Understanding versus Doing

Understanding something does not mean you know how to do it.

People often confuse understanding something and doing something. There is a common misconception that because we understand something we can do it.  This misconception, or misunderstanding, creates confusion.

Think of a time when you have explained a task to someone. You have asked them if they understand and they have confirmed that they do. You leave them to get on with the task at hand. When you return you find that the job has been done poorly, incompletely or not at all. This is a good example of people confusing understanding something with the ability to do something – and this happens every day all around us.

So when you are looking for someone to do something you need to ensure not only that the individual understands what is required, but that he or she know what they need to do to make it happen properly. You need to teach them so as to create a link between understanding the idea or concept and applying it in practice.

Benjamin Franklin summed it up neatly saying: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here.

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

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