Different types of learning

It is very easy to end up thinking so generally about the concept of learning that you fail to notice that there are very different ways of doing it. i i Think of a typical working day in your life. Using the chart overleaf, work out how many different types of learning you experience. For each of the categories, see if you can come up with at least one example. Now, think about all of your last month's learning. Can you categorize it using these headings Are there any others you can think of...

An AZ of brainbased approaches to life and work

A Asking for help is essential or you will get stuck. Your brain likes to be Adventurous. It is also constantly Adapting. B You need to get the Big picture or you will not be able to connect to what you are learning. Brainstorming is good for suspending judgment early in the creative process and tends to produce more original ideas toward the end of the session. C Chunking your learning helps you to deal with it in manageable bits, and builds in lots of beginnings and endings so you will...

Contents

Part 1 Get READY to Learn Going beneath the surface 6 Taking your mind out of its box 9 A day in the life of Annie's brain 29 Unpacking your mind in a nutshell 33 2 Getting Ready to Learn 34 Checking your emotional readiness 35 Curiosity and emotional state 36 A hierarchy of emotional needs 38 An emotionally confusing world 40 Learned optimism and the three Ps 46 Getting to the spiritual dimension 51 Getting ready to learn in a nutshell 54 3 Switching On Your Mind 55 Understanding your...

Capturing the interest

When you are looking closely at a problem, there is a great tendency to view it in black-and-white terms and so to reduce it to opposites. This tends to lead to closed thinking. By using the headings Plus, Minus, and Interesting, it is possible to categorize ideas so as to keep things more open. Take any idea or proposition for example, that we should abolish all schools and apply these words to it. It might look something like this Many teachers would lose their jobs. Children from poor...

Closeup on your brain

The greatest unexplored territory in the world is the space between our ears. William O'Brien, former President of Hanover Insurance Now return to the task of unpacking your mind. Put the two halves together again and zoom in on your brain with an imaginary microscope. The grey jelly-like matter that you can see is, on closer inspection, made up of brain cells, some 100 billion of them. Understanding how these cells work offers some important clues about the way we learn and work. Discovered by...

5 simple things you can do at work to reflect more

1 Ensure that all team meetings start with a brief feedback session to learn from what has gone before. 2 Create feedback and reflection templates to accompany every aspect of your work and make them available in paper and electronic format. 3 Have separate sections of all noticeboards for reflective comments. 4 Have a dedicated section of your intranet devoted to reflection and evaluation. 5 Make 360 degree feedback (feedback from all those who work with and for you as part of a performance...

Emotional

You like to look within yourself, an instinct that has you continually questing for self-knowledge. You are constantly analyzing your strengths and weaknesses and setting goals to do something to improve yourself. You may well keep notes or a diary or personal log of your experiences, moods, and thoughts. You explore those situations that give you pleasure and those that cause pain, and seek to act accordingly. You understand and manage your own emotions well. You enjoy having time to think and...

Hothousing

You have probably heard the expression a hothouse of ideas. It conjures up the image of a person or team brimming with creative concepts. But, what is it about a hothouse that could usefully be applied to the business situation Gardeners use hothouses for many things, including Growing tender plants from seeds. Accelerating the growth of plants. As a test bed for new species. Controlling the environment of a particular plant. Protecting plants from the harsh climate outside. You can see how all...

How emotionally ready are you to learn right now How many of the following questions can A you normally answer no to

2 Are you often too worried about your family to concentrate 3 Are you often too worried about your work to concentrate 4 Do you often feel bad about yourself 5 Have you lost your sense of curiosity 6 Are you normally too tired to concentrate 7 Are you completely turned off learning and training If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you may well have some work to do before you are ready to learn Or it may be that the context in which you are answering these questions is not a...

Handling confusion

It was American management guru Tom Peters who said, If you're not confused, you're not thinking clearly. He may well have had today's rapidly changing society in mind. We are not living in an A to B world. It is much more likely that we will go from D to H via Z and that we will be confused. The rules seem to change so rapidly that where one style of marketing is acceptable one day, the next week it is apparently not. Perhaps it was always like this, as a statement by the sixteenth-century...

Five key principles

Along with the other things that you have found out as you unpacked your brain, it is helpful to appreciate some of the principles that underlie the operating systems of your mind. 1 The brain loves to explore and make sense of the world You have seen how your axons and dendrites are constantly seeking to establish new networks, to process and store knowledge. Your brain is endlessly seeking to make sense of what it experiences. Your brain is continually searching for new data, for new...

