Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Teachable Moment

This morning, I got my hair cut.   Like many people, this is something I do, at least every couple of months.  What is unusual about today, though, is that I have been thinking about the appointment ever since. 

Most of my posts on this blog will not be about my appearance -- but today that is what is on my mind. Why should reading about my head of hair be of any interest to you? Bear with me - this anecdote is actually about more than just my tresses.

My hair style has been one long length, for most of my life - with rare phases of perms, bangs, and varying lengths.  I've been told I'm blessed with "good" hair, but I've always been sadly lacking in patience or skill to do much with it. 

Today I explained to my new stylist, Christy, my desire for a change. I cautioned her that the only required maintenance had to be "wash and wear."  She listened carefully, then cut some layers (chin length) in the front, and kept most of the length.  I can do as little to it as I like, but for optimal volume and shape she recommended that I keep trying to learn to use a round brush when I style it. 

I have heard this advice before.  I have tried to apply this advice before - with a total lack of success.  Today though, Christy informed me of the best brush to use (a large round brush with boar bristles), and suggested using a funnel-like "cone" on the end of my blow-dryer.  Like other stylists in my past, she demonstrated the technique as she finished drying my hair.

I was trying to watch closely in the mirror, when suddenly the blow-dryer disappeared from view.  I looked towards her, and realized she was holding it and the brush out for me to take.  She wanted me to try for myself! 

Wow!  This was a first.  Sympathetic stylists over the years have provided instructions, but never has anyone understood that I really needed to be shown what I've been doing wrong! I was immediately self-conscious, and my efforts were indeed laughable, but at the same time I was so grateful.  I probably won't ever be able to make my hair look as good as it did this morning, and I  may still not have the patience to perfect the styling technique, but I certainly understand it better now.
My hairstyle before this morning

There is an expression "the teachable moment." I believe it involves recognizing when a situation presents an opportunity for learning, a good assessment of the learner, and then a creative attempt to teach something.   Christy, in a flash of inspiration, recognized such a moment when she saw it, and handed me the styling tools.  It doesn't really matter if I ever learn to style my hair (although that would be nice!) - but when someone like a teacher, a nurse or a coach makes use of a teachable moment, the payoffs can be huge.

My new layered look

I don't think "selfie photos" are very flattering, do you?!  My eyes seem to be looking in the wrong direction  - and here I even took a photo of my thumb!

Even if you have never used a round brush, I hope reading this has inspired you to seek out and make use of teachable moments, whenever you have the opportunity to be either the teacher or the learner.


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