I’m always looking for opportunities to teach. As a leader, I do my best to make sure that I include deliberate moments of teaching those I lead. I’m always teaching. Those I lead are learning from me. My interactions with people and decisions I’m making are lessons for the teams I lead.
To be effective as a leader, I need to keep an eye out for opportunities to intentionally teach something. I schedule interactions to impart knowledge and skills. I send weekly emails that keep certain goals in sight.
There are instances though, that can never be orchestrated. Opportunities for teaching values in speaking into organisational culture that just present themselves. As we go about our mission, there are moments that we never anticipated that become great opportunities to teach and learn.
I missed one of those great opportunities recently. Despite the fact I’m not likely to still have the intensity of the moment all is not lost. This is what I resolved to do, hopefully it is also helpful for you:
Call the team or the individual involved and backtrack. Debrief what you (and them) overlooked. That could prove a valuable exercise over and above the lesson.
Because you missed a moment to teach doesn’t mean learning still cannot happen. Backtrack. Ask questions.
Where possible recreate the scenario. Set up the triggers that caused the event and see if the team will notice anything. And there, go ahead and stimulate learning!
Leaders who don’t reflect are dangerous not only for themselves but their organisations. without reflection you are likely to move forward into the past. Make note of what you, as leader learned and the implications of the organisation.
Document what happened. Perhaps distill it into teaching content for the scheduled huddles.
You’re not perfect. Neither are you going to see every opportunity for a lesson. Don’t beat yourself up; move on. You’re not going to get everything right every time.
You cannot always do something about the past. It has passed, hence it’s called the past.
What else would you add to this list?