Living and Learning

I have argued so far that, to power up your mind, you need to get yourself ready to learn. Now, I want to try to persuade you that, however competent you are as a learner, you will not learn faster and work smarter unless you really put your learning into practice, reflecting, changing, and adapting as you do so. Learning is not a spectator sport. The fourth and fifth of my 5Rs, Reflectiveness and Responsiveness, are at the heart of this capacity to thrive and develop.

Getting your learning environment ready

Before you embark on any period of concentrated learning, it is worth taking stock of your immediate environment. If you were getting ready for a holiday, you would be thinking about the clothes to take and the equipment you needed, and beginning to imagine yourself in the environment you had chosen to visit. You need to exercise at least the same care over your own learning, wherever it happens. You should think carefully about the kind of environment that makes you feel both emotionally...

Linguistic

Word play intrigues you. You are probably the kind of person who enjoys proofreading and has a distinct view of what is correct or sloppy use of language. You are an avid reader. You express yourself with clarity and have a good vocabulary. You probably enjoyed learning languages and literature at school and may have gone on to study these at a higher level. You enjoy writing and may well be able to speak and write more than one language. You may be able to remember...

Overcoming the barriers to reflecting

The main enemy of reflection is, of course, the relentless pressure of time. I just have not got time to stop and reflect, we say to ourselves in offices across the world. But there is also a deeply rooted cultural tendency in many of us to assume that experts know best and that our opinion cannot possibly be of value. This habit of mind is acquired by some at school, when the realization dawns that in many examinations there are right and wrong answers regardless of the validity of the...

Inspiration ideas and learning

Just occasionally, like Archimedes in his bath all those years ago, we are suddenly blessed with a moment of inspiration. You may remember that he had been struggling to work out how to prove that the emperor's crown was made of gold. To do this, he had to be sure of the density and weight of the metal used in the crown. Sinking into his bath after another fruitless session in his workshop, history has it that he noticed how his body displaced water. He cried Eureka as inspiration suddenly...

Moving outside your field

While it is essential to encourage a free flow of meaning within your organization, it is equally important to have ways of encouraging a flow of ideas from the outside. When Neil Chambers, director of London's Natural History Museum, first joined the museum, he was concerned to improve the ways in which the museum dealt with visitors. He decided to send all his senior staff on Disney's quality service course in Orlando. Disney World may not seem very similar to a natural history museum, but...

Muttering

Many people find it helpful to fix processes in their mind by mut-tering speaking about their constituent elements out loud as they go through them. While this may seem a strange thing to do at work, don't worry It's not as crazy as it seems at first and it gets results. A good example of how this can operate is when you need to learn a new computer skill. Think for a moment of how often you ask someone to help you do something new. You do it once while they are there, anxious to get on with...

Looking back on how you learned something

In the context of learning to learn, it is your capacity to reflect on how you went about learning something that you will find particularly useful. If you are going to develop new techniques, you need to review their effectiveness and check how they work for you. Ideally, you need to reflect at two levels on an ongoing basis and after each learning experience. As I have stressed already, how you reflect is very much a matter of personal style and taste. A Study the list of skills below. They...

Organizes its meetings

You learned, on page 46, about the idea of learned optimism as developed by Martin Seligman. I would like to take this concept one stage further and suggest that, to be truly smart, you need to understand the world of learned possibility. Seligman's learned optimism concept is based on the way you interpret events as they happen to you. Mine is about a view of the future that is separated from the restrictions of optimism or pessimism. It is not about being half full or half empty, but about...

Social

You like to be with and understand other people. Not surprisingly, you enjoy parties, meetings, team games, and any gregarious activities. You have the ability to understand and relate to other people. You can read the moods and plans of others, so that people tend to seek you out when they need advice. You are often the person who is called on to sort out difficult situations and resolve differences of opinion. You have a number of close friends with whom you share a great deal. You show high...

Taking stock

My most enjoyable learning in my life so far has been Examples The intelligence(s) I am using for this are 3. My preferred learning style is Eyes, Ears or Body Activist, Reflector,Theorist, Pragmatist 4.The three intelligences I would most like to develop further are Intelligence Reason 5.The place I most like to learn in is 6.The times I like to learn best are

Of your work that might benefit from it

Sometimes, especially when you are at the early stage of the development of a project, it is helpful to go still further and quite deliberately involve someone who is from a very different line of work. I call this kind of person a lay consultant. If your project was in the area of telecommunications, for example, you could involve a writer, an actor, or a speech therapist to work with you as a critical friend. Such a lay consultant's views are often invaluable in broadening and challenging...

