There’s a story I heard recently about a seven-year-old girl who could not sit still in school. The little girl continually gets up, gets distracted, and doesn’t follow lessons in school. Her teachers scold her, reward her the few times she pays attention, but nothing changes.
When she arrives home, she gets punished from her mother because the school called the mother. Further, her mother is called into the school to meet with the teachers. The teachers think the child has an illness or needs medication.
During the meeting with the mother, child and teachers, an old teacher arrives who knows the little girl. He asks the teachers and mother to follow him into an adjoining room but where the child can still be seen. Before leaving the child in the room, the old teacher turns on the radio leaving the little girl with music playing in the background.
As the old teacher leaves the room, the little girl gets up and moves up and down dancing to the music. The old teacher smiles as the mother and other teachers look at him in confusion. The old teacher then speaks up and says, “See? She is not sick, she is a dancer!”
The old teacher recommends the mother enroll the child in dance class and encourages the other teachers to allow the child to dance during breaks. When the child returns home after her first dance class, she tells her mother, “Everyone is like me!”
Who is this child?
The late Gillian Lynne, an internationally-recognized dancer and choreographer of the musical “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera.” While there are different versions of the story, it’s important to understand what was underneath her behavior.
From a human wiring perspective, I would bet this child was naturally wired lower on the patience scale. She was simply not wired to sit for long periods of time and listen to information all day. It’s draining for her. When she could dance, she was able to tap into that wiring and get it met.
When a client said to me recently that she thought she had Asperger’s all her life because of the communication disconnects with others, I looked at her human wiring report. She had an all-task, very direct communication pattern. With some added tools in how to deliver communication, she was able to better connect and frame her responses so that she could communicate successfully with others.
The Lesson: Hold Your Judgment
Let these stories be a lesson for all leaders: Hold your judgment. Instead of judging what’s wrong with someone, tap into the natural talents and wiring of a person. Imagine what creative ideas could be born out of understanding their natural wiring.
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