12 Oct Finding the Genius in Everyone
My first year Contracts Law Book had a great impact on me. What is interesting about it is that it had less to do with the book and everything to do with the Professor teaching the class. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and later worked for the Department of Justice. He might possibly be one of the most brilliant minds in law.
What resonated with me was his ability to listen thoughtfully to every student. No matter what they said or thought, he found a way to make their ideas important and turn them into meaningful class discussions.
There were times when it was obvious a student wasn’t prepared for class. He never got upset or frustrated. Instead he would open a dialogue about the topic for the day and would find a way to help a student contribute in a meaningful way.
I remember seeing how appreciative the students were for his care towards their development. There were never “lectures” or harsh talks about whether a student was prepared for class – simply an interest in extracting the genius out of everyone he interacted with.
By the end of the semester, students were very engaged and prepared for class. His approach to finding the right or genius in everyone inspired students to be their best.
I have worked for years to follow his example. It isn’t always easy, but I’ve found that if I start with the idea that everyone is brilliant and everyone has a voice that is worth listening to – well, people respond and greatness gets unlocked within them.