Don't Worry That I'm Not Listening. Worry That I'm watching Everything You Do?
This week’s tip works for leaders of all kinds, educators of all kinds, and of course parents. The reality is that this tip works for all of us.
Rober Fulghum, author of many wonderful books offers a quote in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten that is one of my favorites. “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” I like to modify it by saying, “Don’t worry that your _____ (fill in the blank, child, students, employees, etc.) never listen to you; worry that they watch everything that you do.” The lesson here is that the behaviors we model are much more important than the words we say. When I was a child I often heard adults say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” It didn’t cut it for me as a child and it doesn’t cut it for me as an adult. If we want people to learn a behavior we have to consistently model it. As a parent, educator, employer, and wilderness leader I have always tried to live up to that standard. Like all humans I haven’t been perfect but it is something I’ve striven for.
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Adapted from The Camper’s Guide to Outdoor Pursuits by Jack Drury and Eric Holmlund published in 2006 by Sagamore Publishing