Another dot in the blogosphere?

Hammering a point

Posted on: April 13, 2016

Every seminar I design and deliver has a few key messages. Here is one of them: If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.

If your only #tool is a #hammer, then every #problem looks like a #nail. CC photo:

A photo posted by Dr Ashley Tan (@drashleytan) on

It might seem unusual to remind people of this since the seminar is an introduction to personal learning networks.

It might make sense if you realise that I am encouraging people to have more than one tool in their belt.

In the example above, the nail was actually a screw. A screw is threaded and needs to be rotated; it resists being forced straight down. The proper tool to use should have been a screwdriver. The hammer bludgeoned the screw and ruined both the screw and the wood.

I am telling my audience that blunt tools like lectures and training are the common default. However, this does not make them suitable for the professional development of people.

Some might need mentoring, coaching, or remediation. Others might need self-study, the opportunity to observe, or time to reflect. Bludgeon with a blunt tool and everybody loses.

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