Getting the head nod of understanding

My former co-worker is an amazing artist. For him it is the ultimate form of human expression. He is skilled at teaching others how to draw, and enjoys nothing more than sharing his passion with others.

Well, then there’s me. I don’t draw. I’ve never really considered myself artistic in that way, and it’s not something I’m motivated to try to learn.

Over the course of our years working together, he attended a few of my improv classes, and I received a lesson from him in drawing.

He appreciated the class, but wasn’t interested in furthering his learning. I had the same response to learning his art form.

The lesson is – not everyone will feel as passionately about what you want to teach them. You may believe you have something to offer that can change the world – if only people will give it a try.

So what to do?

Meet them where they are.  Speak their language. Build up your empathy muscle. What motivates and inspires the people you teach? If it’s not Improv – what is it? Understand that people learn at their own pace, respect the differences and do your best to find a commonality.

Pull instead of push. Let learners come to you at their own pace. The “head nod” of understanding is a powerful thing – and it can come while sitting on the sidelines.

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