Articles tagged with: meaning

Sep24

How to engage and create meaning

How to engage and create meaning

Last week I had the great experience of attending a three-day retreat run by some very capable and inspiring leaders. With a group of about 90 others in attendance we visited the site of what could arguably described as one of the key defining moments of Australian history – the rebellion at the Eureka stockade.  There were a number of causes for the rebellion, but the most significant was the tax regime (permits for mining) levied on the miners for the right to prospect for gold – and they had to pay the tax whether they found gold or not.  To cut a long story short the rebellion was led by an Irish man called Peter Lalor who mobilised the miners to resist police troops who were coming to evict them. In the melee that ensued about 20 miners and 9 police officers were killed. Thirteen of the miners including Peter Lalor were arrested and tried for treason, all were acquitted. Peter Lalor later went on to have a career in politics.

As mentioned above the retreat was run by some inspiring leaders who kept things interesting and well organised. They were year 3 and year 4 teachers and the 90 others were 9 and 10 year old children.  I was a parent helper.

One of the characteristics that these teachers have is the ability to create meaning for people. To use stories, in this case about historical events, to make the connection between everyday actions and the reason for those actions.  Children as you know always ask lots of questions, in business environments employees often have lots of questions but don’t ask them. The real art lies in the ability to engage your audience – this is a skill teachers have and it is a skill leaders need.