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Preaching Isn’t Teaching!

When someone says, I don’t know, it’s often a knee-jerk reaction they’ve used since childhood to get themselves off the hook. If you want people to learn, teach them to think for themselves: to look it up, to take a stab, to form an opinion, to figure it out. It’s amazing what people know if you let them answer some questions. They’ll knee-jerk, I don’t know, expecting us to give them the answer.

What if we’d ask them: What would you have to do to be able to answer that question? Will you do that and get back to me? Now, they have to struggle a bit and in the struggle comes the learning. You must earn it to learn it.

I think we often confuse, I don’t know, as a good reason to show off our knowledge. We equate our preaching with teaching, taking responsibility off them onto us. I’ve learned that doesn’t work. The more effort they put in, the more learning they get out. More work, more gain. We call it the learning experience for good reason. Preaching isn’t teaching. You can’t have learned it, unless you’ve earned it!

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  • David says:

    Perfect! Co-workers, kids…maybe not my wife (best to just answer)…However, totally spot on. It is also a good reminder not to fall into that same trap, by being the, “I don’t know”.