Teaching, learning, coaching…

I enjoy public speaking, and lucky for me get to do quite a bit of it. While I enjoy it, I still get incredibly nervous before stepping on the podium, walking up to the stage, or just getting up in front of people. Indeed, public speaking is one of our top three fears (right after drowning and dying by fire!). At least I am not alone in my nervousness…

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to learn about effective public speaking by listening to Lance Courtney of easihairpro and Inspiring Champions. More specifically, he focused on how to be an effective trainer – how to effectively teach. To set the stage, he starts by reminding us that “the goal of any training is measurable transformation.”

While my head is still spinning from all of the content he delivered in the span of two days, two of the key takeaways for me were his approach to the steps of teaching and tips on providing (and receiving) feedback.

When teaching someone, I have always been taught the Coaching model of: tell them, show them, show them again, and then let them show you a better way. Similarly, the teaching method that Lance discussed revolves around “tell them, show them, let them.”

–       Tell them: This is the teaching moment. Explain the process you are trying to teach. Remember to always ask for permission to educate. (But always remember, “telling is not teaching.”)

–       Show them: This is the opportunity to role play, to pair up and demonstrate.

–       Let them: We all learn best by doing. Let them experience what you have to teach them. Either bring up volunteers to the center of the classroom to demonstrate, or pair everyone in the audience (this is called “pair share”) so that everyone can perform the task at hand.

The additional steps involved are observation, redirection, and praise.

–       Observation happens both from one student to the next, and from the trainer. Lance reminded us to make this responsibility very important. “Give feedback like you are making commission on the progress your partner will make,” he urges. Alternately, if one person is demonstrating in front of the class, “Give everyone observing a real job to do,” he continues. “Let them know they need to pay attention because they are going to be doing it next.” The doing and the observing are equally important.

–       When observing, if there is a need to correct, or more nicely put, “redirect,” always “ask for permission to coach or redirect,” Lance says. When redirecting, always use the Socratic method and ask the student what he / she is seeing. Don’t say “you are doing this wrong,” rather, get the student to reach his/her own conclusion about what could be done better, and why it matters (never forget the why). Give the student the opportunity to recognize what could be done better himself / herself.

–       Always include praise in redirection. The goal is to give feedback in a way that leaves the student bigger. Lance reminded us to “CCC”: compliment (something they are doing correctly), critique (involve the student to identify what can be done better), and compliment again (the process of the student doing the task at hand better).

Lance also reminded us that if we are on the receiving end of CCC (aka critique, redirection, coaching, feedback), there are only three things to say:

  1. Thank you.
  2. Tell me more.
  3. Can you please repeat that.

“Remember,” he adds, “it’s not failure, it’s just feedback.”