Weekly Practice No. 17
This week we are profiling Practice 186: Everyone Gets an “A” (from page 276 of my book).
Practice 186 is one of the dance steps in The Denouement’s FeedingForward.
Feeding Forward gives us the intelligence we need to learn from the past and the imitations of the future in order to reshape and create wisely in the present.
As the exam period draws to an end and summer hits full bloom it feels time to celebrate our resilience, resourcefulness and creativity – our capacity to consistently turn up, show up and have a go!
Practice 186 has been in inspired by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander who recommended giving an “A” to everyone as a possibility to people to grow into¹. When Ben – who is a Conductor – tested this with his orchestral students he found that teaching was easier and progress was quicker. The ‘A’ was not about comparison with others or an expectation to live up to, but a possibility for each student to grow into. As they write²:
When you give an ‘A’ (to anyone) you find yourself speaking not from a place of measuring how they stack up against your standards, but from a place of respect that gives then room to be themselves. Michelangelo is often quoted as saying inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only remove the excess to reveal it the work of art within. If we were to apply this to education (or to performance) it would be pointless to compare one person with another. Instead all the energy would be focused on chipping away at the stone, getting rid of whatever is in the way of each person’s developing skills, mastery and self-expression.
For this practice:
- Consider what getting consistent ‘A’s would mean for you and your clients.
- Consider how you might give consistent ‘A’s to yourself and your clients – and what this would mean for you and for them.
- Consider when you giving a grade other than an A to someone else might be appropriate and how you would deliver the news.
- Consider when you receiving a grade other than an A might be appropriate and how you might receive the news.
- Journal your reflections and commitments.
Have a go!
Start with small steps.
Please do share your stories so we can all learn together.
Join us on our “Reflect to Create!” Facebook page.
 Zander, R. & B. (2000) The Art of Possibility: Transforming Personal and Professional Life. New York, Penguin
 Zander, R. & B. (2000) The Art of Possibility: Transforming Personal and Professional Life. Pp 26. New York, Penguin