|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11
|Craig Impelman Speaking | Championship Coaches | Champion's Leadership Library Login
"BUILDING TRUST." (BOOKER T. WASHINGTON PART TWENTY)
Booker T. Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, he was the dominant leader of American educational innovation and reform.
Booker T. Washington was trusted by all classes of people because whoever his audience was, he told the truth. Trust starts with the truth. We should teach the importance of saying "I don’t know." when asked a question we don’t know the answer to as opposed to a half-baked antidotal response based on something from the internet.
In his 1902 book, Character Building, Mr. Washington describes how he taught this critical skill to the future teachers he was educating:
"All teachers make mistakes sometimes, and you may depend upon it that it is an excellent teacher and a person of fine character who, when he or she has made a mistake, says frankly and plainly, "I have made a mistake," or "I don’t know."
It takes a very good and a very bright teacher to say, "I don’t know." No teacher knows everything about every subject. A good teacher will say frankly and clearly, "I don’t know. I cannot answer that question."
Let me tell you, right here, too, that when you go out from here to become teachers yourselves as a large proportion of you will go—whenever you get to a point where a student asks you a question which you are not able to answer, or asks you something about a subject on which you are not well informed, you will find it better to say frankly and honestly," I am unable to answer your question. "Your students will respect you a great deal more for your frankness and honesty."
Education is not what a person is able to hold in his head, so much as it is what a person is able to find. I believe it was Daniel Webster who said that the truly educated person was not the one who had all knowledge in their head, but the one who knew where to look for information upon any subject upon which at any time he or she might want information."
Do you give answers of convenience or say, "I don’t know" and build trust by then finding the correct answer?
Yours in Coaching,
Thoughts Of A Soldier
Since men with life must purchase life
Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)
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