The Coaching Habit

1st January 2021

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Happy New Year for all 2.4 million Learning How to Learners who receive this Cheery Friday newsletter!  You’re an inspiration for all of us with your desire to learn and grow. May your 2021 be bright and filled with new and happy discoveries in your learning!

Book of the Week

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever, by Michael Bungay Stanier.  This book is fantastic as a New Year’s gift to yourself that will give to many others in the future.

If you’re like us, you like to help other people.  One of the best ways to do that is by serving as a sounding board and coach for your co-workers, friends, children, bosses, and partners.  But what’s the best way to do that?  Stanier’s The Coaching Habit is basically the best book we’ve ever read about how to truly change other people’s brains for the better.  As Stanier notes: “…our brains are wired to have a strong preference for clarity and certainty, it’s no wonder that we like to give advice. Even if it’s the wrong advice—and it often is—giving it feels more comfortable than the ambiguity of asking a question. In our training programs, we call this urge the Advice Monster. You have the best of intentions to stay curious and ask a few good questions. But in the moment, just as you are moving to that better way of working, the Advice Monster leaps out of the darkness and hijacks the conversation. Before you realize what’s happening, your mind is turned towards finding The Answer and you’re leaping in to offer ideas, suggestions and recommended ways forward.”  Read Stanier’s wonderful book to learn how to tame your advice monster and be the mentor you’ve always wanted to be.  Highly recommended! Also great for audio listening.

ASEE Presents: Barb’s Synchronous Master Class On Effective Teaching

Next week, Barb and colleagues (and a special mystery guest!) will be doing the first live webinar presenting practical insights and ideas from their groundbreaking new book Uncommon Sense Teaching. This workshop, on the afternoons of January 6, 7, and 8th, 2021, gives an unprecedented look at new insights from neuroscience that give you practical tools that can help your students learn more effectively.  Wherever you teach, you will find this workshop provides great new insights on learning that aren’t even contained in Learning How to Learn. There are a few seats left, so reserve your seat now.

A Fantastic Strategy to Help You Finish Books 

4-time US Memory Champion Nelson Dellis and polymath Nelson Dellis has a new and wonderful video on how to read more books.  This one’s worth watching. Barb uses a somewhat similar strategy, but since she often reads Kindle books, she just sets a goal of 5 or 10% (or perhaps 1 or 2% for heavily math-oriented books, or when she’s tired).

Don’t forget Nelson’s informative books on memory:

The Hayek article on Fast and Slow Learners

We recently mentioned our inability to find the full link to a paper on fast and slow learners by slow learner Friedrich Hayek, winner of the Nobel Prize. Several intrepid LHTLers send us the link.  The article is Chapter 4 (page 50 of the book, which is actually pdf page 28). [Hat tip: Ben Strauss, Mattheus von Guttenberg, Evelyne Theodose, and Geoff Phillips.]

Are You a Teacher? You Can Help Your Students Learn How to Learn Better!

One teacher writes “I just finished reading your book Learning How to Learn and I am dying to teach these concepts to my students. (If only I had known these things as a teenager!) I found an article on your blog titled “Integrating Learning How to Learn into a High School Setting” and am interested in knowing if there are materials or resources already available for teachers to implement in their classrooms. If so, would you be able to direct me to them?”

We’ve got so much to help the many teachers in this situation!  If you might go to our MOOC  Learning How to Learn for Youth, and check the resources for teachers, you’ll find a mountain of activities pertaining to how to help your students incorporate useful new learning strategies into their studies.

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

View more Cheery Friday e-mails >