Harvard Business Review: Learning Is Supposed to Feel Uncomfortable (No, No, NOT)

Aug 23, 2019 | Paramus

I'm quoting the introductory portion of this interesting article from the Harvard Business Review: "Learning Is Supposed to Feel Uncomfortable" by Peter Bregman.

The process our workshop leader asked us to follow was simple enough. We broke into small groups as she directed, taking turns being the “leader” while the others in the group played various roles. She was a good teacher — she described what we had to do, then showed us how, then asked us to do it. Describe, demonstrate, do. That’s a solid teaching methodology.

But I was finding the do part far more difficult and stressful than I had anticipated. I was outside my comfort zone, clumsy, tentative. I tried to follow her directions, but I stumbled in front of the others, and it felt embarrassing.

Here’s the thing: While the act of learning is primarily intellectual, behavioral, or methodological, the experience of learning is primarily emotional. And it’s the emotional experience of learning — of being a beginner and making mistakes, often publicly — that often keeps people from even trying to learn.

"Describe, demonstrate, do..." is exactly what we do for every skill we teach. But we do it one-on-one to spare each student the embarrassment of stumbling in front of a group. We provide that emotional safety zone for students to ask, learn, and explore without fear from embarassment. In time, with acquisition of knowledge, your child will learn to become confident and fearless. That's when she can independently blossom on her own.


Click a button that best describes your child:

  • Happily serving communities of Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Fort Lee, Leonia, Palisades Park, West New York, North Bergen, and Fairview.