If someone gave you a marble to hold, you could do so with ease. Ditto for a half-dozen but after that, it becomes more challenging. You’re likely to drop one or pay so much attention to holding on to them that you fail to see their beauty. Yet if someone gave you a bag to hold 100 marbles, you could manage to hang on to all of them without a problem.

Think about this analogy in the context of learning a new skill. If someone teaches you one or two or six things, you can get it. But pretty soon, without a context, those ideas start to roll around like loose marbles and you’re bound to forget some of them. Fortunately, with the right framework, you can collect hundreds of ideas and amass a host of skills — and manage to keep them all.

When you are providing content – whether through employee onboarding, teaching a workshop, parenting, or writing a blog – don’t focus solely on individual messages. Provide that “bag” to connect your information to the whole as a way to keep your listener from losing their marbles.

Thanks, bg!

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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