Imagine the scene:
Four little girls, ranging in age 5 to 8, playing in the backyard with their dad.
They are giggling, jumping around and even jumping on the dad.
To keep them active he begins to play a game of hide-n-seek with them, but not the way you are thinking. It's like an Easter Egg hunt but with just one egg. The egg, in this case, is a small blue rubber ball.
At first, the dad has the girls close their eyes and he hides the ball in the back yard. On his command, the girls open their eyes and begin run, as only little girls can do, giggling and jumping, all over the back yard to find the ball.
There are no winners or losers, just a lot of fun.
The game evolves.
Now one little girl closes her eyes, the others get to see where Dad hides the ball. It's the job of the group to lead the one to the prize with their words.
At first, there is mass chaos. Lots of screaming, jumping and excitement. The job gets accomplished, the prize is found but it wasn’t an efficient process.
After a little coaching from the Dad, the process changed. The game and goal were the same. Here’s what he had them do: the girls were asked to watch where the ball was hidden and then one of them gave instructions to the game player. It worked just as much excitement, but less chaos.
Here is what they learned and what we all can learn:
- Communication is more efficient when no one is yelling.
- Communication is more effective when instructions come from one person.
- Tasks are accomplished when clear instructions and exceptions are communicated in advance.
Learning can happen every day if we are just observant and open to what is going on around us.
Thank you, James, for sharing the story.