If you have ever had the opportunity to study psychology, you would know that one of the foundations of this magnificent study is about learning and the way we learn. And to be able to understand the evolution of the Brain & Mind in this, they normally start with studying babies.
There’s a fascinating small game that parents play with their infant child that is almost universally known as “PEEK-A-POO”. The parent (adult) hides his/her face from the child and then shows it again while saying the word “PEEK-A-Poooooo” (Where I come from, the word is “BAA’OOUSSI”); the look on the child’s face at that moment is priceless.
For those of us who are not too keen on this, the game is nice and brings positive vibes; it’s simply fun and easy to play with a child. In psychology, the explanation for that is simple; the infant’s brain at that stage of learning really thinks that the other person disappeared! Through time, the game will start becoming less interesting as the child develops the understanding of how it works.
Now moving on to another very nice thing about babies, when they start to walk or talk. Their first attempts are always the most important and most desired by their parents. It doesn’t have to be perfect; in fact, no one has ever expected a child’s first words to be “To be or not to be… That is the question”. Instead, they might start speaking in a very alienated form of speech until one day they say something that sounds like “DA DA”. Or like the day when the child tries to stand up by themselves and then falls down in a cute and adorable way.
Now, what would be the role of the parents at that stage? In simple terms:
Protecting > Encouraging > Motivating > Correcting > Raising the bar
(and then starting this all over again)
You see a baby saying “DA DA” differs from a 10- year-old saying that. Parents first provide a safe environment that allows the baby to innovate and to do whatever he/she likes, and then they give him/her the encouragement to do so, after that they give the baby cheerful motivation and correct any faults in the baby’s act. But soon after, the parents will no longer be impressed by that primitive acts and require more efforts from their baby.
This episode is about pointing out that each of us learns in a different way, but most importantly, each of us gets motivated in a different way. And therefore, by applying the simple rules of parenting, an employee can be encouraged to start learning something new, excel in their field and become innovative.
You will think that this tip is dedicated to managers, well you are right. But you are your own MANAGER and you need to start motivating yourself using those rules, and you will succeed.
Start small, encourage yourself to try, reward yourself for the small improvement, correct yourself, Raise the bar and then REPEAT.