Be the best type of teacher

30th August 2016

Teaching is a critical part of your job.

From inducting new starters to upskilling your successor; from leading your team to leading change; from training groups to coaching individuals… The more successfully you teach, the more successful you’ll be.

Over the years, I’ve helped thousands of people teach better. And I’ve found there are broadly three types of teacher.

Which one are you?

#1 – Teacher

The first type is the Teacher. Their sole focus is the teaching event.

Like the Leader who does a one-off roadshow to explain her new strategy, ending with a summary slide – ‘This is everything I’ve just taught you’.

Or the Trainer who ends his workshop with a Happy Sheet focusing only on the workshop – ‘How would you rate the day? Did you enjoy the day? Was I great today?’

Sound familiar? I imagine so. It’s by far the biggest category.

#2 – Action Causer

The second one is the Action Causer. These people want their teaching to cause action.

For example, the Leader whose strategy presentation’s last slide says "Immediate next steps". Or the Trainer who ends the workshop with everyone completing their Action Plan.

#3 – Habit Changer

The third type is the Habit Changer. These people see their role as being to change people’s long-term behaviours. So they’re like Type #2’s Action Causers in that they want to cause actions. But they also want those actions to keep happening.

And they recognise that, since habits are long-term things, their colleagues will need long-term support to change them.

So, the roadshow/workshop will end with – and then be followed by – things like:

  • Action Plans
  • Templates for people to follow, so they always do it the new way
  • Accountability Sessions, where people share successes, learnings and challenges
  • Identifying in advance things that might cause people to revert, and pre-empting how to overcome them
  • When people adopt the new way, lots of reward and recognition
  • When people revert, immediate stepping-in to stop it
  • Peer review
  • Follow-up coaching
  • And so on

So my question again: of the three types, which are you?

Now a more important question: which would you like to be?

And if your answers to these two questions are different…

Action Point

… How will you change your habits so you change how you teach others? Some/all of: action plans, templates, Accountability Sessions…?

How about frequent reminders, to keep it front-of-mind. Like these…

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