We have looked this week at how to get the most out of mentors and teammates.  However, we also should think about giving back.  There will be opportunities to teach, lead, and even mentor others.  I have found these situations are as much a blessing to us as they are the recipients.  Therefore, we should embrace these sort of opportunities where we can.

Learn By Teaching

The first point to consider is how teaching someone is a way to learn.  In the simplest form, we ask someone to say back to us what we just said.  This is a test of whether they learned what we desired.  If they can repeat it back to us, then they learned it at least enough to repeat it properly.  Teaching is a further progression of this sort of regurgitation.  Instead of repeating the idea verbatim, teaching is repeating a concept in our own words.  There are even examples and teaching tools that we use to help us make our point or share the concept.  That means we have to spend more time learning a topic in order to teach it.

If nothing else, repetition is an excellent teacher.  The more you repeat the content you are teaching, the more you will be able to recall it.  Even better, when we are asked questions about a subject then we are pushed to solve a problem by thinking on our feet.  Of course, we may have the answer memorized.  On the other hand, how often have you heard a question asked that was completely new to the teacher?

Stay Current

There is so much new technology content out there that we can stay busy all day keeping up.  Instead of attempting that impossible feat, make it a point to read a few articles a week.  The odds that it is new to those around you is pretty high due to the sheer amount of sources available.  That means you will have a few “nuggets” of information you can share with others as a method of giving back.  These will be helpful to those you share with and also will keep you advancing your knowledge every week.  That is a win-win in any book.

Giving Back Through Presentations

One of the best ways to give back while honing your skills is to present to your team.  This can be a brown-bag session, a deliverable from a research task, or even a proof-of-concept.  These presentations are effective ways to educate those around you while also improving your related skills.  While this may be an uncomfortable approach to take it is one that can improve your resume and your ability to sell ideas.  That means the value you receive will likely be more than anyone in the audience.

Learn more in the book written for Develpreneurs at any stage in their progress:  https://www.amazon.com/Source-Code-Happiness-Finding-Success-ebook/dp/B07MKZBF6R


Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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