Most of you are probably familiar with some version of the proverb: “Give a person a fish and they will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”

To give or to teach? What a choice!

When we give, the recipient typically gets what they want, not necessarily what they need. 

When we teach, the recipient gets what they need so they are able to accomplish what they want, again and again, and with an opportunity to multiply their outcomes.

The receiver benefits most when they are taught, yet for the teacher, the desire to be a giver or a helper is tempting, and for legitimate and often altruistic reasons. 

How many of you, at one point, have said or thought the following?

  • “It’s easier/quicker if I just do it.”
  • “Let me take this on and I’ll do it for you.”
  • “In the time it takes to explain, I can do it.”
  • “Here’s what you should do/say…”

All helpful statements to a certain degree, but all missing the opportunity to bait the teaching hook.

 We’ve spoken about the benefits of experiencing short-term pain for long-term gain. We know when we take the time to listen, teach and learn, our outcomes are more sustainable and our “pupils” grow and develop faster and further. 

So this Friday’s Thought, Partners, is simply a reminder to look for those teaching opportunities that present themselves and try not to throw them back in the water.

Despite the rush to accomplish your tasks, hit your deadlines, finish your projects, and give the answers, slow it down, if you can, bait the hook, and take your partner out fishing with you.