Benjamin Franklin was said to have quoted “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and and I learn.”
What did he mean by this quote?
It means that often when we are told something, it is fleeting, we’re not paying attention, hearing rather than listening, and so unlikely to remember what we’ve been told. Being taught something might and should be more memorable, however, when we learn something it’s unforgettable or more likely to be.
We know there are many learning styles, and we know that invariably our brains can only hold so much information, and hold attention for any length of time, particularly when we are busy with very full lives.
Referring to this quote can help us, I believe, in so many ways.
Here are some areas we can make a difference and make changes:
- Personal and Professional Development – How can we involve ourselves more in what we are doing? Particularly when we are learning, so we might remember, learn, and make use of what we’ve heard or read. Actively being keen to learn and focused on what we are learning and how it can help will enable us to make positive changes
- Empowering our team – How can we make better use of our teams? Are we telling them things? Are we teaching them, or are we involving them so they can learn for themselves? Do we empower and encourage them to make decisions, make mistakes to learn from? Either way we need to be mindful to empower, encourage, lead and delegate to help others grow as we have
- Families and Friends – Whether you are parents of small children, grandparents of wee grandies, or have friends you may wish to help, or perhaps you might consider how you impart information so that others may learn. Involving others, having and making things fun is a great way to help others learn and be open to what we might want to tell them. Not only are they learning but we are creating great memories with them too, as well as being great role models
Socrates says, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” This is so true and goes hand in hand with Benjamin’s quote. It’s not about filling ourselves up with loads of information but firing up interest to learn more.
How can you kindle your flame and that of others?
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