There’s no question about it, I enjoy talking. For those of you who know me personally, this comes as no surprise. I enjoy presenting at conferences and schools and I like to share with educators, students, and parents. But even through that, I still value listening and, I recognize that when I’m talking, I have to listen to others actively. When I saw a post by Dan Rockwell (who blogs at Leadership Freak) entitled “Those Who Talk the Most, Learn the Most“, I was intrigued but it clarified one of those tenants that teachers live by, “you don’t really know the content until you teach it”.
Over the last few years, I’ve intentionally tried to submit proposals to conferences for new presentations on topics that I want to explore further. This is one of my ways to keep current and keep pushing myself to learn new things. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just propose to talk about random topics of which I have no knowledge. Instead, I take a new track on a topic that I’m familiar with and make the effort to expand my own thinking. I find that because I have put time and research into my talk, it helps me to clarify my own thinking and keep trying new things. Additionally, I encourage those I work with to share their thinking and, thereby, help them to gain greater clarity on whatever topics are covered.
If you’re not familiar with Leadership Freak, it’s become one of my favorite reads on leadership in recent months.