We’ve all encountered people who are sheepwalking. And if you’re being honest, you’ve probably done it yourself – I sure have. The sad truth is we’re taught to be sheepwalkers:
Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep?
And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless.
And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”). – Seth Godin
Because of this…
Most people coach the way that they were coached.
Most people teach to the test.
Most people use block practice.
Most people want it to be pretty.
Most people want it to be easy.
Most people are sheepwalking.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
A great way to avoid sheepwalking is to ask one simple question: why?
Why do we warm up this way?
Why do we do this drill every day?
Why do I praise my students this way?
Why do we spend so much time talking?
My challenge to you is to have a growth mindset and ask these questions. If you’re like me, you’ll find that there are better ways to do just about everything that you do. In fact, there is solid science that that shows us the way.