I’m an explainer. Not a mansplainer. Which by the way is one of the most sexist labels out there. It assumes all men are the same. I thought we’re supposed to evaluate people as an individual not as groups.
To continue on with faux outrage, if ladies can complain when they are called a bitch when they say they are assertive. Men can complain when they are accused of mansplaining when they are hardwired to teach and pass on knowledge.
Now I feel like every other group feigning outrage. Nope, this is not for me.
Back to today’s topic, explaining. I love to explain, coach, teach or whatever label you choose. Every guy I know is the same way. Now I’ll admit sometimes we can be annoying but we mean well.
Explaining is a skill anyone can learn or improve. I’ve been around some great teachers and learned a lot about the art of explaining. Here’s a few:
-If you can’t explain it in 3 minutes you don’t understand it well enough.
I follow this one all the time when I’m preparing to explain in a speech or classroom setting. Too many explainers use so many words the student gets lost and confused. Great explainers lay out the premise or big picture then fill in the details.
There is a lot of scientific evidence confirming laughter helps people learn. There’s a brain function that cements the words associated with humor in the human brain. Think about how many funny movie lines you know by heart.
-Think of your audience and tailor your teaching to them.
Explainers who expect their audience to adapt to their way of explaining aren’t explainers for long. Unless of course they have tenure.
-Love to learn
You will never, ever inspire students to learn unless you do. Don’t try to fake it, students will spot you a mile away.
-Care about your students
An explainer is not going to put in the extra work to refine his message for a group of people he doesn’t care about.
-Get excited when you see the light bulb turn on above a guy’s head.
I love it when I see a student “get it”. At some point in an teaching I’ll see the light bulb turn on or the student has an Ah Ha moment. It’s a gratifying moment and reward for the explainer.
-Never teach anything without an application.
It’s a waste of time to fill a student’s head full of knowledge without teaching them how to apply the knowledge. I use a simple outline of What? So What? Now What? To keep me on track and out of the know it all weeds.
Those tips were for any student, but there are a few keys to explaining to men.
-Men are practical learners.
Men need hands on or great visuals. Men want to get their hands dirty. They want to “do” more than sit and absorb. Doesn’t matter if it’s computer programming or changing the brakes on a car, show a man how to do it then let him try.
-Men learn best shoulder to shoulder.
A Classroom setting is not the ideal learning environment for men or little boys. Set men up in groups with an explainer and watch them thrive.
I believe my need to explain is the primary reason I became a writer. Writing allows me to get it out of my system, even if no one is listening.