One reason I populate this blog with my thoughts on career is that it serves as a way to share practice. Which in a roundabout way fulfils the reflective side of my personality as well as encouraging the pursuit to get better at what I do in my current job as a Careers Consultant. We often endorse and strive to share best practice but very often – if we are honest with ourselves – how far do we go in achieving this? Are we as effective at pointing that lens at ourselves as we are to the clients that we support? I think we can always do more. I have made a conscious effort over the last few months to start being more proactive in sharing my thoughts on my work. Whether this is in my blog, conversations with colleagues, or contributing to online discussion boards via LinkedIn or other forums. I think some of this stems from my teacher training days – a very much missed period when I actually had time to read entire books and engage in debate without work getting in the way!
A key part of the PGCE back then was understanding how we deliver, acquire and process information into learning and knowledge. Our group was introduced to the learning pyramid, which I’m aware has its limitations and sceptics not least of which in the assumption we all learn in the same way, but it does at least allow thought and debate on the modalities of teaching and learning and what approaches we may/may not adopt.
My own perspective is that although I don’t necessarily buy into the stated retention rates (i.e. under demonstration surely this would be affected by who was demonstrating and how engaging they were to each audience member) and the increments used. It does however seem logical and intuitive, based on my own experiences, that I’ve learned more when practising and teaching others than I ever have just sat in a room listening to a death by PowerPoint.
With this in mind and by sharing our own practice, we are not just passing on knowledge and expertise, we are also crucially solidifying our content as well as opening it up to the scrutiny of others. This can lead to the development, refinement and challenging of our own practice and concepts. But there are other benefits as well such as:
- The breaking down of the silo mentality within organisations.
- Promoting constructivist learning in allowing individuals pre-contemplation before sharing their knowledge with others.
- Sharing practice can encourage access to other modalities for recipients. i.e. do some further reading, group discussion, watch a video.
As humans we are naturally inquisitive and questioning but allow fear of scrutiny and challenge to sometimes get in the way of openly sharing and debating with others. Surely organisational culture can only be challenged when we challenge ourselves to actively share and collaborate?
Edit: In the spirit of sharing I’ve added a QR code image as the featured picture for this post which links to (and shares) my other blog entries.