Teaching Is Experiential Learning

Knowledge is a fickle beast.  In order to have knowledge we must actively seek it.  In order to be able to seek it, it must be made readily available without hindrance.

At work I am learning a new position and part of the learning process has involved seeking information and knowledge as well as relying on my ‘in-the-know’ colleagues to dispense it and teach me.

As gatekeepers of information – at work, at home, in our relationships – we consistently maintain an opportunity to either share the information or hoard the information and do things ourselves.  I’ve observed that on a given day I am more likely to complain about how hectic my schedule is – choosing to do things on my own – than I am to rely on those who are able to support me but need a little bit of training.  Maybe you’re like me and you rationalize that “things will take longer when I have to teach others than if I were to do it on my own”.

The instant reaction in today’s overly stretched and multi-tasked world is to forgo the human interaction of sharing knowledge with others, at least in the capacity that we actually impart experiential knowledge.  It’s easy for me to type up instructions and say “here, try this” but I’ve learned while on the other side is that it’s completely other experience for someone to say “here, let me show you first before I expect you to be able to do it on your own”.

The experiential part of teaching others should never be withheld for the sake of our own time management.  Next time you have an opportunity to teach someone, take a moment to actually teach rather than simply doing.  Get them started on the experience than handing a set of directions.

Trust me, for the five extra minutes it takes you, the world won’t end on Facebook.  And, if it does, then thankfully you’re cultivating you’re real world face book.