My son, Taylor, has been attending BTL practices for the past year. He’s been participating, learning a lot, and contributing positively with his presence and oftentimes with his ideas. Most teams have found him accretive or at worst neutral to practice. He sometimes just sits there and takes it in, but most of the time he is ready to go for depth instead of skimming the surface. He started attending in response to some of his struggles. I guess you could say he was looking for answers to some of life’s biggest questions.
He’s found plenty by studying the BTL team practice participants. Our time together has yielded fruit. He’s better for being beside me. He’s better for bringing an open mind. He’s better for being involved and being an active participant. And, he’s made me and BTL team practice better too.
Here’s but one example.
A few months ago, in the car between practices, he offered a suggestion. He set it up using my own language and even gift wrapped it in a question. “Dad,” he began rather innocently, “have you ever thought about changing the words when you ask people to write?” Glancing over at him, I could tell he had an idea in mind, so I asked him to tell me what he was thinking. I had no idea…
“Well, when you ask people to write what they’re learning, I think it puts a weird kinda pressure on them to write something that sounds good instead of writing whatever’s going on in their head. Why don’t you give it a word change and just ask them to write what they’re thinking instead.” So, just like that, another BTL word change came into being. Today, however many months later, some of the best practices have evolved out of this word change. It’s amazing what people write and then share when all they’ve been asked to do is capture whatever is top of mind, whatever it is that they’re thinking after some piece of content has been offered or some conversations been had. Tay’s thinking has made our practices better.
So, next time you hear me ask you to write what you’re thinking, you now know where it came from. It came from my son sharing his thinking with his leader. It came from my son sharing his thinking without fear of repercussions. It came from me listening to the thinking of my son. It came from us thinking of each other as peers instead of people in a one up or one down position. It came from peers simply trying to make the product just a little bit better. The best ideas come from people who think like peers and just want to make the product the best it can be. The best teams act like a team of peers.
What are you thinking that you’re still keeping to yourself, friend? Together we transform, but only if you think like Tay and let us know what you’re thinking, friend. Together we transform. Good…