Resilience

Look at a young child trying to walk or desperately seeking the right word to convey their thoughts. Imagine all the great inventors of the world and all the stories about how they tried and failed hundreds of times but did not give up. Picture the athlete who manages finally to trim a few seconds off a personal best time by persisting with their technique. All of these people are demonstrating resilience. As Guy Claxton puts it Without the ability to take good decisions about what, when, where...

Spiritual

You like to deal with the fundamental questions of existence. You are the kind of person of who, when faced with difficult issues, will want to act according to your principles, possibly questioning the normal ways of behaving in the situation in which you find yourself. You seek constantly to explore your whole self and to heal those parts that seem not to be well. You are interested in values. You will probably hold particularly well-developed beliefs but may not practice any particular...

Switching On Your Mind

WE ARE, OF COURSE, ALREADY WIRED UP FOR LEARNING. SITTING ON A bus, standing in a queue, watching an argument, struggling with a new computer application we learn things all the time without really realizing it. Our mind is permanently wired up to learn and it is continually processing new experiences. However, being wired up is not the same thing as being switched on. We may have a good understanding of how our mind works, be emotionally ready, and have the ideal learning environment (see...

Stage 3 Getting started

You might like to use the questionnaire about your work-life balance as a starting point for discussion. Or, you could look at some photographs or video footage of the previous year. Perhaps there are some particular items carrying special meaning for you that you would enjoy reviewing. We find it is essential at this stage to give each other private quiet space so that the initial thoughts and feelings we may be about to share are absolutely our own and not influenced by the other person. The...

Wearing six hats

This classic De Bono approach is an excellent way of getting the most out of creative teams and is a gentle play on the saying putting on your thinking cap. It recognizes that there are many different roles in the creative process and that it is sometimes helpful to be more explicit about this. De Bono assumes that when a team is grappling with a problem, it may be helpful to be really clear about the different roles you can play. So, he suggests that you wear six differently colored hats and...

Unpacking Your Mind

No one would think of lighting a fire today by rubbing two sticks together. Yet much of what passes for education is based on equally outdated concepts. Gordon Dryden, The Learning Revolution E ALL GO TO SCHOOL, WHERE WE LEARN SUBJECTS LIKE SCIENCE AND history. We also develop various skills, mostly related to subjects but also some life skills. Strangely, however, very few people I meet have ever been taught how to learn. We talk about literacy and numeracy but what about learnacy When I talk...

The importance of where you are

Place is also a powerful way of anchoring memories. For example, many people can remember exactly where they were when important personal, world, or sporting events took place. This may be because of the emotions such events create, or because the events are so extraordinary that they are surprising or odd when set against the normal pattern of things, like walking on the moon or a terrible disaster of some kind. This effect can be put to good use. You can consciously seek to absorb the details...

Switching on your mindin a nutshell

how to understand more about what motivates you how to use rewards to help you learn how to find intrinsic motivation how to work out your own likely motivation for any learning why you need to get the big picture why you need to balance challenge and threat how to boost your motivation the different places in which people prefer to learn the importance of the social dimension to learning how to get your own learning environment ready how to overcome common barriers to learning KEY IDEAS...

Visual

You notice color, form, and texture. You probably make use of diagrams, maps, and doodles when you are in meetings, listening to others, or simply thinking on your own. You probably use pictures to help you remember things. You may well be able to draw, paint, or sculpt. You probably spent time in the arts department at school. You may enjoy visiting galleries and noticing architecture or landscape. You like maps and cartoons and prefer to be supported by material...

Your three brains

In 1978 Paul Maclean proposed the idea that we have three brains, not one. This is a difficult notion to grasp, but stay with it for a moment. Imagine you can reach forward and remove the two outer brains they will come away quite easily and you will be left with an apricot-sized object (see Figure 1). This is sometimes called your primitive or reptilian brain as its name suggests, it is the bit that even simple creatures like reptiles have. It governs your most basic survival instincts, for...

