Great Leaders are Great Teachers

As I've watched leaders communicate, what I have found is that they really teach effectively. Below are eight tips that will help you to teach your people more effectively as their leader.

1. Teach from the heart

The best teaching isn't formulaic, it's personal. The things you can share from your own heart will mean so much more to your people than anything out of an ordinary textbook.

2. Repeat the process.

If you want your employees to remember the new mission statement or the marketing strategy, give it to them more than once.

3. Good teachers ask good questions.

Effective teachers understand that learning is about exploring the unknown and that such exploration begins with questions. Not questions that are simply lectures in disguise--questions that actually seek thoughtful answers from your people.

4. Stop passing out information and start teaching people how to think.

I've identified several ways that people who are successful think. Basically, what all successful people have in common is that they think in like patterns.

5. Stop talking; start listening.

Effective learning is a two-way street. It's a dialogue, not a monologue.

6. Let your students teach each other.

Great teachers understand that their students have the ability to communicate and teach each other, many times more effectively than they can. Peers relate to one another much more than students do to teachers.

7. Avoid using the same approach for everyone.

Good teachers believe that every student can learn, but they understand that students learn differently. Some are visual, some grasp the abstract, and some learn best by reading. Engage them in as many ways as you can.

8. Never stop teaching.

Effective teaching is about the quality of the relationship between the teacher and the student, and it doesn't end when class is over. It is an ongoing process.

Great teachers are always passionate about what they're doing, how they're imparting, what they're learning, and that they want to pass it on to others as quickly as they possibly can.

The goal of a great teacher is to impact his or her people by learning how to communicate effectively. Even if your message and vision are good, their ability to receive it is solely based upon your ability to communicate it effectively.

This article is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at