Byron's Babbles

Do You Edify?

Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on February 5, 2012

Today, as is the case most days, one of my students has provided the teaching and I am obliged to do the learning. Garrett Breedlove (@Goob_22 on Twitter) tweeted me that the word of the day was “Edification.” You may recall that Garrett was the facilitator of learning for one of my blog posts last fall. To read that post (Attitude Is Like A Cold) again click here. Now I have to admit, I didn’t even know what “Edification” meant. So off to my Dictionary App I went, and guess what the definition was? “1. The act of edifying.” I hate it when that happens! So, I looked up “Edify.” That’s when the learning began. Here’s what it said: “To instruct or benefit.” Now, that’s good stuff!

Wouldn’t it be great if we were all edifying? That would mean we would be instructing or coaching and benefiting others all the time. What a great world it would be if we were all striving to “Edify.” I was then reminded of a conversation I had just yesterday with my good friend Kevin Eikenberry. I shared my frustrations with him about a leader of a meeting I was in the week before who had just not taken her own professional development serious enough and was, quite frankly, giving wrong information. I shared that I had gone back to his book Remarkable Leadership:Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at A Time and read the part where he talks about that as leaders we must always realize that the others in the room may not be at the same knowledge level or leadership ability as us. Kevin, in his normal wisdom, shared that we have to find a way to coach and provide that information to others in a way that benefits all.

As a person who leads from the middle most of the time this makes so much sense. During our conversation it clicked that really I have to take the same approach in all my leadership roles that I take with my students. That being, to always facilitate learning from where the students are right now, and not where I want them to be. Really, I was approaching this leader wrong – Instead of instantly correcting, which is what I did (honestly, because I knew I was right & wanted to be seen as being right) I needed to “EDIFY.”

Next time I will take the lessons of Garrett and Kevin, and stop and think about how I can provide coaching, instruction, and benefit to others. In other words, provide “Edification.”

Next time you are in a situation like mine think about how you can “EDIFY.” It will make the world a better place. Thanks for the inspiration Garrett! Just goes to prove that Twitter is one of the greatest professional development tools ever.






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