Learning is a 2-way street.
Most people don’t realize there’s more to learning than sitting and listening to someone else yack endlessly about a subject. They don’t think about the fact that unless they are discussing the information themselves, asking questions and even passing on the information to someone else, they’re not learning. They’re just listening.
Listening is not learning.
No one knows what’s in your head until you tell them. Teachers are always amazed when they don’t get questions. 5% of the time it’s because people understand. 95% is because people were day dreaming, and it sailed in one ear and out the other with no intention of ever doing anything with the information. If you’re in school with a boring teacher, you’re forced to put up with it. But in the rest of your life, either pay attention and get something you can use, or get up and leave. Don’t waste your time.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” —Benjamin Franklin
Too many people don’t realize they’re actually supposed to participate.
I recently heard of a company that had a year-long interesting exercise in non-communication at the highest levels in the company. They were making a huge change that would impact everyone. Their home office wanted to hear from the field, and the field wanted their voices heard. So, over a 10 month period, groups from 10-40 were flown in for day-long consulting sessions.
You’d think this would have actually accomplished something, right? Well, a little was accomplished, but basically here’s how it wound up: The people at the home office said “We never hear any new ideas from the field. They just seem to be parroting the same things they’ve said forever.” The field leaders went back home saying “I wish they would have listened to us. They always seem to have their minds made up before we get there. It seems like a total charade.” What went wrong? Why couldn’t these meetings have been more productive? Well, you’ll have to ask the guys running the meetings. But, obviously there was a failure to communicate, and in your world, you need to know the pressure is on you to let people know if you have a question, a comment, a suggestion or anything else that you want to be discussed. Nobody can know what’s in your mind until you tell them.