“Rather than think your way into another way of acting
Act your way into another way of thinking”
Mary Gentile was the feature speaker at a Robins School of Business Speakers Series. She was addressing the importance of teaching ethics to students as they embark on a career in business. She has an impressive resume and a wealth of experience and yet she interacted with the audience as if she was a trusted confidante. Ms. Gentile’s epiphany, the moment that changed the direction of her teaching and life work, was the rephrasing of a question.
She no longer asks her students, “What is the right thing to do?” She confirms that her students are aware of the problems represented in the case study, she asks for some analysis but the important piece is the planning. “The right thing to do is known but what process would you implement to achieve it?”
Research has detailed that most employees know the right thing to do when confronted with a significant problem at the work place. Determining the process for reaching this end result feels untenable.
The HOW seems unreachable and leaves an employee feeling paralyzed.
Ms. Gentile had a hypothesis. Our muscles retain memory and react due to the physicality of practice. Instead of thinking your way through a situation might rehearsal provide the default behavior that illuminates the path to doing the right thing (picture heavens gates opening and a choir singing Halleluiah)?
This resonated with me as a teacher of young children.
|Sticky problems are best solved with time to represent and experience the consequences of all actions.|
|The best way to learn to climb a tree is to climb a tree. Words are sometimes overrated.|
|Using a variety of languages and media to |
process the ideas deepens the learning
It is not the answer but the process that will make the difference.
Rehearsal and practice promotes automaticity.
Shifting thinking occurs when the learner is engaged and experiencing dissonance.
Learning must occur in an environment encouraging risk taking and learning from mistakes.