. hat). She would make a plan for how to present the lesson, which might include visual aids, puppets, YouTube clips, practice exercises, etc.). Then she considers each of the areas below to improve the experience for members of her class.We often focus on methodology, which is certainly an important piece, but also dig deeper to discover the principles beneath your success. Click To Tweet
What that looks like:
- She takes into account different learning styles of the students in her class: visual, audio, and kinesthetic. How can she bring in as many sensory options as possible?
- She incorporates different styles: play activities vs. structure. For instance, they might all walk out with a paper showing their sight word, along with a picture.
- Set aside times for independent, self-chosen “work.” They can color hats or make little books about hats or play with real hats.
- The teacher is sure to leave some time for dialogue, so the students have a chance to engage verbally and share or explain their experience. For some kids, it’s not real until they verbalize it.
- She may also want to ask questions to check for understanding and accuracy.
- As an experienced teacher, she also knows that nothing will go according to plan, so she has a helper or para present to handle discipline issues and keep kids on track.
- Planning for maximum flexibility or extra time, the teacher also has a few back-up activities in reserve in case they are needed.
- She also looks for clues in the moment to see whether students are engaged, as that’s something that’s hard to predict. Possibly she can sense when they need more physical activity or a snack break.
- Finally, she breaks everything down into 15-minute increments to account for the attention span of 5-year-olds.
Consider all of this. What underlying principles do you see?
You may notice the need for flexibility, the need for short segments of time, the need for incorporating different learning styles. As you think back on your own experiences, verify what has worked well and consider the underlying principles that made that approach successful.
Obviously, when we are learning from others, we need to be ourselves. We can’t copy someone else’s style or duplicate their exact methodology. Direct comparisons are not generally helpful. But when you learn to look at the underlying principles, you can adapt them. As one of my favorite authors Peter Drucker said in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, “Innovation is not magical. It can be codified.” Look for the underlying principles needed for transferability.
So take some time to examine your own experiences and mine for the deeper principles at work. This first step creates the essential foundation for designing a process that can be successfully repeated by others, even in differing contexts.Innovation is not magical. It can be codified. —Peter Drucker, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Click To Tweet
Creativity and Innovation Resources– If identifying principles feels overwhelming to you, that’s okay! This is a different way of thinking and planning than you are used to. But you can learn! A great place to start is by identifying your strengths and areas for development in this area and the Creativity and Innovation Effectiveness Profile does just that! Once you have learned what you need to work on, the Creativity and Innovation Skill Builder helps you with targeted exercises to improve in those exact areas. If you are not a self-directed learner, ask your coach to walk your through the Creativity and Innovation Coaching Guide with Storyboard.