Knowledge is power. There’s something you know that other people are desperate to know. Whether it’s information for their business, life, or passions, you can do people a great service when you teach them. It’s an excellent way to help others while leaving your mark on this world.
After all, you’ve spent a lot of time and effort to become an expert on something. You’ve used a lot of elbow grease and spent a lot of your time and money on a particular skill or topic. Surely, it’s a good idea to pass your knowledge along to other people in the form of coaching, right? People are clamoring to know what you know, after all.
But, what about all of the crummy teachers and coaches you’ve had in your life? What about the books you’ve read that didn’t actually teach you a darn thing? What about the confusion you’ve felt when trying to get a grasp on new concepts and your teacher didn’t know the first thing about helping you?
What about those natural born coaches? There are some people who seem to be able to teach anyone, anything, at any time. It’s seemingly impossible to reach that level if you don’t consider yourself to be a natural born teacher.
I’m sure we can agree that it’s one thing to be an expert on a topic– it’s another thing altogether to be able to teach that topic to someone else.
It’s time to meet somewhere in the middle. Spend some time learning how to teach so you can be effective for the people who want to learn from you. By the way, learning how to teach effectively isn’t something that’s going to take you years or even months to master. Sure, you’ll absolutely get better with practice, but I’m going to show you the easiest, fastest, and most powerful methods to become a masterful teacher.
Don’t think of teaching as something you should stay away from if you’ve never done it before. Don’t think of teaching and coaching as something only “natural” teachers should do. People are out there waiting for you to teach them. Now you’re going to have the skills to do it.
You want to become a coach to show clients how to do something that you’re personally proficient at (and you want to get paid well for that, of course!)– I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to get started as the most effective teacher you can possibly be.
Why You Teach
There are so many different kinds of teachers out there. Most people usually think of classroom teachers, but the truth is that we’re all teachers to some extent or another. You teach your children how to do things, you teach those you work with, you teach clients and customers, you teach others in groups and organizations you belong to, and more. This teaching happens whether you’re conscious of it or not.
There’s a reason you’ve decided to sharpen your teaching skills at this moment in time, and it’s because you want to coach others and earn money by doing so. The fact is that you’ll have a much bigger impact on your students if you understand how people learn and what you can do to help them learn most effectively.
There’s something amazing about seeing the light bulb go off in your students’ heads as you teach them. You’re passing along knowledge that they are desperate for. It’s an amazing accomplishment to make an impact on the world like that.
So while your reasons for teaching are very individual, teaching and learning are universal. You’ll be able to use your newfound teaching skills to make a bigger impact in a very fulfilling way. As far as I’m concerned, everyone should learn how to teach and communicate more effectively. It’s a skill that will serve you well personally and professionally.
Who You Teach
Who do you plan to teach? Maybe you’ll be teaching a classroom full of clients in your local area. Maybe you’ll be teaching at a local university, college, or community college. Maybe you’ll be training employees where you work. Maybe you’re starting an information-based coaching business where you teach through books, audio, video, or online webinars. Maybe you’ll be teaching individual clients either in a group setting or one on one either in person or over the phone or elsewhere.
You might be coaching in a one-on-one or group setting, speaking in front of an audience of a few people or thousands of people at a seminar or on stage, as the leader of a webinar, or in an otherwise influential position with as few as one or as many as thousands of people looking to you to teach them something.
You have to think about the people you’re going to teach as you embark on this journey. The people you teach and coach are different from the people I teach and coach.
Far too many coaches only think about themselves when they plan their lessons and prepare their materials and lectures. They, consciously or not, only think about what’s best for them– their teaching style and preferences– rather than thinking about what’s best for the student.
You’re going to teach people from a variety of backgrounds and experience levels. They’ll all have different personalities, goals, and desires. They’ll have subtly different first impressions of you when they first meet you as a teacher. They’ll all thrive on different learning styles and combinations of learning styles.
Often, though, you can get a pretty clear picture of the typical student in your class or the typical person listening to you or reading your materials. They’ll generally be of a certain demographic and share at least one common goal– to learn what you’re teaching. For instance, I’m teaching you right now. I know that you want to learn how to teach more effectively for your students, clients, customers, etc.
I can also make generalizations about the demographic you belong to, and maybe even about some of your connected goals. My audience tends to be typically entrepreneurs in business and online marketing, so I can infer that many reading this are from that same crowd. At the same time, I can’t forget that I’ve targeted this information to a wider audience than just business owners and marketers– it’s for anyone who wants to learn how to be a better teacher or coach. That gives a shift to my focus.
There are two things that come into play when you think of whom you’re teaching. You have to consider what they want to know and how they learn best. You also have to think about your personality and teaching style and what you bring to the table. There’s a reason people are going to want to learn from you specifically—remember that.
Remember first and foremost that just because you learn best in one way (reading, listening, or watching) your students will often learn best in one of the other ways, so be aware of that.
In future episodes here, I’ll get more into the “nitty gritty” of how to specifically improve your teaching skills, but the purpose of this one was to make you aware that teaching skills are indeed something you need to be aware of, improve, and master if you want to be the best coach, author, mentor, etc. in your business. It indeed matters.