Learning is Frustrating

Last week Jamie Flinchbaugh posted a blog entitled “If you’re not frustrated, the you’re not working on the right problem”.  I even posted a comment about it.

The timing of this post was perfect.  A couple of nights later, I was working with my daughter on some reading homework.  There was one section of work that completely frustrated her because she couldn’t get the right answer easily.  So far, almost everything in school has come naturally for her.  She picks up and she gets it.  So when she has trouble with something and can’t get it after the first try she gets very frustrated and upset.

That is when I realized, her limits are being stretched for the first time in a very long while.  What was important was re-enforcing that it was alright to make mistakes.  When mistakes are made, we learn from them and our limits/knowledge expand.  We were trying to show her the goal wasn’t perfection, but learning.

When I have been learning something that stretches my limits I know it can be frustrating, but once I get over that proverbial hump, I feel great about the learning that has occurred.  Because of going through that frustration, the learning is internalized better and I don’t forget it.

This is another cultural aspect of lean that can’t been seen as easily as 5S or visual management or quick changeovers.  But if you see people getting frustrated with problem solving and learning then you are probably learning about the things that will make your organization much stronger.

Posted on January 14, 2011, in Learning, Problem Solving and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good point. I like how you recognized the real issue wasn’t the work and decided to help your daughter through the newness of having to learn rather than just knowing.

    This concept definitely applies at home and at work. Thanks!

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