Can you elaborate on the verbiage you use for different personality types?


Daniel: So first off, this goes back to something I say in session seven, that’s not only true of education, but also true of marketing. The more specific you are in your directions to people, the more likely it is you’re going to get them to do something. And, I went on a long-term project to eliminate verbiage from my language, from my teaching language that was abstract. So, instead of saying, “Play that note.” This, I think, is the quintessential example. Instead of saying, “Play that note,” I now say, “Push this down. Push your finger down.” Now, is that like some kind of magical thing? No. It’s the mentality behind actually communicating to students exactly what you want them to do, and prioritizing the physical.

Now, and I will tell you, there is a researcher/professor named David Kolb, I can’t remember if he was at Stanford or Harvard, he did research on how people learn, and he basically divided them into four styles. Educators tend to be a “what” style. They prefer information and abstract thinking. This is only true of about 20% of humans. The vast majority of people, their learning style, is a “how” style. They need to know the steps and it’s highly connected to physical action. This is over 50% of people. And while it is important to pepper your language and your teaching language with verbiage that appeals to all four styles, you primarily want to be talking in that non-abstract, physical style. And that is why I will favor not using abstract language.

So, Eric, when you talk about saying to them, “Play this five times,” versus, “Practice this,” I will do that with a younger student who’s more literal. I will do that with a student who is newer, like in their first year. As students get older, they understand my expectations, and the students have been with me longer, they understand my expectations, and therefore, a switch in that language is actually me handing the baton off to them and giving them more independence. But, yeah, with a unruly child, a young child, a child that’s new, a child that’s in their first couple books, I would definitely use that more directive language, that more physical language. And so, in that way, we’re really tying concepts in education, concepts in marketing, concepts in just teaching and teaching style altogether with that question, so terrific question. That’s great.

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