Many people acquire competences, practice for some time and then consider themselves great experts.
But real big experts achieve expertise in part by imparting knowledge to others. Teaching is a great way to developing your own expertise. When you master an area of competence, it helps to deepen your mastery if you go on to teach others. This article is aimed at motivating you to embrace the idea that teaching or coaching and mentoring others is the best way of deepening your mastery to maximum levels.
Many people do not like teaching for various reasons. Some consider teaching not highly rewarding. Others do not want to be bothered with the preparation that is required to teach others. Sometimes, people are put off to teach others because they think they do not have the time or patience, or both, required to teach others. But, anybody can simply decide to teach others and then time and effort will be made to make this possible.
Let us be clear here that teaching can be done in various ways, not just through full time employed teaching jobs. You could be working as a marketing or sales manager or management accountant and still be able to teach. You may teach at institutions on part-time during evenings and weekends and holidays. But you could also be teaching your juniors on the job – teaching them advanced techniques in the job. Many people already coach and mentor juniors but a lot more people are reluctant to transfer their skills by empowering those who know less.
Many forget that even for them to advance in career, bosses have to be assured of succession. If there is no one who knows your job and no one has skills like yours then it will be difficult for you to move upwards as the company or organisation will be afraid that your job will not be done when you move upwards. But the biggest benefit of teaching others is that in the process, you master your stuff much better. As you explain to others the principles, concepts and practice of your trade, you automatically get to discover some aspects that you never thought about or those you never thought existed. Teaching others forces you to learn even more.
In fact, as you teach others, you will be forced to read more, to observe more and to be far more aware of what you do. You will want to set a good example and you will want to practise what you teach. This all puts enough pressure on you to continuously learn and to always do it right. Therefore, teaching others has the benefit of making you learn far more than if you do not teach others.
Furthermore, as you teach, coach or mentor others, you will be forced to learn from other experts. You may learn from other experts as you prepare to teach your juniors. You may also learn from other experts because as you teach others, you begin to observe and discover your own gaps in your knowledge, skills and competences. In fact, as you coach and mentor others, you may be challenged on what you know by the learners and this may force you to consult other experts. This is how you will become a true expert, having benchmarked yourself against your fellow experts!
Do not forget that you cannot teach others without learning from them too. And so, as you teach, you indirectly learn from those that you teach. This takes the benefits of teaching, coaching and mentoring to another level. Good luck as you teach your subordinates to master your competences, so that they too can become good at what you know already. This way, you will all rise and shine!