How to teach or influence
Following up yesterday’s post, “How lecturing is the opposite of how we learn,” on the counterproductivity of lecturing…
What does it mean to teach someone? It seems to me something like you want someone to see things the way you do—to believe what you believe. The dictionary says it means to impart knowledge, not just facts. It’s similar to influencing someone.
If you want someone to see things the way you do, they have to have experiences like yours. Giving them facts doesn’t change their minds. Using logic to get them to conclude what you do doesn’t work if they don’t agree with your premises.
If you want to teach or influence someone to conclude what you learned through experience, you have to give them experiences.
I cringe when I hear someone say they want to convince someone of something. Convincing means you want to prove them wrong, which means you’re going to start a debate with them. What experience are you creating? A logical debate. They’re learning to disagree with you as much as anything else.
How do you give someone experience instead of giving them facts? You have to think about how you learned what you learned, then how to motivate them to participate in a similar experience.
Teaching and influencing is a lot more about understanding them and their motivations than about the content of what you want to teach or influence.
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