Are you a listener or a reader?
What an interesting question. Â Peter Drucker’s Managing YourselfÂ offers some interesting questions.
He said you need to know whether you listen or read. Â He said Dwight D. Eisenhower was a reader and as a general he was well-loved by the media, but when he became president they despised him and scoffed at his inability to answer their questions. Â Turns out that as a general all his questions were given to him half an hour before the conference started and so he was able to read the question and respond to them thoughtfully. Â But as president, he was only asked the questions. Â He came off as uneducated and poorly informed because his brain didn’t process oral information as well as it did written information.
This is me. Â I do that. Â If you talk to me, I can follow you. Â But if you ask me something complicated, I have to write it down and read it to get it. Â And I am slow to answer orally, but I can answer quickly and well in written communication. Â I think there is something about oral communication that makes me feel put on the spot and I feel pressure and don’t do as well.
Lyndon Johnson had been, Drucker said, a superb congressman, but was a poor president. Â As a parlimentarian he had to listen well and speak well. Â When he became president, though, he inherited the habits of JFK’s staff and they wrote for him. Â He didn’t read well and half the time he didn’t get what they were telling him in writing. Â
This is an interesting idea with repercussions not just for us but for our students. Â I have an older student who acts like she has no clue that I said to do things. Â I’ve started trying to write down her assignments, since she doesn’t go read the syllabus. Â We’ll see if that really makes a difference.
How do you learn?
He goes on to talk about people who learned by writing (Winston Churchill) and who learn by speaking (himself).
I learn better when I have to teach someone. Â If I teach someone, I know things. Â This is the best way for me to learn. Â It is part of why I enjoy teaching. Â I learn so much when I teach.