The following excerpt comes from Mary Beth O’Neill’s Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart:

“When infants are on the verge of becoming toddlers and learning to walk, they have a ferocious driving for competence. Very little distracts them from the goal to walk. How many times have you seen babies endlessly work to get themselves up to stand, then take a step, tumble and fall, and then start the whole process over again!   It is downright inspiring if you think of toddlers as models for how to learn something new. Here is their approach, which of course, is subconscious:

  1. I must stand and walk.
  2. I will get myself upright no matter what it takes
  3. I take a step. The risk of failing does not deter me.
  4. I fall. Falling happens a lot.
  5. I get up and do it again.
  6. Falling is sometimes frustrating. I cry in frustration. Crying is like a rainstorm that passes through quickly and is gone. I am not embarrassed by my frustration or my tears.
  7. I have no negative judgments about falling. Falling is part of this magical thing called walking. I only know to do a continuous set of experiments, to try again. And again. And again. And again.
  8. I walked!  I took three full steps this time before falling. Yea! 
  9. Repeat steps 1 through 8.

We all did it this way.  It is time to access that early virtuoso learning methodology when it comes to increasing human interaction skills, in our every day lives or in our leadership role.”

As we learn to walk as a Creator through our life experience and learn and hone our capabilities as a Challenger and Coach, there are times we are going to “fall” (i.e. make mistakes and relapse into old patterns and roles). The key, like a toddler determined to master walking, is for us to get back up and, baby step by baby step, keep practicing until we find that TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) becomes the “new normal” for our walk through life.

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