Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw famously wrote, “He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” But it’s often more accurate to say, “He who can do can’t teach.”
It’s natural for novices to seek out experts for guidance. That’s why many organizations adopt formal mentorship and training programs. Unfortunately, though, experts frequently make lousy teachers.
Experts are sometimes so steeped in expertise that they don’t remember what it was like to be a newbie—in terms of both how much they knew and how they felt back then. The memory gap leads to an empathy gap.
Experts could be our most powerful teachers—but often they’ve lost the ability to connect with novices. Research reveals how experts can rediscover the experience of inexperience.