If I were an executive creator director, I would require everyone on my team to spend a day with children in a learning environment. Pre-teens are your future bosses and customers, and they’re already influencing purchasing decisions made in the home. Understanding how they learn and how they interact with technology can open your eyes and make you better at what you do. On April 26, a classroom of fourth graders showed me how their creative growth comes from “finding flow” (or immersing yourself in activities that make you lose sense of time), collaborating with others, and finding your lesser strength (or challenging yourself to get better at a skill that makes you uncomfortable). I blogged about my experience on the iCrossing Great Finds blog. I hope you find a few moments to read what I learned and share your experiences, too. My Great Finds post is not the first time I’ve blogged about what kids have taught me. In 2008 on Superhype I discussed how kindergarteners taught me the importance of the journey and the power of pure joy. If you create anything for living or for personal joy — and I’m guessing almost every Superhype reader does — find time to be with kids. Volunteer your time at a school. Find a local institution that involves kids performing community service. Even if you don’t particularly like being around kids — or perhaps especially if you dislike being around kids — I guarantee you’ll walk away with an insight. Embrace the uncomfortable and learn.
For more on the lessons that kids can teach adults, check out this TED Talk from Adora Svitak.