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December 12, 2012 / glennlim thots

Einstein – “I never teach my pupils…”

Image“I never teach my pupils…I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” – Albert Einstein

Great quote from a great teacher! In teaching or leading our team-mates, students or children, our tendency is to spoon-feed, sometimes even force-feed. Info-downloading seems to be the quickest way to transfer knowledge. But it is the least effective means of impartation. If we, however, pay more attention to the peripheral factors, learning becomes meaningful and readily accepted. I’m not just referring to the learner’s immediate environment, but other intangible and intrinsic factors – like purpose of learning, motivation, self-believe etc…all critical factors to ensure learning engagement.

This principle also applies to Leadership and Communication. In our efforts to ‘influence’ or ‘persuade’ another to see our point, one needs to ensure other factors are addressed before our hearers are receptive to our message. In effective communication, the perception of the messenger is more important than the message. Ask: Have I built enough rapport with hearers? What are their current emotional states, or receptivity levels? Have I checked my own presumptions about them? How do they perceive me? What must I do to break the ice?

This week, let’s remind ourselves not to be overly presumptuous when delivering a message, or leading a team, or teaching a class. First ‘provide the conditions’ in which they can receive, then only do you proceed to deliver the content.

To effective impartation!…Glenn Lim

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