Teaching the Smart vs. the Stupid LO13427

Fri, 2 May 1997 09:00:18 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO13384 --

In a message dated 5/2/97 5:38:20 AM, Ben wrote:

>Working with people like this is a very draining experience. I give myself
>to them all day, and go home empty. And I do it day in and day out. I
>really hate my job. It's a chore to get up and go to work in the morning.
>It's not worth the money. I want to work with people who want to learn,
>who want to make a difference, who want to achieve something meaningful.
>Hence my question. . .


I related strongly to what you were saying and the frustrations you have
in this job. As a consultant, I too often run into similar experiences
with clients. I have to continually ask myself what is in the way for
them to engage in the work at the same level as I do. Where is their
passion for learning? I know it is draining work to have to deal with
that level of resistance all the time.

The thought that this triggered for me was how to access what they are
intrinsically motivated about. There doesn't seem to be an alignment
between what you want them to do and what they want, hence an ongoing
battle for you and the drain of energy you experience. How can you better
align their goals with yours? First, you might need to better understand
their goals. I once reconstructed the mood of frustration as follows: "I
want something very much (ambition), but the strategy I'm employing is not
getting me the result I want. So, I try harder. I realized there must be
something I am blind to. Second loop learning might be useful here for
me." Perhaps you need to look at second loop learning for you and see
what you might be blind to that could get you unstuck.

Akido also comes to mind here...shift from the *fight* to *flowing with
them* and then *them flowinng inquiry for me. As I understand it, you
must meet them where they are - their world of concerns and you must be an
offer to them! And, this is useful advice for me to write to myself! I
need a reminder when I'm in the trenches too.

Another thought is to focus your attention on opening possibilities for
them. They perhaps do not see the same possibilities you do. Intrinsic
motivation comes from seeing possibilities that matter to you. Energy is
created when people see a possibility they want and creates the motivation
to learn into. Can you start asking questions at a meta level to open new
worlds of wonder to them? I realize that the standard areas of motivation
like building a career are not working. Perhaps the inquiry for you is to
find out what motivates them really. If it's working only for the
weekend, ask them more about what they love about their weekend and see if
you can help create similar experiences at work during the week.

If you figure this one out, you will have a major breakthrough indeed! I
would like to be a study partner with you on this. This has been a strong
focus on inquiry for me, as a I said earlier. I brought a similar issue
up once very early on the LO list - revealing blindness in a way that
engages and excites people rather than creates more resistance and anger.
I will go back and find that thread and send you some relevant posts.

Best regards and good luck,

Margaret McIntyre



Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>