YouTube is fast becoming my first choice of viewing, ahead of television. And in particular, I enjoy the TED talks (Talks in Education), which first aired in 1984 under the slogan of ‘ideas worth spreading’. One of my all-time favourite TED talks is ‘Are schools killing creativity?’ by Ken Robinson. I’m not alone – this particular TED talk, from 2007, has been viewed over 18 million times. And you don’t have to be involved in education to enjoy this talk – give it a go, I promise you it will make an impact.
Robinson is one of those individuals who speaks with consummate ease in front of an audience. He seems to thrive on the audience’s reaction and clearly enjoys himself. He is funny and allows himself to wander off point in order to deliver an amusing anecdote and just when you think he’s lost the plot, he comes crashing back with a single specific point that makes you take note. You find yourself nodding in agreement as the impact of what he says hits home.
I like Robinson, not only because he is a great speaker, but also because he speaks about a subject that is close to my heart – that being the future of education. He points out that our education systems (not just in England, but around the world) are antiquated and remain fixated on the needs of a world emerging from the industrial revolution, as opposed to what the world needs now. He calls for less focus on the core subjects; less testing; and more time for the creative arts. More time for our children and young people to explore the world around them and to discover what they are good at; what they enjoy doing; and who they truly are. He reminds us that, ultimately, each one of us needs more time to discover how we can combine our talents with our passion, for only then can we be in our element.
What Robinson says makes sense. But who is going to put his advice and call for action into practice?
Well, me for one! It’s what I do as a coach. It’s what creates one of the pillars for my coaching philosophy. It’s what drives me. I know (with 100% certainty) that my clients have innate talents (everyone does). But some people don’t recognise their talents as talents. And they struggle. They are frustrated because they don’t think they are good enough. They can’t see what is right there in front of them. They are passionate, but they are lost and confused. They are talented, but they can’t find their sense of purpose. Coaching changes that.
As a coach, my job is to help create the space, and the moment, for the light bulb moment to happen – the insight that paves the way for the client to see life differently and to realise their talent and their passion can (and should) work together. That’s the moment when coaching unleashes potential.
Robinson, K. (2007) Do schools kill creativity? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY Accessed: 11th April 2020.
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