Ever feel like you are constantly measured?
While it probably happens earlier, I think the wagon of measurement gets wheels in school. When kids are young and they tie their shoes or potty in the right place at the right time, it’s easy to see the accomplishment. But something suddenly changes, accomplishment has to be measured. Against a backdrop of helping a person grow into all they can be, measurement is a useful tool. However, it easily get’s off the track. The State of Indiana’s educational measurements (Mandatory Poorly Managed Standardization Tests) falls in that category for me, but it’s far bigger than that. Attend a kid’s extracurricular and shortly you will observe measurement of how valuable they are when calls are made, starters are picked, when placement is set – and you’ll also observe heated disagreement of measurements. To some people, that’s a measurement of ability and good competitive growth, to a growing number of kids it speaks directly to their value overall. It ain’t always “good for ‘em”. There is a huge countermeasure called “encouragement” that can really help.
Travel from Elementary, to Middle School (speaking of measurement, who’s idea was that?), High School, College and/or Military, Family, and Career. It’s a series of measurements. Some measurements are good and necessary, but our much of our society seems not to recognize the difference between accomplishment and individual value. Overall, a lot more could be made of encouraging folks of any age or background to use their strengths than is made of measuring. While there are a few exceptions, and they are few, I’ve found that seeking someone’s potential will produce a lot of fruit in many ways.
I’m enjoying the journey I’m now taking in Project Management. I enjoy going to work. A significant part of Project Management is about measurement on several levels. However, the best part to me is journeying with a team to seek, see and pursue potential. When you stir in encouragement, you’ll see it pretty quickly start to grow.
The idea of looking beyond the exterior to a person’s potential isn’t new. It’s quite ancient. Barnabas did that for Saul in the New Testament Book of Acts, chapter 9. Why not put potential seeking in line ahead of measurement of others today? Buckle up… cool things will happen.