Caught or taught?
I was at my daughter’s school this week for parents’ evening and one of her teacher’s stands out as being exceptionally good at what he does. Undoubtedly a very good teacher i.e. the ‘taught’ bit however it also occurred to me that the way he speaks and behaves is ‘caught’ perhaps by the kids too.
He has a certain way about him when the children are getting a bit wayward shall we say (some might say challenging) however I don’t think I have once heard him raise his voice or shout at the children. This hasn’t been reported back either and it often does – stories about the ‘shouty’ teachers as they’re affectionately dubbed! There is certainly a sort of ‘inspiring mood’ in the room when he is teaching.
It got me thinking about a group I worked with last year who have a rather challenging boss, abrasive, somewhat insensitive and inconsistent to boot. Whilst this boss is remote, it occurred to me that some of these behaviours were being ‘caught’ even though the team in question, were focusing on ‘upping their game’ and behaving much more effectively as a team. Some of the behaviours we came across were around territories, responsibility and accountability, blame games – a number of which I believe were being ‘caught’ from on high.
Their development as a team and as individuals came from unpicking some of these less successful behaviours and finding a mechanism both as a group and as individuals that would help them stay true to their purpose. They have also identified the ‘taught’ and the ‘caught’ – not that we identified it as such at the time.
As a leader what are you teaching and what are people catching from you? It will be your brilliance as well as those little behaviours or habits that don’t serve us so well?
As a leader what did you teach someone today?
As a leader what did your people ‘catch’ from you? Inspiration, eloquence, calm under pressure or something altogether different?