People are who they are

It is now two years since my partner and I got our daughter, a skinny and cuddly girl who likes to swim. She has taught me a lot about how people actually work. I have realized that she is who people are most. The advantage of spending time with a two-year-old is that she completely lacks social inhibitions - all the usual human needs and reactions are thrown right out. It's liberating. Including. For example, through my daughter I have seen how:

-We learn new things by trying what we already know. For example, a child learns to roll on a flat surface. With that knowledge, the child then examines the nature of the inclined substrate by rolling in the way they know. Of course, this will be a problem, but eventually the child has learned how the law of gravity works. In the same way, we discover adult new aspects of the world by starting from what we already know.

-The message sent is interpreted by the recipient's perception of reality. When a child is trying to learn to fall asleep by himself, it screams. By raising and comforting the child, the parent wants to send the signal: "do not be afraid, we are always here" but the child reinterprets the message based on their experiences to: "Ojojoj, are you here all by yourself !? Poor child!". The risk is that the child experiences even more betrayal when the parent then shuts down the child and leaves again. Similarly, we also reinterpret adult messages according to our perception of reality. There is no absolute truth and there are no clear messages.

-The abilities we train and develop are driven by our motivation and our interests. Seen throughout childhood, all children develop equal abilities. But during the first years there are big differences between different children. Those who like to jump learn quickly to jump. Those who like to talk learn to talk faster, etc. It is a lot of positive spirals that determine. What you care about you want to train and be good at. In the same way, for us adults, it is our motivation that controls what abilities we develop to perfection. Therefore, the same person can be perceived as incapable of their work while at the same time developing relevant, for example, world-unique open source applications in their spare time.

-To develop people requires patience. If you constantly "rattle the mane" for your children - help them stand, help them up on the chair they climb on, sleep with them, etc. - you limit the conditions for their development. No challenges, no development. In the same way, it is very important that we as managers and leaders challenge our employees, give them responsibility, ask questions that require them to think and analyze themselves, give time to let them learn for themselves, and so on. If we want independent employees who can make their own well-informed decisions, we cannot deprive them of the opportunity to develop that ability. It's an investment.

-Development and change in the child also requires the attention and encouragement of adults. We know that we need to get involved, find creative ways to motivate the child and be rigorous in the signals we send. If we want the child to have a bicycle helmet, it will be educationally more difficult if we do not have a bicycle helmet ourselves, we want the child to clean up after himself, we must show how fun it can be to clean and how nice it will be when it is ready - and not they themselves needlessly scrape down or not to say about cleaning because we can't cope right then. We cannot choose which signals the child receives - they take care of all the signals, even those that are missing. Attention, creativity and rigor are the way forward as well when we want to develop and influence our employees. If this is a perspective we want to influence, we cannot raise it at one time and then hope that a change will come about. We must take every opportunity to show how the perspective affects how we think, act, prioritize, etc. Whether it is in the lunch room or in the elevator on the way from the office. And don't forget: If the boss has red socks, the employees will have it too.

Of course, I do not mean that we should treat our adult fellow human beings as children. But by looking at children and socializing with them, we can easily learn more about our most basic human traits. These we must learn to live with even as adults.

Finally, take off the socks (whatever color they now have) and enjoy a nice vacation! In August it will be great to see you back at work!