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It might be easy to say that this statistic is the current rate of face to face learning, and that things will be changing in the future with the increase of technology in schools and the workplace. However, we have to understand in fact what this statistic really means.
This statistic came from research that was done on high level managers in businesses who were turning their teams and companies into forward thinking people open to change and producing dynamic ideas. It’s easy to think that this approach has come because of so much technology going down that people have access to so much more than they ever used to, but in fact the research has shown that still today, it is the face to face relationship building that has cut the winning edge for these people.
I’d like to think that this will continue as technology gets to cover all the mundane aspects of our life, and we are left to fearlessly confront ourselves and our abilities to be human.
The leaders mentioned in the survey found that the personal one to one interaction managed to build new starts and close complex deals still today. It was the ability of the person to truly engage with their partners in business or assignments that made all the difference to the outcome.
The easy answer here is for teachers to ensure there are more team building exercises within their topics, but this unfortunately is what is happening without the teacher giving any opportunities for their students to learn in fact how to operate as a team. For example it is still difficult for the mathematics lecturer to understand why team dynamics are important when trying to understand calculus for example. He/she will definitely be saying – I’m not here to build a human being’s self-awareness, I’m here to teach mathematics. But actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
Concepts are needed to be understood, there is no doubt, but the integration of the concept into the human world through face to face interaction is of far more importance.
Teachers of the future need to understand one thing: If someone has the gift of self-awareness they will be able to progress a lot faster and get jobs they truly feel passionate about, more than those who can spit out formulas on call. Self-awareness involves confronting a lot of fears that would in the past have been considered out of bounds for any work-related activity.
Key ways teachers need to develop this in their classes are as follows:
- Provide introduction activities that get people to look at themselves objectively, no matter what the topic.
- Encourage students to keep personal journals about their objectivity vs subjectivity battles
- Get students to select key traits they would like to focus on to improve their self awareness – we can’t confront everything at once, goals and priorities need to be understood first.
- Allow time out times during lessons where students are requested to self evaluate before they begin a project.
- Inspire students to try to understand themselves and others interactions in a fair way.
- Nurture honesty and self revelation in a positive constructive sense, plus this needs to be monitored in related to relevance to the topic at hand.
- Cultivate an atmosphere of discussion concerning inter-collaboration in team work that ask participants to evaluate their team players inter personal skills as well as their own.
- Always get teams to develop trust through simple confidence building exercises before the team is set to solve a problem.
This all sounds very ‘touchy-feely’ but I’m sorry to say, this will be the underbelly or all learning for the future. Those people who have very poor self-awareness skills will sadly fail in the new world of work, and those who have highly developed personal interaction skills will be able to push themselves that much further.
Teachers of any subject in the future will need to know this and integrate these skills into their classroom activities too. Whether they like it or not – it will be a basic requirement in their classroom learning.