Coming up in this part

What's happening in your mind as you experience change How to reflect on what you've learned How to respond to change by adapting how you behave How to put your learning into practice A key sentence to remember from this part The human species is what it is only because of its capacity to learn, reflect on that learning, adapt to it, and change. Over a long period of time our brain has grown in size and complexity. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.

Brain or mind

So far so good with respect to the brain. But is brain the same as mind There has long been uncertainty about this. In the seventeenth century, Ren Descartes argued that the mind and body were completely separate, joining in the pineal gland. Against the background of this kind of dogmatic view, it was hardly surprising that, in the nineteenth century, Thomas Hewitt Key was able to puzzle What is mind No matter. What is matter No mind. Most people would agree that, while brain and mind are...

Balancing Your Life

AND WE NEED TO HAVE OUR lives in balance if we are to be truly smart. As Honor de Balzac wrote Time is the sole capital of people whose only fortune is their intelligence. As you have seen, learning is the most powerful aspect of human capital today. Working hours are often long and, for many people, getting longer. Communication happens so quickly that people expect instant responses. It is as if the concept of the in-tray no longer exists. There is no place...

If you are not familiar with this style of note making make a mind map of the things you want to do this coming weekend

An excellent example of someone who really uses her visual memory is Jayne-Anne Gadhia, managing director of the UK financial services company, Virgin One Account. Jayne-Anne never writes things down. Instead, she visualizes lists. As a busy executive, she always has a million and one things going on. Yet, she very rarely forgets anything and can surprise her secretary with her total recall of detail. To ensure that she can focus on one thing at a time, she has developed an interesting...

Harnessing your creativityin a nutshell

That creativity is a key element of learning to learn that your brain operates at different speeds that many people have their best ideas after a period of activity how to harness your creativity using as many of your intelligences as possible that there are some real barriers to creativity that you can make your workplace more likely to develop a multiple intelligence workforce that creativity involves making new connections KEY IDEAS State of flow Brain waves Multiple intelligence Six hat...

Curiosity and emotional state

There are at least two elements to what may be going on inside your mind your curiosity and your emotional state. While we are all born curious, we seem to lose this instinct or at least dampen it down as we grow older. A young child will ask hundreds of questions in a typical day, but an adult asks only a few. Partly this is because children have a lot to find out and their curiosity is consequently very high. Partly, I am afraid to say, it is a result of the tendency of schools and other...

Instant short term or long term

The fact that you do not remember everything you experience is part of your brain's survival mechanism. You mostly remember what you need to, what is important to you for some reason. In a typical day there are many items that are only ever going to be part of your instant memories lasting a few seconds only for example, what cereal you have eaten, the color of the pen you have just picked up, or the number plate of the car in front of you. Then there are short-term memories what you need to...

Reflectiveness

The purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature. OW OFTEN DO FIND YOURSELF RETURNING FROM A TRAINING COURSE full of great new ideas but, within hours of being back at work, forgetting the insights you had gained Or, consistently failing to apply the lessons you learned from a new product launch or a meeting with a client Or, perhaps something goes quite badly wrong and you don't want to spend any more time on it, preferring...

Six reasons it pays to learn

There is, in fact, a robust, six-point business case for learning. It has six connected elements. Interestingly, the case is the same for both organizations and individuals although, obviously, the language you might express it in would be different. 1 Performance. You can increase productivity and improve quality through learning, becoming faster and better. This applies equally in a business and a personal context. 2 Being better than your rivals. In an age where human capital is all...

The joinedup revolution

Throughout this book you will find out about the complex connections that exist between mind, body, and spirit. A number of the business leaders I interviewed for this book have testified to the creative benefits of physical exercise, and there is a growing number who attest to the importance of also recognizing a spiritual dimension. In a revolutionary way, they are beginning to make connections across these dimensions of life. I remember laughing inwardly when I first read the following...

You cant get started

You don't really want to get started. Think more carefully about why you want to undertake the learning, the new opportunities it will give you. You have temporarily lost your sense of curiosity. Stop watching so much television Plan to spend an evening doing something you have never done before. You are under too much stress. Your mind is elsewhere, worrying about something else. Work out what the something else is and what you could do about it to improve things. Ask for help from someone you...

Life Balance Quiz

Do you have your own life in balance Try the following simple quiz to analyze the state of A your own life at the moment. 2. Do you manage not to work on your journey to and from work 3. Do you manage not to work at home in the evenings Never Sometimes Very often Always 4. Do you manage not to work at weekends 5. Do you eat with your partner on weekday evenings 6. Do you have time to talk to your partner before you go to work 7. Do you take your child(ren) to school 8. Do you pick up your...

