I was recently reading the book, “Brain Rules” by John Medina. In the book, Medina teaches us that in order for learning to take place we have to connect with those we teach. He gives several examples of how to do this, but one in particular stood out to me. This example is that we have a tendency to forget that the information we are sharing is NEW to those we are teaching.
This hit me like a brick when I began to realize as leaders, mentors, and teachers we take for granted the information we have accumulated and how long it took us to master it. I first reflected on this insight within myself. I realized that I often move very quickly when teaching and coaching new concepts to those I am working with. I have a tendency to just assume they “have it” and are ready to move on; often I do not want to “bore” them (or myself).
According to Medina our brains:
– can only process 10 minutes of information at a time and
– can only focus on one thing at a time.
He also provides proof that our brains
– do not pay attention to things we are not interested in
– are inspired by emotional arousal and it helps the brain to learn.
This book enhanced and brought validation to concerns I already had. I began developing ways that I can more consciously connect with my audience – even if it is an audience of one. I also began to think about the executives I work with and how frustrated they get when people do not “get it” like they do, do not “get it” quick enough, or make mistakes.
Here are some of the tools that I use to connect with my audience. I encourage other executives I work with to do the same. Hopefully they will help you too.