Instinct, talent and experience are not enough: to negotiate as well as to innovate you need a method.
Method: oh no!
Many people don’t like the word method. It recalls the concepts of fixity, homologation, determinism. If we then add the Italian propensity to improvisation, the method finds an even less warm welcome.
Yet, above all the talented, who thanks to this expresses excellence, is no stranger to a great job on himself to acquire method and prevent his talent from running out in extemporaneousness.
A method has many advantages, I mention three for the sake of synthesis: awareness, control, time saving.
1. Awareness: a ridiculous experience
When my daughter decided to take her license, I offered to teach her to drive, thanks to my long years of experience.
Scene: Sunday morning, parking of a shopping center, 7 am. We got into the car, my daughter in the driver’s seat and I side by side in my role as instructor.
I started giving her instructions. My daughter looked at me perplexed and soon her perplexity turned into hesitation, up to a displaced bewilderment.
She could not put into practice what I said, I was incomprehensible and confused to her.
We exhausted each other. He asked me with evident sarcasm where I had stolen my license! Nice result for just ten minutes of lessons!
She felt frustrated in her role as a learner and I in my role as a teacher. We paid for a driving school and in a few lessons it ended.
It was she who enlightened me in saying “Don’t get offended you know, but the driving school boy – boy?!? That is, younger than me and with less experience … here is the first trip to the detriment of my authority! – was able to explain a few things to me in a simple and orderly way. In short, unlike you, with method “.
She was right: methodically.
I know how to drive, but I have been doing it for many years and now mine is an unconscious form of knowledge: I do, but I cannot say how. I get in the car and, thanks to an automation, I act accordingly, without thinking too much about how: I just do it.
Not having awareness has various harmful effects. With my daughter, she made me lose authority, time and money, having obviously had to pay for driving school.
Furthermore, without a method I cannot improve, because I have no objective parameters in the light of which to reread my actions. If I limit myself to evaluating the success of my driving just for not having made accidents, I’m wrong.
It’s not just what you get, but how you get it that makes a difference.
If I left to go from Milan to Rome by car and I got there in 5 hours I could be satisfied, but I would be even more satisfied if I arrived consuming half of the petrol, tires and brake pads and without a cervical attack for the tension.
Last but not least: the awareness that a method gives us is a tool to activate not only personal growth, but of those for whom, as a manager, you have responsibility.
Doing something well does not mean being able to pass it on to others.
It will have happened to everyone to have had teachers who are profound connoisseurs of their subject, but little able to pass it on to us students.
There are excellent ex-players hired as coaches: but the two do not always go hand in hand.
2. Control: a navigator to manage emotions
I don’t say you should always have control over everything, or eliminate the emotion, but we cannot always be prey to it; we must target it best with the right tools.
Who among us feels the need for a navigator to go the same way every day from home to office and vice versa? I think nobody.
If one day something distracted us from the usual journey and forced us to leave our comfort zone, making us lose all reference, at that point having a navigator would not be useful? I think so, at least to allow us not to delay beyond the arrival at the destination.
Many factors can make us lose the way and a method can be, without pretension of exhaustiveness, a valid support to maintain lucidity and control.
3. Time: flies and we are the pilots
I read this sentence, but I don’t know whose it is. I like very much. One method helps to manage time in the best possible way, we always complain about the scarcity of time.
If every time I prepare dinner I had to reinvent my recipes it would be an improbable undertaking, at least for me!
This does not take away from creativity: if one evening I had more time and wanted to enrich or change them I could always do it and allow myself to make mistakes. Badly I have a recipe and a method to go back to.
A method is refined and evolved thanks to experience and so on in the infinite cycle of life, where every moment can offer an opportunity to be aware of our limits and their overcoming to grow.
I close with three questions to continue the reflection:
Problems generate problems, and the lack of method of solving them generates even more problems
– Philip B. Crosby –