A formula for motivation to learn

When you were at school, the learning you were offered was probably broad and diverse in its content and style. If you ever asked why you were learning something, unless you had one of those special teachers who took the trouble to relate the learning to your needs, the answer you were probably given was a version of just in case or because it's in the syllabus. Consequently, you learned things that you have probably never used since. In some cases that may have felt wonderful. For example,...

Brain gym

Brain gym was created by Paul Dennison in the US to help young people with learning difficulties, especially dyslexia. Recently, the concept has been developed into a more generally helpful activity for us all. While, of course, you exercise your brain all the time, the idea of brain gym is that by exercising in a certain way you are consciously creating patterns of activity in your brain that may be beneficial to you. A Whenever you are feeling the effects of too much work on the computer, try...

10 ways of cutting down stress at work

1 Create conditions where employees have maximum control over their working lives, for example, by sharing as much information as possible or by encouraging teams to manage themselves. 2 Offer learning opportunities for all staff, including some time that can be used for personal development. 3 Ensure that every employee thinks about their goals for the week ahead a week before, and their goals for tomorrow the day before or early on the day in question. 4 Establish a culture where it is...

Getting reading to learnin a nutshell

how to check your own emotional readiness about the relationship between curiosity and learning about the impact of stress on performance about different kinds of emotional needs about the importance of self-esteem and some ways of raising it about the concept of learned optimism and how to become more optimistic about the relationship between physical fitness and the mind about a range of emotional responses KEY IDEAS Hierarchy of needs Curiosity Self-esteem Cognitive therapy NLP Emotional...

Getting Ready to Learn

If it be now, 'tis not to come if it be not to come, it will be now if it be not now, yet it will come the readiness is all. Hamlet spends much of Shakespeare's most famous play getting himself ready to deal with his suspicions of what has happened to his father. Many of us take a similar approach to learning. When we are born we are clearly ready to learn. We have no preconceptions about ourselves. All our senses play on the amazing world we encounter. We watch, practice, and then walk. We...

Learning to use new techniques the 5Rs

So far in this book you have read about a number of new learning techniques, including these getting ready to learn skills Consciously modeling or imitating others. Pondering the different feelings pleasant and unpleasant triggered by different learning experiences. Pondering your motives for learning the original ones and the ones that keep you going. Understanding the different roles played by people when learning together. Getting in touch with the emotions that suffuse learning. Most of the...

But where does this list begin and end What is appropriate and what is not What do you think

My one note of certainty is that we should all use what Stephen Covey calls the pause button a little more often. This is the internal switch we all have like the one on our video recorders. It puts us into a freeze-frame mode and gives us a few moments to calm down and reflect before going on with the action. If you want people to feel wanted, then one of the most important things that any leader or manager in any organization needs to have in their emotional toolkit is the ability to show...

Laughter music and sleep

There are other ways of feeding the mind. When the eighteenth-century writer Joseph Addison said that man is distinguished from all other creatures by the faculty of laughter, he was not only correct but also, perhaps unwittingly, drawing attention to a vital characteristic of our species. Did you know that children laugh some 300 times a day, whereas we miserable adults are closer to 50 if we're lucky Laughter is important because when we laugh we reduce our stress levels. Laughter leads to a...

Learning online

The second most important attribute that Peter Honey and I discovered was the ability to learn online. For most of us today, this is an inescapable element of our business lives. It is a subject where there is very little research into what works well and what does not. In The Future of Corporate Learning, a survey for the UK's Department of Trade and Industry in 2000 that I co-wrote, we described the ways in which e-learning is becoming significant in almost all of the large organizations we...

Powering up your mind

For far too long, these three key stages have been viewed in isolation when they need to be taken together. If you can do all three things well, then you will truly have powered up your mind. This book will help you to be ready, to go out and learn with confidence, and to be steady when it comes to putting your learning into practice. It will always come back to some common-sense questions So what What do I need to know about this Does it work How can I apply it in my life How will it help me...

Ready go steady

At the heart of this book is a model of how we learn Ready, Go, Steady which can help you transform the way you perform. Learning is learnable. Learning to learn is a kind of learnacy that we all need to acquire. There are three important stages to learning to learn, each one of which is explored in a separate part of the book Before you can start learning you need to be in the right emotional state. The environment around you needs to be conducive and, most importantly, you need to have...

