Life-Love #18: The moment when people understand your point

We all want to be understood when we are making a point. I am a professor at a university and I spend a lot of time explaining things to people. The subject matter that I teach can be quite technical – I teach media measurement, public relations and political communication. Sometimes the subject matter can be quite alien to the students and I use many different techniques: examples, Socratic questions, repetition and story-telling. Often, I can see from the students’ faces that they are struggling to see through the tangled threads of my words. I gauge their response as I weave the threads of my speech together into a colourful tapestry telling the story of the ideas that seem so clear in my mind. They nod, look down modestly, stare blankly or smile shyly when I gaze into their faces, spinning the word loom, pulling the threads together in a shimmering braid that weaves in and out of each of their minds, connecting them to me through our shared knowledge and imagination. Once in a while, however, I feel the braid grow taught – it yokes their minds to mine and synchronizes us all. We start weaving the tapestry together and before you know it, the learning is collaborative and rather than being the leader, I become the first among equals, simply guiding the learning process forward. It is a flow-moment. Synchrony. I live for those moments and feel elated after class.

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