Building Community Through Better Relationships

Got Me Some New Markers

My business classes enjoy teasing me about the faint dry erase board markers that I use when teaching. I like to think that my ideas and insights are so weighty that they drain the ink when I write on the whiteboard. But, it is probably because I am heavy-handed. Nevertheless, my Introduction to Business class had a good laugh when I opened my lecture by vibrantly writing, “Got Me Some New Markers” on the board.

I understand that the statement uses poor English. Furthermore, proper communication is an important and necessary aspect of collegiate education. However, a critical business lesson was hidden in the message. Consequently, I opened my lecture with a far deeper point than the Finance and Accounting topic that was on the syllabus.

The point is that accomplishment focuses on results!

Get the Basics Right
Proper language is an important factor for communicating intelligence. Particularly in knowledge-based environments, communicating clearly is essential to creating value. But a more important factor in creating value is getting things done. The fact of the matter is that my statement, “Got Me Some New Markers”, grabbed my students’ attention. Additionally, it led to more legibly presenting our lesson points. The result is better learning. Basically, that is the objective.

Communication is Key for Results
Besides sharing a good laugh over my uncharacteristically broken English, “Got Me Some New Markers” set the foundation for a new type of learning. Faded notes on the whiteboard are no longer an obstacle to achieving our learning expectations. Protocol becomes secondary. Learning is unquestionably primary. The message has been clearly sent that this lecture will feature better, and more legible, communication. More clear communication will enable us to attain learning results, regardless of convention.

Results Trumps Protocol
Let’s be careful not to misinterpret that the ends blindly justify the means. In business and academia a strong ethical focus is important for success. But ethics are not necessarily a servant to protocol. In this instance, the expected result is to convey new knowledge. The spoken word is only one component of conveying knowledge. The written word is another. Meaningful experiences are yet another. Combining learning styles achieve the goals for all. Consequently, “Got Me Some New Markers” communicates better learning, especially when considering that clearly seeing the information leads to the desired results. The results matter.

Education is successful when transmitted information is received. It is more than regurgitating facts. Learning at its best is absorbing information, internalizing it, and applying it as an individual. Effective lecturing is only one element. A results-oriented learning environment is best demonstrated by using a full spectrum of media. “Got Me Some New Markers” may be poor English. But, vibrant colors on a whiteboard and an instructor willing to change communicates well. They tell the students that their wants matter. It creates an inspired and engaged class experience. And, inspired and engaged students learn better!

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond


April 4, 2014 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community | , , , , , , | 6 Comments