Introduction

This book is based on the notion that we all have the capacity to succeed, but most of us only use a very small portion of our minds, and therefore of our capacity. In an age when creativity and time are the key commodities, learning how to learn is the key skill and the brain is the key organ. Only if we can learn faster and more effectively will we be able to thrive. Most of us don't understand the central role our minds have in helping us to perform more effectively we are simply not taught...

Nearly unpacked

You have now nearly finished unpacking your brain but do you really need to know any of this stuff Does the chemistry of your mind have any bearing on your success as an individual Would you work smarter if you knew a little more Is all this just common sense anyway Or would it be better to plug your mind in, start to use it, and leave the worrying about how it works to brain scientists By the time you have read this book, you will have seen many ways in which you can power up your mind and...

Making connections

Most of the time they are creative combinations of existing ideas The idea of the wheel + the invention of steel + the invention of steam power the railway. The letter + the wordprocessor + the modem email. The radio + the cassette player + a set of headphones the Sony Walkman. The idea of a very big bookshop + the internet Amazon.com. Our tendency to leave everything to the last second + the idea of the one-stop shop + the internet Lastminute.com. The idea...

Making Time for Learning

WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, LEARNING IS NO DIFFERENT FROM anything else you might do in your busy life. It competes for your attention with things like work, family, eating, shopping, television, and sex. How you manage your time is therefore of the utmost importance. Learning is the activity that does most to develop your brain, the most important organ in your body. You therefore need to make time for it. Of course, you have to exercise and feed your body, but you also have to do the same with...

Responsive learning

Once you have learned something and decided to change as a result of it, a number of reasonably predictable things begin to happen. Of course, they are much more complicated than the ones sketched out below. But there will, hopefully, be enough resonance with your own experiences for you to find this useful. The goal for most organizations is to ensure that they have flexible, adaptable, optimistic employees. Most people recognize that flexibility and adaptability are key skills for their...

Stage 5 Reality intrudes but not completely

So, what are you going to do together in the coming year On no account drift into how you are going to do it yet. Start with the big things, the principles. These for us have been things like Spending more time together during weekday evenings. Spending time with our most special friends. Finding out what it would be like to work for ourselves. Then, think about the different areas of your life. See if you can agree one or two things you are going to do under each heading. Headings might be...

The craft of reflecting

As Mike Hughes has written Trying to learn without reviewing is like trying to fill a bath without putting the plug in. Unless you are prepared to make a real effort to review and reflect on what you have experienced, your learning just like the bath water is being wasted. The more you can learn from what you have done, the more you will be able to adapt and change. Many people choose to write down their reflections. Here are three different approaches. Will Hutton, ex-Fleet Street editor, not...

Taking your mind out of its box

Imagine you have just bought a computer or some electrical item for the home. You are unpacking it for the first time. As you undo the brown cardboard box, you are faced with various bits and pieces, some wrapped in plastic, some further packed in polystyrene. You recognize some things, while others perplex you. For a few brief moments you have a glimpse of the workings of some mechanical object before it has become a familiar part of your life. At the bottom of the box is a manual telling you...

Rememberingin a nutshell

That memory involves both fixing and recalling the four key principles of memory a number of effective ways of taking notes that the more of your senses you involve and the more active you are in your learning, the more you tend to remember how acronyms can help you remember words and concepts how you can fix a memory by connecting it to a place how commenting on your learning out loud can improve your memory how reviewing little and often helps about the importance of sleep KEY IDEAS Mind maps...

Your mind does not seem motivated to learn

You had awful experiences of learning at school. So did many other people But learning need not be like it was at school. Use what you know about learning styles to select something that really suits you. You are not really certain that you want to do the learning. Use the formula on page 63, R + V + P + I M, to work out your motivation. If it is not high enough, think again Use the plan on page 246 to help you be sure that your learning is going to help you do what you want to do. Take a...

Stage 6 Reality intrudes

If things have gone well, this is the most enjoyable part of the process as you realize just how much of your life you can take control of. Merely hearing yourself saying that you are going to stop doing some things and start doing others is intoxicating stuff We found it helpful to rehearse some of the situations from which we are trying to extricate ourselves using role play. It can be lots of fun. One of the main skills you may need to develop as a couple is the art of saying no without...

