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Be Humble Enough to Adapt

I teach an undergraduate capstone course on strategic management at a local university.

When I first started teaching this class, I freely used jargon that I had acquired from over 30 years working in corporate leadership positions.

I was met with looks of confusion.

It was that deer-in-the-headlights look that we all dread as public speakers and leaders.

I had to quickly adapt, and approach the subject matter from the ground floor.

I had to remember that most of these students had no experience in the workplace.

They had graduated from high school only four years prior and had been in college ever since.

So now I teach from basics.

I assume nothing.

I know that I have to explain everything.

And I ask a lot of questions as I go.

You have to know your audience and be willing to adapt your approach.

Sometimes I stand up and lecture.

Sometimes I use a PowerPoint.

But mostly I sit in a chair in the front of the classroom, and just have a great conversation, teaching as I go.

As a result, and am frequently one of the most preferred teachers for this class.

Be willing to adapt, adjust, and compromise.

The rewards are worth it.

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