You’re in the woods and it’s pitch dark. You need to get back home and are having trouble navigating because it’s so dark. You see light to the left in the distance. What are you going to do? Probably follow the light.
You’re looking for something under the coach but can’t see. Someone in your house offers you a flashlight. What do you do? Probably take the light and say “thanks”.
Light The Way
Helping people make connections and learn can be like providing them with light. If you step back for a moment, it can seem like we’re all running around in the dark (not sure where we’re heading) looking for the right way to go. We bump into each other, fall down, get frustrated, anxious, etc. Stephen Wright says “a shin is a device for finding furniture in the dark,” but there’s an easier way.
Light is Not Content, It Helps Make Connections
As learning professionals take on more of a knowledge facilitator role, being able to provide light in the dark is key. This may be uncomfortable for you if you’re used to providing a lot of content. This doesn’t mean that content disappears; it means people are creating more of their own content. Making connections and participating in conversations is part of content.
What About You?
- What are ways that you can help others see and make connections?
- Have you spent time in the dark with the people you are trying to help?
- If so,
- What does this feel like?
- What would be helpful to you?
- What would not be helpful?
- If so,
- If not, go spend some time experiencing this for yourself.
- Don’t pretend you know what it’s like
- Experience the feeling and needs of the situation
- Don’t be too eager to help that you’re blinding the people you are trying to help by shining the lights in their eyes?