We Are Constantly Both Teachers and Students
- Simply put, as we are all teachers, don't just give information to your co-workers or subordinates, for example, and expect them to know what you are saying. Let those you are "teaching" engage in learning practices such as personal presentations to you, small-group participation with expected outcomes, use of visuals to make a point clearer, etc.
- Make your teaching and communication feel two-way instead of one-way.
- Understand how others best communicate and learn, and play to their learning strengths.
- Ask for feedback so you understand if they hear what you intend to say.
This is a very complex process, and we work in a dynamic environment.
Ultimate learning exists when one can take basic information, process the information and use higher thinking skills to blend ideas together. It is all about communication in our business.
We work with a number of individuals internally and externally. Too many times we share information that assumes others understand what we are talking about while in reality they have different personal filters. If all of us think in a teaching realm while sharing information to others in the future, we may take steps to improve how our messages are delivered and ultimately received. In truth, we are all teachers and students.
I have many weaknesses, but one of my great strengths is the ability to have empathy for others. I try to create win-win situations and visualize what the other person wants or needs. I put myself in that person's shoes when talking to me. If I think of myself as a teacher and student all of the time, I will make myself more aware of how to use techniques to get my point across to others and to receive information.
In the same vein, I will provide more feedback by asking questions plus making comments to those instructing me so I can validate the fact we are on the same page.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.