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Karin’s daily blog posts will help you to develop mental strength and a more constructive thought process.

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 In Manufacture Your Day

Manufacturing Training Spoon-Feeding Alert

Someone has to say it, so it may as well be me.

Please stop “spoon-feeding” the people around you. It looks like this has become a North American disease. #dysfuncionalbehaviour

It’s Wednesday and it’s time for “Manufacturing Leadership Minute” with Karin.

This is an older video because after 9 years it is still very relevant today:

Spoon-Feeding Alert

The definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

  • to feed (someone) with a spoon

  • to give someone information in a way that requires or allows no further thinking or effort

How is it possible that I meet smart people on a daily basis who don’t even scratch the surface of reaching their full potential?

People are hired into certain positions – even Management Positions – and they get told what to think, what to do and how to do it.

The brain is like a muscle. If you never use it, you lose it. 

Let me describe precisely what happens when this destructive “spoon-feeding” behaviour is part of the management style. This means that codependency is encouraged and people won’t move as long as you don’t tell them to move. Once dysfunction sets into a business culture, it becomes very difficult to excel.

“Spoon-feeding” makes people stupid, lazy, unworthy and insecure. They don’t feel enough (good enough, smart enough, worthy enough). They don’t feel that they have a voice. 

How sad is that?

A few years ago I used to teach communication in the manufacturing program at a local college. My students learned pretty quickly that I would not deliver answers that they could figure out themselves. Questions such as, “Miss, how can I take a screen shot?” were answered with another question, “What do you think how you could figure this out?”  After a little while I heard, “I could google it.” Bravo. Problem solved.

It is as simple as that.

Here are a few tips that will work in your favour: 

  • Play stupid – when they ask a question simply say, “I am not sure, you are the expert, what do you think / what would you do?”
  • Stop being the smartest person in the room and become curious about different ways of doing things
  • See more in your team members than they can see in themselves – what you can see, that’s what they will be 
  • Trust your team members and allow them to make mistakes
  • Be interested rather than interesting
  • Start teaching people “how” to think rather than “what” to think
  • Get out of the way and allow people to figure things out on their own
  • You can offer people your support but this doesn’t mean that you should do their job

If people know that every time they come to you, they will get an answer or even the solution to a problem, it encourages laziness. It may be simpler and faster if you do it for them, but they won’t learn and they won’t grow.

It’s about time to get rid of that spoon. Agreed? 


Food for Thought:

Are you guilty of spoon-feeding your team members?

Please read the following article:

7 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

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Covid-19: Times of Uncertainty

Please take the opportunity to request more information in the link below:

Manufacturing Leadership Retreat in Austria this Fall 

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