A term I often hear applied to the slow progress of people who are learning how to use lean principles, practices and tools, is ‘baby steps’. I’m not a fan of the term – or the idea – of ‘baby steps’ – and here’s why. The people we’re coaching aren’t babies! They’re fully capable and responsible adults who have already mastered many skills. Expecting – and being satisfied – with slow progress is disrespectful, both for the learner and the coach! As coaches, we need to push our learners into the uncomfortable learning zone, and then help them to ‘keep stepping’ at a good pace so that they gain the confidence that only comes from practice and mastery.

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