Teaching is More than Words and Information
We are all teachers. A six year old may show his little sister the ropes as she teaches him about patience. You may teach your parents about technology or show the neighborhood kids about boundaries they might not have at home. We teach our friends, co-workers, lovers, even our enemies may learn something from us.
It’s not usually your words that teach those around you, it’s your actions and how you make them feel. You can talk till you’re blue in the face but even a single word may not penetrate the mind of one who is resistant to you or your approach. You may be trying to make them see something they’re not ready to acknowledge, your worry for them might come off as controlling, they may resist just because they are frustrated.
Your words should not be designed to load them with information. Your words and actions should be an outer manifestation of the patience and compassion they need to feel from you in order to get past the fear and frustration.
Think about when you were in school. There were teachers who told you to read the lesson and take a test, then there were teachers who made it fun for you or gave you hands-on activities to show the lesson in a different context. Not only do people learn better when you involve them in this way, you’ve appealed to them in a manner that diffuses frustration and may lead them to find a real interest in the subject.
There are people who look up to you, in most of those cases your best bet is to lead by example rather than pushing your knowledge on them. If you are actively trying to teach someone something that frustrates them, take a break when necessary, seek out a way to simplify and bring a bit of fun into it. In any case, you’re patience, compassion, and willingness to try different approaches are the best teaching tools there are.