I'm reading this article (Extreme Thinking) by Michael A. Nielsen and came across this part.
I?d like next to describe a striking moment in a seminar given by the self-improvement guru, Stephen Covey.What I found interesting is that I have been doing this inadvertently for the past year or so. One is that in becoming a father I wanted to bone up on my science and history and even setup a blog for this at DinnerQuestions. When my son asks me why the sky is blue, say, I want to be able to answer the question intelligently. Also, by starting this blog I'm constantly thinking about whether what I'm reading is "blogworthy" and if I do blog about it I usually end up doing a little bit of extra research on the subject. This makes me read a little more carefully and to remember things better as well.
Covey has a large group of people in a room, split up into many small groups, each group seated around a small circular table. At some point in the presentation, Covey tells people that he is going to make five points over the next ten minutes, and that after he?s done the person sitting at ?6 O?Clock? at the table is going to explain the material to everybody else at the table.
Well, the first of Covey?s five points is that the best way to learn is by teaching. He starts off making this point in the abstract. No doubt many in the audience are sitting there, nodding their heads in agreement. Then he looks around the audience, and asks people to compare the behaviour of the people sitting at 6 O?Clock to those not at 6 O?Clock. Invariably, the people at 6 O?Clock are assiduously taking notes, paying close attention, and so on, paying much closer attention on average than those not at 6 O?Clock.
By changing the role of some of the people in that room ? those seated at 6 O?Clock - Covey changed the way they perceived themselves, a change that was reflected in vastly more effective behaviour. They began to see themselves as teachers, and this made them much better learners.
Covey, by saying just a few words, changed the way some of the people in that room looked at themselves. Those people then learned at a rate perhaps two or three times faster than the people around them. He achieved this simply by changing people?s social role so they see themselves as teachers.