questions

A Post-Christmas Post

It's been a busy Christmas weekend. With an extra public holiday on Monday, I was able to spend more time with my friends than I otherwise would have.

Though we didn't exactly discuss New Year resolutions or next steps, having some casual time was very welcome, especially since we have been very busy over the past few months and only met up sporadically.

It seems that 2017 looks to be a year of great transition. Friends are getting married, doing up their newly-bought homes, planning the next phase of life.

It was a rainy Christmas Eve when I took the picture attached in this post. And it was on that day that I stumbled upon Valuetainment on YouTube, an entrepreneurship-themed channel headed by Patrick Bet-David, as I spent a lot of time over the weekend pondering my next steps.

I spent hours watching the content and found Patrick to be down-to-earth and straight-talking with his advice and knowledge. Truth be told, I wondered why I hadn't come across his channel sooner.

I sent the link to a few of my entrepreneurial-minded friends and continued to learn from the videos. One of Patrick's videos encouraged viewers to download and do a questionnaire on his website. When I looked at the questionnaire, I realised how in-depth it is and how it wants to bring past mindsets, hurts and fears to the surface. 

I have yet to do the questionnaire, but I will over the next few days. I hope to emerge with a better understanding of myself and be clearer in my plans for 2017. Once I'm through with it, I'll likely post an update on what I learned from it. Until then, stay tuned.

You may never see this post, Patrick, but thank you for putting up such great content, and for being so open and generous with your experience.

Rainy Christmas Eve

Top Three Questions Every Learner Wants Answered

I believe that in any teaching session, there are three questions on the minds of every learner present. If the teacher cannot answer them adequately, the learners will eventually lose interest.

1) Who are you?

If this is the first time the learners meet the teacher, they would want to know something about this person who is about to show/tell them a whole lot of stuff.

If this is not the first time, then the question becomes more like "what role are you going to be playing in this session?" - I will be getting to a discussion on roles in a future post.

The sub-questions that this leads to may include:

"What is your background?"

"What makes you an authority on this subject?"

"Are you an interesting person?" and so on.

Give an introduction of yourself if applicable (first-time meetings). Otherwise, if possible, reveal a part of you that your learners may not know exists. Keep it interesting. Showing who you are to your learners is an important part of building rapport. - I will talk about rapport in the future as well

2) What am I doing here?

Perhaps one of the more complex questions to answer, it is often beneficial to let the learners answer this themselves. How do we do this? Ask them!

Sometimes, you may get 'tough crowd' answers like "I'm here because I have to be." This is simply a sign that they are resistant and it is up to you to break this resistance, a topic for the future.

They want to know what to expect. They want to know what they are going to learn by listening/watching you. They want to know how to do something - a skill or some way to improve their lives. Tell them that!

3) How will this benefit me?

This fringes on doing a sales presentation - sell benefits, not features.

When you teach something, it has to have some benefit to the learner. It can be having the learner pass an examination so they can move on to the next phase of education (so they can eventually be out of the education system) or it can be helping them to break an old, bad habit by replacing it with a new, good one. 

Tell them the benefits of learning what you are teaching. Not everyone is going to be convinced right from the get-go but a convinced learner is a motivated learner and motivated learners are generally easier to work with.

Teachers, it is not always easy to see the benefits of everything but if you cannot see the benefits of teaching your subject, why are you still teaching it?