I sometimes fantasize about returning to teaching. For now, however, I can only call myself a coach or a consultant. The crucial difference lies in whether I am imparting knowledge or facilitating mastery.
“Mastery” is a big-sounding word. But so is “knowledge”, when you think about it. We can put them both in perspective by recognizing that they are achieved always only partially. We do not ever master something absolutely, nor is there any absolute knowledge. There is always room for improvement.
What I usually say to the people I coach is that they won’t learn what I’m trying to teach them if they believe what I tell them. They’ll learn it by doing as a I say. That is, I am suggesting exercises, not professing doctrines.
The exact meaning of my advice can only be grasped by practicing. In this sense, learning how to write is exactly like learning how to play the piano or dance the tango. It’s a question of gathering nerves and training muscles.