Learning Never Stops

posted in: Bookshelf, Learning | 0

Whether we set out to intentionally learn something new, or just experience the world day-to-day, we are always learning. Sometimes it’s a small and subtle understanding, other times it’s an “ah-ha!” moment. How can you make the most of your learning opportunities every day?

Art of LearningIn The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance, Josh Waitzkin tells his own personal and fascinating story of achievement, as he reached elite levels in both chess and martial arts. Through his journey, he discovered that what he most excels at is learning, and he shares his methods here. One thing that struck me was Waitzkin’s habit of reflection, and how powerful that can be in helping each of us reach deeper levels of understanding. Dealing with failure, channeling emotions, breaking things down, keeping focus, and more – find out how these can help you excel!

 

 

 

 

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Improve your thinking

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Learning, Productivity | 0

An innovator's guide to productive thinkingHave you ever thought about your brain’s remarkable capacity to solve problems?  How does it do that??  And how can you develop habits that make the most of your creative capacity?

Tim Hurson answers those questions and more in Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking. Hurson offers a six-step process to improve the way we think about problems and how to solve them.  Using practical tools and techniques within each step, you’ll discover how to gain clarity about what the actual problem is, generate a wide range of solutions, and take effective action to solve the problem.

Start thinking better today!

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The Hamster Revolution for Meetings

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Productivity | 0

Do you find yourself continuously attending meetings that don’t seem to accomplish anything?  Do meetings lack focus or stray off-topic? Do you ever find yourself saying, “I am spending so much time in meetings that I can’t get anything done!”?

hamster revolution

Authors Mike Song, Vicki Halsey, and Tim Burress offer solutions in The Hamster Revolution for Meetings: How to Meet Less and Get More Done. They take a fun approach, while offering specific and practical steps you can take to make meetings productive and engaging. A case study and examples make it easy to see how the concepts can be applied in real-world settings.

Check it out, and let me know how the ideas work for you!

 

 

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Crucial Conversations

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Trust | 0

crucial conversationsWhat happens when a “normal” conversation suddenly takes a turn and becomes something much more? How can you become more aware so you can successfully navigate those more difficult conversations? What can you do to keep a crucial conversation on track and solution-focused?

In Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler, you’ll learn how to recognize when someone feels unsafe in a conversation, and also what you can do about it. You’ll learn strategies to continue a dialogue toward a successful outcome, even when emotions begin to run high.The authors use examples that are easy to connect with, and demonstrate how different types of responses can influence outcomes when conversations turn crucial.

 

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The Power of Story

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Change, Motivation | 0

The Power of Story

What are the stories that you tell yourself?  We constantly have stories running in the back of our minds, explaining what we do and why we do it. In The Power of Story, Jim Loehr helps us understand the role those stories have in our happiness and success.

Loehr shows how managing energy, not time, is the key to achieving goals. Managing physical energy has to come first, laying the foundation for intellectual, emotional, and spiritual energy. The book takes you step-by-step through the process of identifying old, potentially flawed, stories and rewriting them to the new stories, grounded in individual purpose, that lead toward your goals.

Change management made easy

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Change, Goals, Motivation | 0

Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Change management made easyThis book by Chip and Dan Heath is filled with sensible gems and practical advice for making changes that stick.  When I pulled it off my shelf just now I found dozens of passages marked in one way or another for easy revisiting.  The methods for change suggested by the Heaths are easy to apply - and in fact, you may find (as I did) that many of their successful strategies are already going on around you.  If that's the case, the book will help you understand why they work, and prepare you to use those strategies more purposefully in the future.

Using the metaphor of a rider and elephant, the Heaths share three main concepts for effecting change:

- directing the rider;

- motivating the elephant;

- shaping the path.

Check it out and see how you can improve the processes for change - for yourself and those around you.

 

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Expertise anyone?

Outliers: The Story of Success –

Building expertise

How do we build expertise in something? Why do some people become experts in their field and others never do?

Another favorite of mine from Malcolm Gladwell, here he looks at people who've become experts in a variety of fields - ice hockey, music, computer programming, and more. Gladwell found commonalities in those achieving high levels of success, regardless of field. A certain amount of innate talent is necessary, yes. But having that, the real key to success lies in practice - intentional, focused practice for an enormous amount of time. 10,000 hours is a number that comes up again and again in studies.

Think about out something you're really good at. How do you take your skills to the next level? 

 

 

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Making a big impact

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Goals, Learning | 0

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference –

Making a big impact with small changesHow is it that small changes can lead to widespread, even epidemic-like changes?  What causes something to reach the tipping point, where critical mass creates its own momentum?  Malcolm Gladwell made some surprising discoveries when researching these questions.  He shares insights on what makes certain people more influential than others, what makes some communications more successful and memorable than others, and the importance of situational context on shaping our beliefs and actions.

The small things we do can be powerful and have a meaningful impact on ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Sometimes it seems overwhelming to make a change, and we may feel like we need to take giant, dramatic steps to reach our goals.  But think about every journey you've ever been on.  They all start with a single step in the right direction.

 

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What motivates us?

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Engagement, Motivation | 0

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

DriveGet ready to unlearn what you know about “traditional” methods of motivating people – at work, school, or home.  This book by Daniel Pink is another favorite from my bookshelf and a fascinating read about what motivates us, along with the things that demotivate.   You may find some of the demotivators surprising – I know I did! For example, rewards and punishments. That’s how we teach behaviors, from childhood to adulthood, and it works, right? Take a closer look and you’ll discover that maybe it doesn’t work as well as you thought.

What Pink helps us understand is the value of intrinsic motivation and how we can encourage it in ourselves and others. Something I found particularly interesting is the impact autonomy has on motivation. We don’t always have a choice in what needs to be done, but humans have an inner drive for autonomy. So the more control we have over a task, the greater our motivation to do it well. I may have a non-negotiable report that needs to be completed each month by the 15th, but if I can choose things like when and how I will prepare the report, I’ll experience a higher level of satisfaction and motivation, and likely produce a better product.

Pink incorporates recent research in engagement, positive psychology, and Deci and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory to show how our human need for autonomy, mastery, and purpose provide us with an internal drive to succeed.

 

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The Speed of Trust

posted in: All, Bookshelf, Engagement, Trust | 0

Speed of TrustTrust - intuitively, we know it's important.  We'd rather live and work in a trusting environment than one of fear, suspicion, and distrust.  We have a sense that things seem to go more smoothly when we trust those around us and they trust us.  But why is that?

Using real-world examples and personal experiences, Stephen M. R. Covey shows the direct correlation between trust, cost, and speed in The Speed of Trust.  When trust is low, it takes longer to get things done and at a higher cost. Increase trust and tasks are completed more quickly with less cost.  In his book, Covey shares practical methods for increasing trust in your personal and professional relationships.

If you're looking for more insight into how to make a difference personally and in your organization by creating higher levels of trust, check this out!

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