Thursday, May 12, 2011

Not knowing what you're doing and looking dumb

This was my experience yesterday:

I was out in the world, reading a book about value-stream mapping (for fun.  Weird, huh?) and working on a map of programming here at the FC.

**Let me just get out of the way:  the map was terrible.  In pencil.  With scribbles all over it.  Not using the correct symbols.  And....I am pretty sure that it was incorrectly done from start to finish (as I don't actually know how to do value-stream mapping -- thus the need to read the book).  Plus...all the books I have read on this subject have talked about manufacturing usage -- not how you would put this into practice in a retail service environment like mine.**

Okay...  So I'm out in public and I have a couple of minutes to kill...I pull out my book and my unattractive map.  I am studying it and I off the sudden I have an Ah-ha! about how we do things here that I have never seen before -- and it is all because of my ugly, unattractive, and incorrectly-drawn (at least from the technical perspective) map. 

I am just digesting and in the process of adding more of my own squiggle marks on the map (in pen, which was a no-no according to the book), when a gentleman behind me (who had full view of my "art project") introduced himself as a Six Sigma Blackbelt (the Olympic Athlete of value-stream mapping).  

I just want to crawl under a rock! 

My novice attempts at understanding this subject have just been witnessed by someone who has the knowledge to see every mistake and inane usage of a tool that just gave me an epiphany.  The fact that he was nice enough not to comment on my horrible (but still insightful) map did not help me feel any less dumb.

But you know what?  No matter what novice ill-usage of the tool he saw, the map still provided insight to me -- which is what it's job it and what I was trying to accomplish. 

Just like all the "mistakes" and mis-usages of the Eating Scale or journalling that you might experience as you learn to use them.  When you start to talk to someone about how you are using the Hunger/Fullness scale, you might be worried that you're using it wrong -- you might not want to talk about mindfulness for fear of seeming dumb because you aren't comfortable with them yet.

The important thing about each of these tools is that they provide you with insights you wouldn't get in your normal course of eating.  It doesn't really matter if you're using them "correctly" -- it matters if you are learning about your actions. 

So keep up your practicing with the H/F scale and your journalling!  Any way that gives you insights into your behavior is the correct way to do it!

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