While Reading Annie Murphy Paul’s Brilliant Report for today, I was reminded of one the lessons I learned when I took the “7 Habits of Effective Leaders” by her commentary regarding the Protégé Effect. Ms. Paul wrote:

Students enlisted to tutor others, these researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively. In a phenomenon that scientists have dubbed “the protégé effect,” student teachers score higher on tests than pupils who are learning only for their own sake.

This is a similar concept of third person conversation that I learned during the Covey course.  One uses this technique in facilitating discussions where the facilitator and the two parties rephrase comments to improve understanding. Two big things I learned in that lesson was precision in word use and proper conveyance of ideas.  You might be thinking right about now “Ok, makes sense so why are you bringing it up now?”

Excellent Question.  In my role at TheTalkList, I have been focusing on student value propositions and company value propositions.  All of these things matter to our success; however, my myopia left out a very important consideration to the American Students that are our tutors.  Not only will tutoring help them hone their teaching or tutoring skills but also help them improve their English Conversation skills, specifically, word use and proper construction to convey concepts. This side benefit is especially important to me.

I have twins who are in College. Every time they come home, I get the wonderful cringing and agonizing opportunity to remind them how English should be spoken.  Example, the excessive use of the word “like.” As in “I was like really tired after like I worked out like really hard.” – Arrgghhh! Now that I have been reminded of the protégé effect / third person conversations, I will redouble my efforts to get them to sign up as tutors so hopefully they will remember the proper way to use English.

Being a tutor with TheTalkList is a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures, hone tutoring skills, and improve conversation skills…

At TheTalkList, that is the good self-help we are striving for!