Connecting local responses around the world
I was in grade XII…My favourite subject was ‘Public administration and Management’. I was the teacher’s pet and wanted to excel the subject.
For me mastering the subject meant that I gave my best and stood first in the class. However, I had no rivalry with others and always compared myself with my own performance in the examination. I always topped but what happened in Class XII examination had a deep impact on me. I found that I had stood second in the class. I was very disturbed why I had slipped. Did I not work hard enough? Did I not understand it as much I should? I went to the teacher and requested her what could I do to stand first in the subject. She smiled. She patted my shoulder and said, Rituu, I know that your understanding of the subject is best in the class. Your passion for the subject is immense but in the paper, you were not the best. Though the content was there your hand writing was untidy and your presentation was not up to the mark. The girl who stood first outscored you in presenting her answers.
Thereafter, I went to the girl who had come first. We both were very good friends, we always helped each other. She had a similar passion for psychology. Therefore, she understood my love for Public Administration. I asked her advice on how I could improve my presentation. She advised me that before the exam when I had prepared the content, I should take a sample test. This she said would prepare me with how I should attempt my paper in the stipulated time and would help me improve my presentation. I followed this advice and then there was no looking back. I could ace many examinations successfully with flying colours. I had learned the trick:-)
So, the lesson I learned from this experience has relevance in knowledge sharing. Firstly, we can learn from everyone from our teachers, from our peers. Secondly, one cannot be good in everything. We should not shy from asking for help or knowledge as it does not mean that we are weak. Thirdly, trust is very important in sharing knowledge or experience. Unless you trust you will not approach others and others will not share what they know.
[I shared this story with Geoff Parcell and he encouraged me to put it up on Ning. After I finished the story, Geoff asked me a very critical question- was it more important for you to learn or to stand first. I responded by saying that it was learn…I always competed with myself not with anyone else. The urge to learn has been very strong since my childhood. And then he asked me why did the friend share though she was my rival- I responded by saying that it was my friend’s personality as well as the deep bond we had as friends. We could always count on each other.]