Learning from legos

My son (age 5) is really getting into Legos.  While he can do the step-by-step building from instructions and understand the spatial dimensions, he mostly enjoys the ad hoc building.  He is at the stage where he continually builds machines, inventions, contraptions, and anything with a story and a purpose.  My best experiences lately with him have been when I can intentionally sit down and play with him.  As expected with interactions like this, I really learn a lot.

There is certainly creativity expressed and figuring out how to build physical objects to tell a story.  There is the patience by me and him when something is taking shape and when (not if) it breaks, putting it back together.  The most important thing though has been the face to face interaction.  Not only did I need to find the dedicated time with no interruptions, but I needed to be present in the listening and conversation throughout.  Because I get instant feedback (joys of children), I was continuously reminded what I needed to focus on and the impact it was having.  I asked lots of questions about “what does this do?” and “do you have more ideas?” to benefit from his little but powerful mind.

So, I challenge myself to do the same in a work environment and with adults.  The feelings are the same but the feedback may be less direct.  Face to face interaction, intentional conversation, and active listening are so important to the mutual building of quality relationships.

 

Pictured are several: “engagers”, control panels, “spotter-looker-guiders”, and a “switch-looker” with separate viewer screens

lego contraptions

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