Where would you put yourself Do you have more right or leftbrained characteristics Which A words match your

Dividing our brains up into imaginary quarters in this way is another huge oversimplification, although it is biologically true that we do have two hemispheres in our brain connected by the corpus callosum. We now know, for example, through the work of Stanislaus Dehaen, that a simple mathematical sum, which you might assume was a left-brain function, is much more complex. If you express a problem as What is two plus two you are probably using the left hemisphere. But if you reframe the...

The characteristics of creative people

If creativity has been misunderstood, then so too has the notion of what it is to be creative. It has been assumed that only artists, musicians, and media people are creative. This is not the case. It is axiomatic of the idea of being creative that no one person's list of characteristics will look the same as another's. For what it is worth, here are the kind of words and phrases I associate with being creative Risk taking Willing to see many perspectives Challenging Not overcontrolling Happy...

Learned optimism and the three Ps

Have you ever wondered why people who seem to be very similarly talented can have very different dispositions toward what needs to be done Some are half full people, always seeing the bright side of a problem, while others are half empty. Some are only knocked back for a few moments when something goes wrong and rapidly evolve a way of seeing it as an isolated misfortune, while others immediately make it part of a pattern of failure and bad luck. It is not difficult to imagine which of these...

Balancing challenge and threat

You have learned how your primitive or reptilian brain reacts if it is put under too much pressure. At its simplest, it interprets any input as potentially life threatening and decides whether to run away or stay and fight. In fact, the ideal state seems to be a combination of curiosity, relaxation, and alertness, which you can read more about when exploring creativity in Chapter 9. Your brain needs challenge and stimulation. Challenge makes your neurons connect, encouraging them to grow more...

Making learning normal

This is not a book about time management, but it may be helpful to spend a few minutes thinking about how you can make sure you use your time in the way you want. Books and courses about time management rightly stress the need to focus on the things that are important to you, not the ones that happen to come up as opportunities. To work this out with regard to your own learning, there are two stages. The first involves analyzing the activities of your current life and those you are planning or...

Controlling stress

Of course, all human beings are prone to failure under pressure. Racing drivers make inexplicable decisions, sports people of all kinds suddenly lose a match they have seemed to be winning, chief executives suddenly start making odd decisions, and talented people of all kinds fail when they are doing things at which they have always excelled in the past. Malcolm Gladwell has explored two particularly useful concepts here, the ideas of choking and panicking. You have already seen how, under...

Key memory principles

So, what does all this mean for you in your life at work and at home When it comes to how your memory works, there are a number of simple principles to understand. 1 You tend to remember the first and the last items. This is sometimes called the primacy and recency effect. 2 If you can find the patterns and connections between items, this will help you to remember them. 3 You tend to remember things that are surprising or odd, that do not conform to patterns. 4 Your ability to recall things is...

Practical

You have the capacity to sort things out and are often called on to fix, mend, or assemble things. Where others talk about what needs to be done, you prefer to get on and do it. You enjoy difficult or stressful situations because of your ability to come up with workable solutions. When things go wrong you are continually thinking of useful ideas to help others. You like to explain by doing. You constantly want to put theory into practice. You may well enjoy...

What do you do to make sure there is enough laughter in your lifeJ

There are quite a few misleading claims currently being made for the effect of music on the brain, mainly by those with a proprietary product to sell to parents wanting the best for their growing child Unfortunately, just as there is no magic formula for a brain-expanding diet, you cannot become more naturally intelligent simply by listening to certain kinds of music. Nor will listening to music guarantee a good memory. However, research has shown that music,...

Learnacy

WHEN MOST PEOPLE THINK ABOUT LEARNING, THEY THINK THEMSELVES straight into the thick of a learning experience. But you know better You have seen how your mind needs to be powered up before you start learning. You know you have to have a broader understanding of learnacy, or how you learn to learn. Let's suppose that you are ready and switched on to learn. How can you improve the way you use your mind How can you ensure that you become a competent learner Now that you understand the basic...

Your divided brain

Put the three parts of your brain back together and pause to admire them Imagine you are a magician doing a trick with an orange, which you have secretly cut in half beforehand. You tap the orange and it magically falls neatly into two halves, a right and a left hemisphere, before an astonished audience. Imagine your brain falling into two halves, with the same startling effect. The ancient Egyptians first noticed that the left side of our brain appeared to control the right half of our body,...

