I ran across this poem recently for the first time in many years. I first read it in Scott Geller’s book The Psychology of Safety published in 1996. It’s bulletin board worthy for anyone who supervises, leads or coaches people.
The eye’s a better teacher and more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the ones who live their creeds.
For to see the good in action is what everyone needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run;
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true.
But I’d rather get my lesson by watching what you do.
For I may not understand you and the high advice you give.
There’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
Forrest H. Kirkpatrick