Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The following is something I wrote last year. I do healing work--- along with teaching Tai Chi, writing, photography, and art. I struggle with titles and I've finally reached the point where I can comfortably call myself writer, photographer, and artist, but...

Please feel free to tell me how you've struggled with leadership and teaching.

"Give them a reason and feedback about how they can achieve what they seek.
Find out what they need and give it to them," Kate advised.
When I was told this, I felt a revelation. It's not like I haven't known this, but I have an issue with trying to make anyone do anything. However, hearing it said thusly, my mind ran on, Yes, Yes! Then I stopped to ask myself why haven't I been doing this all along?
I have run many successful classes and a couple that weren't so good. I have agonized over why one group works and the next doesn't. People have often told me that I am a wonderful teacher, but the doubts ask, If I am so wonderful, why don't they come back?
My style has always been to provide the information then leave it up to the people to work it out. I wanted them to explore their own paths. I've never wanted to tell people what to do for fear they will question my authority or training. I don't want them to doubt or ridicule me. I've never pushed them to practice, so they don't and what I realized from my friend's comment was that by acting in this manner, I am not taking responsibility for what I preach. I tell people what the learnings have done for me, but I don't promote what it will do for them... guess it's from fear that if "it" doesn't happen for them, they will find fault with me.
I'm afraid to promise something that they will not follow through on. I assume they won't practice. I tried to get them to explore on their own with only basic lessons and what has happened is that they flounder. I've not wanted to call myself teacher, leader, or instructor and people won't follow someone who is indecisive. They want to be taught and led until they reach the point where they feel safe on their own.
What I have been doing is handing them a line blowing in a strong wind without having the other end tied down. That's what I have to focus on--- giving them an anchor. I have to lead them to a sturdy foundation and then they can go to the end of the rope themselves knowing they will be safe.
I have a lot of information to share and procedures to teach and in order for me to be successful, I have to take responsibility of bringing out the best of those teachings. If my beliefs are strong in what I am sharing, then I must stand up tall and exclaim, "This is what I will teach you. This is what you will accomplish." Then I must proceed to do what I promise.
I owe this to all those who have taught me.

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