Conducting the Learning Symphony

symphonyThe first violinist-conductor of a Johann Strauss concert literally leapt from his seat as the chamber orchestra performed the Champagne Waltz. It was if the composer himself was present–especially since this concert was occurring in the very hall where Strauss performed as a first-violinist-conductor. I was on holiday in Vienna. It made me think of the power of passion and spirit so important in performing the mentoring symphony.

Protégés are attracted to passionate mentors! Too often learners experience learning encounters as staid, bland tutoring sessions. When they get a mentor on fire with the excitement of learning, they are eager to join in the joyful adventure.

However, the very nature of passion can be unpredictable and untidy. The heart is more unruly than the head. And, “organization” can become the enemy of passion. While there must be a balance between enthusiasm and efficiency, the rational side of learning has always had the upper hand. Perhaps too many learners have restrictive memories of “school marms” or stern professors more interested in discipline and protocol than in fanning the flames of emerging wisdom.

Are logical relationships rendering your protégé apathetically automatic? If mechanical is winning over inventive and robotic is replacing zealous, then the excitement your protégé can adore and embrace is being blocked. Let your passion overflow its banks. And, unabashedly be willing to leap from your seat when participating with your protégé in the mystical and magical symphony of learning.


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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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