management: 2 min read

Just Read, Write, and Speak

Great answers come in small packages. These small packages hit you like a ton of bricks when the answers dawn on to you. I had one such experience recently. I had this great honor of meeting a professor who spent his entire life time in education. It was a great session and a wealth of knowledge was shared in under 30 minutes.

Many of us keep complaining every day that our education system should change. Well, some of us know what we are asking for and a few others don’t. So, just to clear that confusion, I asked the professor one simple question. “What is the one biggest challenge that you see for learning in coming generation”. I thought that was a tough question. But, bang comes the reply in sharp, straight, and in unambiguous terms.

“The biggest challenge is that we don’t read, write, and speak anymore”.


It took a while for me to digest that answer. But, sadly its true. We don’t read, write, and speak anymore. Relevance is the key here.

Read – When was the last time we opened a book on our area of interest and followed it? We surely use Internet for some quick search, but not the in-depth study. Very few of us read, but this is not something that will sustain going forward. When I asked a bunch of youngsters on their reading habits, their responses said it all – 20% crime stories, 40% unstructured information on videos, social media, phones, and emails, and the rest40% don’t read at all.

Write – One thing that helps us retain the knowledge and pass it on to the next generation is “writing”. In addition to all of that, writing is a great source to bring in clarity in our own thoughts. Once again, the younger generations (including the current generation) are not interested in writing. According to them, the writing is predominantly limited to the status updates in social media, 140 character tweets, and text messages. The art of writing is fading.

Speak – This is the most scariest part. People don’t talk to people anymore today. They are busy with their devices, be it in the airport, work, lift, home… you name it. I am also part of this. I don’t remember when was the last time I shared a good discussion with my co passenger. We don’t even smile and greet each other.

So basic and important these three things are for learning – Read, write, and speak.

With the professor’s permission, I would like to add one more which is fast fading these days. Listening. We are turning into a community who are obsessed with pushing our opinions (solicited or unsolicited) than to spend a second listening.

Read, write, speak, and listen. If we don’t do this, there is neither reception nor expression. The learning is happily on its way to oblivion. Well actually, its not the learning, but we are happily running towards oblivion.

The idea is not to leave the latest modes of learning, but do not forget the importance of the basics – Read, write, speak, and listen.  It does not matter whether you do this on a paper or digitally.

Read, write, speak, and listen.