A painful problem

When I think of people that have influenced me in my career there’s a common pattern, they didn’t tell me what to do, they made me feel the pain of the problem and guided me towards a solution. And that’s how teaching works.

You don’t want to tell people what to do–that rarely works. What you want is to make them realize that they have a problem. But the key here is not to tell them the problem, you’ve got to make them feel the pain, so they can identify the problem by themselves. It’s until they realize the problem and how painful it is where they start seeking for a solution. And that’s where they want to hear what you have to say, not before.

You’re in the business of teaching something. So the challenge is to figure out how to make people feel the pain and guide them to a solution that’d make their lives easier.