"We've got it figured out."
Her center runs like a well-oiled machine. But I still cringed a little when I heard her statement. Why? because I recognize that tendency in myself. And when I have it figured out, I don't need to be curious anymore.
One of the most endearing - and, let's face it, annoying - things about young children is their constant stream of questions.
Mama, how small are the people in the radio?
How do I know that I’m real and not just a dream of someone else?
Are there more leaves in the world or blades of grass?
Hey dad, when are you gonna die?2
Question after question, we expressed our curiosity about the world as children. And we learned. As we got older, our questions changed. After reaching adulthood, we probably found ourselves in one of two positions: either (1) we were asking fewer questions, finding less and less to intrigue us in the world, or maybe (2) we found ourselves insatiably curious, channeling our desire to grow into asking better and better questions.
Whichever category we find ourselves in, as leaders, it's our job to be learners. And learners ask lots of questions. What can I do to encourage donors? How can we build stronger relationships with local churches? What assumptions do I make that are different than most clients? How can I learn from my co-laborers? Which questions should I ask about this challenge?
The good news is, if you aren't naturally inclined to ask questions, the more you practice, the better you'll get at it.
In the busyness of leadership, we sometimes push learning and growth aside so we can concentrate on our "to do" list. While this is sometimes necessary, if it becomes a habit, stagnation is around the corner.
To combat stagnation in your center, there are several strategies you can use.
Check out 5 suggested ways to build a culture of learning.
This post is adapted from content originally appearing on Care Net's private, affiliate-access website. Not an affiliate yet? Learn more.
1. Faculty Focus: Taking a Look at the Effective Life-Long Learning Inventory
2. 14 Questions Kids Ask, from TheMotherish.com
Eve Marie Barner Gleason is Care Net's Director of Center Services.