This past summer I did my coastal skipper certification. My instructor was a cancer survivor, who had lived a full and, at times, wild life. He shared a story with me about taking his 60 tonnes certification course.
At the course there was a student that was always late. This drove him crazy, as the group was often waiting for the student. While the students were bothered, the instructor wasn’t phased.
Eventually, my pal asked, “how can you tolerate it?”
The instructor replied, “don’t you worry, the industry will sort it out.”
A similar lesson, different environment.
When my daughter is overtired and starts hollering at her friends, who are guests at our house.
Rather than yelling at my daughter, to get her to stop yelling, I go for a walk
Later, when the energy has gone out of the situation, I ask her what happened.
Knowing that I’m not keen on yelling… she drops into her justification for yelling, before I even mention raising her voice.
I let her talk herself out, fully.
I hold her in my arms and very gently say, “Sweetie, when we invite guests to our house we should be kind to them. It makes me sad when I hear you yelling at our guests.”
Again, I let her talk herself out, fully.
With her still in my arms, “Sweetie, you are right. Remember that you can be right and speak gently. I love you.”
When teaching, I try to remember that the relationship comes before the teaching.
- Let the energy leave the situation
- Let everyone express themselves fully
- Demonstrate the lesson via my own actions
For the important stuff, life has a way of teaching via the consequences of our behavior.
Another lesson is to have the courage to let others experience the consequences of their own behavior.
Life is a great teacher.