Unless it’s my weight, I love measuring things. Over the years of parenting, our home has been filled with sticker charts, graphs and containers to measure kids’ progress in everything—bed-making, piano-playing, even underwear-changing. (I need another blog for that one!)
Baby-Friendly USA recommends beginning data collection during the second of the 3 to 5 years it takes to earn the designation. Oh no, no, no. We started right away.
As much as I love and value data, my instinct has always been to focus on what cannot be measured. When a teacher teaches, each lesson needs a measurable objective. OK, fine. That’s true. “At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to list … describe … demonstrate … perform …” The objective has to be an observable action which can be measured. But I believe if the educator stops there, she’s missing the heart of the lesson.
Now clutch your chest and ask yourself, “What do I reeeeally want for my class … my patients … my kids …?” Most of the time the answer to this question is not measurable. Taking breastfeeding for example, my measurable goal for patients is exclusive breastfeeding, but my-clutch-my-chest-goal is that women will feel like this: “I am rock star mother, top of the earth; I’ve got this motherhood thing licked, glowing Wonder Woman, maker of milk, no one can beat me now!!!!!”
I can hear my critics saying, “Well that’s pretty fluffy and unattainable.” Yes it is! Heart, goals, drive, passion and most importantly connection. I think that’s what people really need, a heart connection—to know someone really cares for them and wants the best for them. No matter what your job description, people need you, and they need to know you clutch-your-chest-really-care.