Promonoise -- Teach to be Taught

  • May 31, 2022

The best mentors and educators I’ve ever encountered all have one thing in common:

They never stop learning.

Now think back to the worst teacher you ever had in school. Were they engaging? Boring? Pedantic?

Teaching, at its core, is a two-way street in which there is an exchange of information or knowledge. Poor educators have either forgotten or simply don’t realize that teaching requires learning.

Even if you’re by yourself and researching how the heck cryptocurrency really works, not only are you learning, but you’re also teaching yourself. You’re teaching yourself how to search through the internet properly for information; how to stream through useful and not so useful articles, and even how to assimilate all of that information in your mind. In fact, it’s my contention that learning is the yin to teaching’s yang, and that the two are inseparable.

But as soon as you throw a student into the mix, teaching takes-on a whole new dimension. I can tell you, from experience, the more effective I get at teaching, the more I learn. This realization was a catalyst to a massive shift that has profoundly changed me.

Have you ever heard the old adage that if you want to master something, teach it? When you teach something because you’re passionate about sharing the material, it forces the educator to figure out the most elegant way of transmitting information in a way that’s easily digestible. Reducing a lesson to its most essential information is a skill that’s not only advantageous for the student -- but enlightening for the teacher as well.

How do we apply this lesson to the art of marketing or sales?

Instead of pitching, try teaching.

Know your product or your service so well that you can distill the essence of your offer to just a few key words. If you’re selling promotional t-shirts, what are you really selling? For the most part, you’re selling a message; not a fabric, not a price point, and probably not even a size. Gaining a knowledge of the message allows the seller a viewpoint that must be learned. And when you take the time to learn what your customers really want, you’ve become both the student and the teacher.

Some people shy away from becoming teachers because it conjures-up images of speaking to an audience. But, really, teaching is sharing. So if teaching isn’t your jam, why not see yourself as a purveyor (or sharer) of knowledge? It’s certainly been my experience that when you share, people are eager to reciprocate. This is precisely why the best teachers in the world never stop learning. It’s because they’ve created an information loop that’s fed by their students.

Though I’m proponent of lifelong learning through books, courses, mentors, and experience; try taking something you’re passionate about and sharing that with an audience. What you’ll realize is that your mind will organize the material in such a way that you’ll come to understand what you’re passionate about in an entirely different light. And what’s even more exciting is that as you observe the world through different lights, your conclusions begin to shift in unforeseen ways.

Thanks for reading this short blog. Every time I prepare a new one, I’m learning equally as much as I share.

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