I often turn to Henry Mintzberg’s writings for his sage advice on management and leadership, yet tonight I found his advice on teaching.  Here’s his “Ten Rules for Professors Who Want to Educate Real Managers”; they apply to anyone who is leading any kind of workshop, class, course, podcast or any other learning event:

1, 2, 3. Don’t pack it. Don’t pack it. Don’t pack it.

4. Schedule an extra hour for each session, but don’t tell the instructors until they arrive so they will have more time to turn the discussion over to the managers.

5. Profess less. Participants have at least as much to learn from each other as from the professors. (This is about what they learn, not about what we teach.)

6. Let participants run with the material on their agendas.

7. Be flexible. Let good discussion go on. If necessary, cut

what has to be “covered.”

8, 9, 10. Listen. Listen. Listen.

If you get nothing else out of that list, go back to #5; learning isn’t about what we trainers have to teach — it’s ALL about what the learners have to learn.  

Third Generation Management Development