Stop Choosing Your Best Employee to be Your Best Teacher

Just because the guy is smart and knows your material, that does not necessarily make him your best educator. But you can train him.

In the late 1960’s Lawrence Peter published a book called The Peter Principle, and it took the world by storm. He basically said employees continue to get promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Taking a great employee, who may not be your best (or best-trained) communicator, and putting him or her in a position to teach your intellectual property to other employees and/or clients, does everyone a disservice.

I’m not suggesting across the board that moving someone into a position of educator is pushing them to their level of incompetence, but I am suggesting that teaching is both an art and a craft. The art comes from the energy and commitment of the teacher. The craft comes from providing that employee with a blueprint for education.

All it takes is a few simple steps – understanding “common ground” between the teacher and the student; working in a “building block” system; and never “over-teaching.” This is the core of any education program. It’s all about teaching someone to teach, then cutting them loose in front of employees and clients. This makes everyone stronger.