How do you get to know about the life of a security guard of a University? What does their day look like? How can we help them stay focused on their job while making some of their troubles go away? I wasn’t thinking of these things. A professor, in my Design Thinking Faculty Development Program (FDP) organized by CET, Trivandrum, was wondering about these questions. When he heard about the phases of Design Thinking from my latest book Karmic Design Thinking - Empathize, Analyze, Solve and Test, he thought this was the best way to learn. He practised what I preached ☻. The empathy exercise led to some startling conclusions like the number of hours, this man (The professor had tracked a security guard who was a man) had to stand without a break, the kind of climactic conditions that they had to endure. He even supplemented the study with a few pictures for us to see what was it like to be a security guard.
I have been taught by so many teachers and I owe everything I’ve learnt and achieved to every teacher that I have come across. No, this is not a “Happy Teachers Day” post. 😁
So, how do I teach people whose profession is to teach people? Will they find my teaching methods as immature? Will they take me seriously? Doubts running in my head.
More than a year ago, Prof. Lochan Jolly from Thakur College of Engineering, Mumbai, reached out to me to hold a workshop on TRIZ. Almost instinctively, I agreed. Just as an afterthought, I asked about the level of proficiency of the audience. That’s when the good professor hit me with the news - The room will be full of teachers and professors.
Contradiction - I love the experience of being in a room and helping people apply TRIZ on a problem they care about. But, since I had never taught teachers before, I would probably hate the experience of worrying about if I was doing a good job or not. Talk about love-hate.
Right? Nope, wrong. The teachers were wonderful, so much so that I felt at ease. Not only that, I felt I should have suggested a two-day workshop instead of a one-dayer.
How do I conduct a workshop for over 100 professors from all over India? Added to the complication is the fact that this was an online workshop. I will not be able to meet them face to face. From the audience standpoint, how are they going to remain engaged to a person so far away, physically, in a subject, they probably barely heard about? Well, all my fears about keeping them engaged dissipated from my first question to the audience itself. Where are you logging in from? This one question kick started our conversation. Thanks largely to the enthusiasm and energy of the 100+ professors, by the time the session ended, we were virtually in tears. I learnt so much from them when we ended our 4th session together the next day. Thanks to Prof. Harlal Singh Mali and his team from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur for his tireless efforts in arranging this workshop.