For most people there are likely a handful of nuggets of advice or wisdom they have picked up along the way that have stuck with them for one reason or another.
For me, one of those, was the observation someone I respect greatly once made that “the Difference Between Trauma and Education is Support”. It was said in reference to the Manager-Employee relationship in the workplace but it also has clear implications for the parent-child dynamic.
In thinking about its implications, I think what is meant by the statement is that when sending someone (either as a manager or a parent) into new territory, the outcome for the individual (trauma or education) is dependent on whether or not support is offered. Having this knowledge, therefore, has deep and far reaching implications in the chaos we do or do not leave behind as parents and managers.
As parents, we all want to avoid traumatizing our kids. As a manager, we (hopefully) want the same for the people that work for us (and ultimately, it is in our best interest in terms of employee productivity to do so). So what is the meant by the difference between ‘trauma’ and ‘education’? And what does ‘support’ look like?
Degree of Success in Transmitting Support is the Outcome Determinant
I think the different outcomes come into sharp focus with an example. Say your child is starting a new school. The observation would dictate that the outcome for the child—education or trauma—will turn entirely on our degree of success at communicating the presence of support to the child in getting thru the new experience. Importantly, for us as parents and/or managers, experiential outcomes—trauma or education—occur regardless of our level of involvement/awareness in the child’s/employees experience.
Awareness Leads to Support
All parents and managers want to avoid traumatic experiences for our children and/or employees. Knowing that the determinant of the outcome of new experiences is the presence of support means we can take steps to ensure the outcome of new experiences are positive rather than traumatic.
- About the Author
Nathan Safran is a former Analyst at Forrester Research where he covered the Digital Home. While at Forrester, Nathan authored research studies on trends, attitudes and behaviors of consumers toward technology adoption and use.
Nathan has been quoted as a subject matter expert in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fortune magazine. Currently, Nathan heads the Research Department at Conductor, Inc an SEO Technology Platform firm.
Nathan writes at exceljockey.com about the intersection of Business, Technology and Psychology. See the About page for more info. Follow Nathan on Twitter: @Nathan_Safran