The Best Way to Learn is By Teaching Others

Yup, it’s that time of year again. Kids are heading back to school, the mornings are getting cooler, and the leaves in Vermont are changing. Winter is coming.

If you can imagine, I never really liked school. Sitting still all day. Conforming to someone else’s ideas and way of thinking. Following rules. Not exactly my cup of tea.  I didn’t always complete my homework and struggled throughout high school, barely getting into the University of Vermont’s guaranteed admission program. But the funny thing is, now, without the structure and imposed learning (algebra? iambic pentameter? really?), I am a voracious reader, a life-long learner, and I love teaching others!

In fact, over the years, I have made it my mission to teach, train, coach, and consult as many people as possible. It is an honor and a privilege to pour into others, but let me let you in on a little secret – I’m really doing all of this teaching for myself.

learn and teachYou see, the best way to learn is by teaching others. When I learn a new concept or read about a new leadership technique, the first thing I do is go teach it to someone on my team, write about it in my blog, talk about it on my radio show, or share it with my wife. This enables me to not only share what I do know, but helps me understand what I do not know. And then I can go back and either study the concept more or dive deeper into the particular subject and fill the gaps in my knowledge. I encourage you all to do the same!

Let’s take this a step further. When you are at a training event or watching a webinar or even a random YouTube video, listen with the intent that you will be teaching what you learn to someone else. It completely changes the way you absorb the information. You will be more focused and you will process the information better. I encourage my team members to teach as much as they can too, whether that is leading a book club, teaching a class at our company, or taking on coaching clients of their own. The best way for my team to get better is by teaching others.

Teachers are leaders. When you teach you’re creating this virtuous cycle of reading, learning, teaching, growing, reading, learning, teaching, growing. Have you ever noticed that the more successful people get and the more money they make, they start to share their success secrets? When you’ve reached a certain level of success and you’re living in work-life harmony, you just want to share that with the world so that others can achieve success that much faster. I truly believe that the secret to living is giving, and what better way to ensure the evolution of the human race, than by sharing your knowledge?

Here’s my challenge to you: The next book  you read, the next class you take, within 48 hours, go teach the main concepts to someone else. Not sure where to teach or who to teach to? Shoot a quick YouTube video or go live on Instagram Stories and share what you learned to the world! Hashtag it #herglife and let’s keep the conversation going!

 

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