how: the missing piece in training

“How do I do that?”

piano keysWe answer that question, many of us, with list of steps. When we are good, we give detailed steps, well tested, proofread, illustrated. We take into account the vocabulary of the person being trained. We anticipate visual learners by providing pictures. We tell people where to go for more information.

Having done all that, I don’t think we have helped people understand how to do anything. We have explained what to do.

The how to do something is about passion, about caring, about love.

  • How do you play the piano? With all my heart.
  • How do you give? Cheerfully.
  • How do you teach? With concern for the students.
  • How do you shoot video? To captivate the hearts of the audience.
  • How do you answer questions? To change the world.
  • How do you clean the floor? With an awareness of the souls that use it.
  • How do you write? Humbly, with respect.
  • How do you explain policy? I think about the most difficult audience member and I explain it to that person.
  • How do you make the donuts? By thinking about the smile a little kid needs today.

Answering the how question often takes much longer than answering the what question. In fact, someone might have to watch how you do the what.

I think, in fact, that making disciples, real followers, is mostly not about what. It’s mostly about how.

That’s why it takes so much effort. That’s why it changes the world.


Here’s my post Fans and disciples

Here’s a link to my ebook on Making Disciples


6 responses to “how: the missing piece in training

  1. In addition, the “why” question is powerful. I just listened to an interview on the Marketing Over Coffee podcast with the author of “Start with Why” (Simon Sinek.) It got me thinking. And your examples here are very close to why — like “Why do you make the donuts? Because they bring a smile to a little kid who needs one today.” And we need this because the answer to why and how can inspire us to great results.

  2. This is a great paradigm shift for me: the “how to” is really a “what are the steps” answer. The “how” speaks to our inner motivation, our being rather than our doing. I want to write about this!

  3. This sends shivers down my spine… in a good way.

    It’s how I want to teach people how to write – with care, and kindness, and love, and thought for the souls of those who will walk there

  4. Laurie and Joanna What a fun thing to write. You two would converse well.

    Both of you live out a how as you write. I know, because we have talked. Laurie struggles mightily with phrasings in ways that I seldom do, showing me that words matter, they materialize ideas. Joanna has this huge compassion for writers, for their well-being, showing me that the people behind the words are significant. Both of you teach me about how to write. You may not know it, but you do.

    And I am late in responding to Debbie’s pointer to Simon Sinek, not because I’m ignoring the comment but because I’ve been to the podcast and then to TEDx Puget Sound to learn more. I think I’ll be writing a followup on his talking about why. I hadn’t evern heard of him, but I’m thinking that I’m a fan.

  5. Pingback: Write From the Heart | Confident Writing

  6. Pingback: 8 ways to make a disciple. « Levite Chronicles