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Externalizing Your Thinking

Mar 29, 2020

How many of you remember when you were a kid in school and they told you to show your work? They wanted to see your thinking process, whether it was division or writing a paper or a science project – they wanted you to show your work so they could help guide you.

If you’re anything like me, you could get to the right answer but you often times didn’t know how you got there. And this means that you couldn’t replicate your process and get to the right answer time and time again. In fact, you might have said you were just “lucky” and let it go at that.

Flash forward to adulthood where I realized that showing my work and externalizing my thinking is a wonderful adventure. It allows me to see my process, see where it works out well and see where the flaws are so I can correct them. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I keep it all in my head rather than being able to see it outside of my head.

I took this realization and applied it to my online teaching, whether in my ADDventures in Achievement programs or my stand-alone Masterclass series – I create private forums so that I can see my students work, their thought processes and help guide their improvement, where needed.

Without being able to “see” their train of thought and how they get from point A to point Z, I wouldn’t be able to be specific enough to provide much value. This way I can.

What this means for all of you who aren’t working with me at this time is that you can do the same thing. You can externalize your thinking process with mind mapping or the use of post-its and show your work to yourself, so you can see not only what but how you are thinking about things. You can look for your logic, limiting and empowering beliefs, biases, conclusions and so much more.