Wednesday, December 14, 2016

To Teach is to Learn Twice and Develop Connections By Elaine Robbin Harris

 “To Teach is to Learn Twice” – an effective strategy for developing and sustaining viable and beneficial “Connections”

“To Teach is to Learn Twice” an 18th-century quote often used by educators can serve as an excellent strategy for developing “connections” that serve us well in situations or settings that require us to interact and/or work interdependently with others.

“Teach to Learn Twice” definitely has personal benefits.  When we teach something that we know to someone else we enhance our understanding. Preparing to teach a concept to someone else requires us to think about the concept or skill from a different perspective and provides a deeper understanding or a new application.

In addition to enhancing our understanding of a concept or skill, we establish a supportive, encouraging exchange with a colleague or associate.  This can lead to a “connection” which is described as a mutual feeling of being able to relate and engage in a positive and productive manner.  

When we have the knowledge or the “know how” and we take this approach we model, reinforce and support shared learning.  This strategy fosters respect for asking questions, seeking information and supporting the growth of others.  When we value and support learning in this manner it actually frees us to ask for and appreciate help when we need it. This approach demonstrates to others the impact of shared learning. This approach fosters “connections.”

“Connections” support vitality, creative energy and productivity within an organization.
Picture a workplace where colleagues help one another to understand new or difficult concepts, encourage questions and share information, The Gen X’ers and Millennials are teaching the Boomers how to use software and programs that may be foreign to them.  The Boomers are teaching the Gen X'ers and the Millennials how to apply models or strategies that the company has used for years.

This can have a major impact on collaboration for team building and joint action for problem solving.  This approach to “connecting” doesn’t just happen.  Someone has to be the catalyst.

Can you take the first step to make this approach a reality in your organization?  Pay it forward.  Offer to use your knowledge or experience to provide information, directions or support to a colleague. Encourage others to try this approach.  Then step back and become aware of the impact.

Learn more about Elaine via her website at and follow her on Twitter @elaineinnovates  

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