As a naturalist, you are trained to watch for “teachable moments“. You train your eye to look for the unexpected and then help others to see their landscape with fresh eyes. I was recently on a hike with my husband and was wildly enthusiastic about the view, the birds, the color of the sky, the crashing of the waves, and the sprouting green hills after a recent rain. I turned to my husband with a big smile and said “Isn’t it just amazing that we live in such a beautiful place!” He looked back at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Yes, and you have a sense of wonder for two”.
Socrates said “wonder is the beginning of wisdom”. Rachel Carson wrote A Sense of Wonder and gave us a simple guide to the power of discovery. As a child and then as a naturalist, I trained my eye to look with wonder. I now see that a sense of wonder is a key skill for teachers, parents, managers, coaches and trainers.
Wonder begins with walking around and looking for the unexpected. In the management world we call it MBWA (Management By Walking Around). The basic idea is to get up from your desk, walk around, check in on your team, engage in conversations and listen deeply. This can be an ideal opportunity to look at your office with fresh eyes, seek teachable moments, and increase your sense of wonder.
One of the challenges of walking around is that managers who are hard wired to fix things, often look for what is broken. The MBWA becomes an opportunity to tell people what they need to do differently. What if we considered Management by Sense of Wonder (MBSW)…where managers, parents, and community members walk around looking for wonder, success, engagement, energy and joy. What if we shifted our eyes to look for people thriving and flourishing as building a culture of a sense of wonder?
Take one walk around this week where you intentionally look for people in your office, family, community thriving. Notice it for people. Try having a Sense of Wonder for Two! What do you notice for yourself? for others? Where did you see something with fresh eyes this week?
Here is one more example of sense of wonder for two…On the night before the super moon, the San Francisco City Hall was glowing red in its holiday lights. The dome was capped with a bright, brilliant moon. In my “sense of wonder for two”, I stopped in my tracks, looked up and said to my husband…”WOW, look at the moon, it is sitting right on top of the dome!”
A sense of wonder for two is a continual journey.