Lecturing a lot for different audiences for about 35 years allows me to notice changes in the transfer of information and the value of knowledge and experience.
One of the most heard answers I get when asking a question nowadays is: “I don’t know yet, but I can look it up”. It’s hard to imagine an expression that peeves me as much as this one.
Mainly lecturing for an audience of coaches or therapists, one might assume that they are professionals. And professionals who I assume to be making a difference. Individuals that are proud of their job, are on the way to become masters in their profession and have a drive to become the best in their field or least try to. After all: why hiring a coach or paying a therapist while anybody can do a job as well as they do?
My answer therefore is often the same: “well, a 6 year old girl can do that too, so what does that mean?” And true any 6 year old kid can type in a word in Google and get the same result like you do. That does not make you smarter, does it?
Another often heard expression is: “I read somewhere that …..”. And 9 out of 10 times it was read on the Internet, since the modern generation of coaches and therapists seldom reads hardcopy books or journals.
The Internet of Things is a huge garbage-heap of information, unsorted, undifferentiated, biased like nothing else. So, welcome to dumpster-diving, hoping to find an answer you like. And you certainly will, because the Internet will confirm any opinion you might want to have anyway. Don’t get me wrong, the Internet can be a useful tool, but using it as crutch for the lack of present knowledge, as a bypass for lack of experience, is not the right way to become the best coach or therapist you can be.
Can you imagine Usain Bolt asking Glen Mills: “Coach, why do we do this work-out? And Glenn saying: “I don’t know yet, but I can look it up?” For Usain Bolt and Glenn Mills you can replace by any elite athlete and elite coach. Elite coaches know what works for their athletes, they don’t have to look that up.
The most powerful tools of the coach are curiosity, creativity and patience, not the ability to browse the Internet.
Patience does not equal waste of time, or absence of speed, it’s time to reflect, to think, to solidify or to be creative. Hurry or the perception of time pressure seldom create creative thinking. Take a break, dare to slack.
Some, useful books:
James Gleick: Faster
Thomas L. Friedman: Thank you for being late
Carl Honore: In praise of slow
Carlo Petrini; Slow Food