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Published on April 16, 2018

How to Explain Things Better and Make Others Understand Your Ideas Easily

How to Explain Things Better and Make Others Understand Your Ideas Easily

Do you ever find that you understand a topic, yet you can’t explain it to anyone?

What if I told you there was a simple method you could use as a way to better understand and clearly communicate a concept or idea?

There actually is a very simple method you can use called SEE-I. This method was originally created by Richard Paul and Linda Elder and has been refined into its current state by Gerald Nosich.

So, what exactly is this method and how can you apply it?

Let’s take a look.

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What is the SEE-I method?

    SEE-I is an easy-to-use and methodological critical thinking technique assisting people in clarifying their ideas.[1] It stands for the following: State it, Elaborate, Exemplify, and Illustrate.

    Let’s examine each element of SEE-I:

    • State it: Clearly and succinctly state the concept or idea in a single sentence or two.
    • Elaborate: Explain it further in your own words.
    • Exemplify: Provide concrete examples and counter examples of the concept.
    • Illustrate: Provide a picture, diagram, metaphor or analogy of the concept.

    Essentially, SEE-I begins with a concise statement of the concept (S), followed by further elaboration in your own words (E). Then you are to provide specific examples and counter examples of the concept (E), Lastly, you end with an illustration of the concept (I).

    Let’s examine the following example of SEE-I:

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    • Concept to understand/explain: Critical Thinking
    • State it: Critical thinking is a self-directed process by which we take deliberate steps to think at the highest level of quality.
    • Elaborate: In other words, critical thinking is “thinking about thinking” (metacognition) in order to make it better.
    • Example: Critical thinking is an analysis, an evaluation, and improvement. For example, it is an analysis of thinking by focusing on the parts (or the elements); an evaluation of thinking by focusing on the quality (or the standards); an improvement of thinking by using what you have learned.
    • Illustrate: A great interactive illustration of Critical Thinking (Analysis – Evaluation – Improvement) is the Online Model for Learning the Elements and Standards of Critical Thinking.

      How to apply SEE-I to explain stuff (Step-by-step guide)

      Let’s examine a step-by-step approach you can use to apply the SEE-I method.

      Step 1. State it

      Identify the concept or idea you wish to communicate – clearly and succinctly state the concept.

      Example: Learning is the gaining of knowledge, understanding, or ability.

      Step 2. Elaborate

      Using phrases such as: “In other words,” to further expand on your concept.

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      Example: In other words, learning is a process where a person gains specific knowledge. It involves different degrees of progress. The learning process occurs through stressful repetitive perception allowing neural networks to adapt to the repetitive input. True learning is the internalization of the knowledge being learned. I know I have learned something when I can not only repeat the information, but when I can explain it, use it, and integrate it along with other knowledge.

      Step 3. Exemplify

      Using phrases such as: “For example,” to provide an example plus a counter example to your concept.

      Example: For example, a child slowly learns to ride a bike by being guided, practicing, and falling down. A counter example is repetition of the same mistakes over and over again.

      Step 4. Illustrate

      Find an image, picture, or design your own image to present your concept (i.e. use a metaphor or analogy as your illustration).

      Example: Learning is like a sponge absorbing whatever liquid it comes in contact with, yet does not get saturated.

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        Summing it up

        The SEE-I method is a way to provide a clear and concise narrative to explain any concept or idea along with an illustration. In other words, the method allows you to further paraphrase your idea while providing strong examples supporting the concept and counter examples opposing it.

        The method clearly expresses an individuals understanding of a concept through a narrative and strong illustration through the use of a metaphor or analogy. In essence, it allows you an easy (and extremely simple) way to explain anything to anyone.

        For additional information on how to use the SEE-I method, read Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum by Gerald Nosich.

        Featured photo credit: Image via Gaurav Rukhana via dribbble.com

        Reference

        [1]CriticalThinking.org: The Foundation for Critical Thinking

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        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

        10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

        How big is the gap between you and your success?

        What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

        It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

        So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

        Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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        Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

        You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

        When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

        This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

        Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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        Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

        This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

        Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

        A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

        Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

        …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

        Step 4: Backwards planning

        See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

        Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

        Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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        Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

        See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

        Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

        Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

        Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

        Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

        Step 9: Relax your mind

        Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

        Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

        When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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        Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

        Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

        To your success!

        Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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