Mens sana in corpore sano

Schools the world over have long sought to develop both mental and physical wellbeing, many of them even using the above quotation from Latin poet Juvenal as their school motto a healthy mind in a healthy body. In the high street, gyms and fitness centers are now widespread, but much of the business world has been slower to catch on. As well as keeping you generally healthier, physical exercise especially aerobic exercise helps you to relax and to recall things. It reduces stress by triggering...

Figure 2 The four quarters of the brain

I have deliberately used two kinds of language in Figure 2. The first set of words is neutral, while the second and third are more obviously biased, the kind of things you might hear in an office or from teenagers at home Throughout Power Up Your Mind, you will be finding out about ways of analyzing yourself as a learner. It is very important to realize that there are no right or wrong ways of approaching life and learning. Each is equally valuable. Each characteristic is capable of being...

Raising selfesteem

In an emotionally confusing world, maintaining your self-esteem is sometimes a hard task. Indeed, the concept of self-esteem needs some further explanation, for it is at the root of why so many people feel that they are not ready to learn. It is a hugely complex area with which, as a global society, we are only just beginning to get to grips. Self-esteem how much you value yourself is slippery stuff. One day you feel great. Then you lose your job or something devastating happens in your...

Learning styles and meetings

One moment where people's learning styles are particularly apparent is during meetings, as the two contrasting meetings in Annie's day in Chapter 1 made clear. Using the Honey and Mumford learning styles, you can see how the different types might react Activists are the last to settle down at the start of a meeting. They want to brainstorm everything and are always reluctant to read any papers that have been tabled, preferring to talk about the practical issues being raised. When issues of...

The multiple intelligence workplace

Remember the underlying argument of this section, that a prime source of competitive advantage in a business is its capacity to release the creativity of its employees. From what we know about how this is done, we can say with growing certainty that it will be likely to be achieved if there is a culture in which each employee is encouraged to develop their full potential. Remember, too, that releasing your creativity is a key component of learning to learn, and therefore of developing your...

Reading your own moods

Thinking about stress in the abstract is a difficult thing to do. It is much easier to describe your own mood at any one specific moment. Try this activity right now. What kind of mood are you in Use the mood meter overleaf to A gauge how you are feeling. If you are running a meeting or seminar, it may be helpful to find out where your participants would position themselves on this meter. If they are down toward the bottom, then you will need to have strategies for dealing with them They will...

Put this book down for a second and try some freenoting Write down whatever comes into k your head from reading this

Whichever style of note taking you choose to adopt, it is important that you make the notes yourself, as this is a key element of the engagement process. Using highlighter pens to focus on the things you want to remember. Creating patterns or charts to capture relationships between items. Using sticky notes to break up complex information into smaller chunks. In the context of the workplace, there are some very simple ways of helping everyone to remember more by creating a number of templates...

10 The Case for Learning at Work

The case for learning at work in a nutshell Part III STEADY As You Go Putting learning into practice 188 11 Living and Learning 190 Putting learning into action 190 Living and learning in a nutshell 194 Overcoming the barriers to reflecting 204 Reflectiveness in a nutshell 209 Responsiveness in a nutshell 219 14 Balancing Your Life 220 A different kind of life planning 233 Balancing your life in a nutshell 240 15 Making Time for Learning 241 Why you need a learning practitioner 243 Making a...

Understanding how your memory works

Before you attempt to grapple with the science of memory, it is important to remind yourself that there are two different elements of what most of us think of as memory 1 Fixing the memory in the first place. 2 Recalling the memory when you need it. What is actually going on in your mind when you are using your memory is, not surprisingly, extremely complex. Rather than focusing on any one single area, scientists increasingly think that a number of different ones are involved, often almost...

The 5 Rs

Contrary to what you may have been taught at school, being good at the 3Rs Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic will not be enough for you to get very far today. While everyone certainly needs these basic skills, in the era of lifelong learning there are a much broader set of dispositions that we all need to have. These are the 5Rs Resourcefulness, Remembering, Resilience, Reflectiveness, and Responsiveness. These new skills are explored in Parts II and III of this book.

Maryjo Scrivani

This book could not have been written without the loving support of my wife, Henrietta, who read every page of the manuscript and helped me to say what I meant, nor without the many practical insights I have gained from my son, Thomas. I am particularly grateful for all those who have allowed me to interview them in depth Sir Bob Reid, friend and one of the most experienced business leaders I know Joyce Taylor, Managing Director of Discovery Networks Europe Lord Marshall, Chairman of British...