Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

How to Recover from a Loss of Will?

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

From my last post, we showed impact when someone lost the will to learn.

Problem: Once will is lost, you have unconscienceously given up … you are then just waiting for failure to hit.
Question: How to can you avoid such failures?

Here is a 3 simple step answer:
1st Step: Identify/Admit you have given up & imagine the outcome
     Once you identify the problem, then we will be able to foresee coming train wreck

2nd Step: Then you decide between these 3 choices

    Continue in Limbo: Decide to put No change
    Completely Give Up: Give up and do something else
              OR pass it on to others
    Climb Back Up: Determine what you need to do breath life back to your project/job

3rd Step: Take those action

If you stay in a losing situations, it will just eventually blow-up. So the 2nd step is the key point to make us take control of such losing situations. Once a decision is made, a momentum will grow towards motivation to take action.

I had experience this so many times, and this is the most effective way that I have found to recover motivation toward a project/job/business.

Categories: Careering, Teaching

Vision, Mission … Why Bother?

November 6, 2009 1 comment

ShadowPointingIn an in-class assignment, we were ask to make a vision & a mission statement for our life or career.

I was always confused about the difference between vision & mission statement … so we were taught the difference were:
   Vision = External purpose
   Mission = Internal purpose
Honestly, I could never under stand what’s the point of it. The company ones usually just seem long & generic most of the time.

On the contrary, It was an interesting exercise; We had to consider what’s important to us & what our life/career meant to us. It put a spotlight on what my direction in life.

This is mine (for now):

  • Vision: To show the power of teaching with leadership throughout my careers
  • Mission: To improve work-life & leadership through teaching

After the exercise, now I do appreciate mission statement & vision; Especially the process of creating it. It really get you think in a bigger strategic way.

For anyone who want to figure out their career path or bored about their life; I suggest you should try creating a vision & mission statement, you might just be surprise what you find out.

Categories: Careering, Leading, Teaching

To Lead: Trust Them

October 10, 2009 Leave a comment

ThumbsTrust is the a key motivator in Leading

This is what I found from years with my various managers, teaching experience, coordinating projects & leading teammates.

Even when I only have 1 -2 people to coordinate, I try to provide them trust & empower them with any needed knowledge. When that happens they perform better, which allows me to focus improve quality & spend more time in tracking pending issues in the project.

This is important even with grade school kids. I provide trust in their judgement & work with their homework, they gain confidence. Once that is in place, I will trust them to do their work on their own with minimal supervising.

When they know others trust their quality of work; They perform better with less stress, greater confidence, concentration & motivation to work.

Whenever there is trust, the lead/employer will trust the employee with resources (otherwise they are just saying it while not meaning it). This will empower the employees with freedom & decision making to do their work better due to less stress.

End-Note: The more trusts happens → The more you will be able to delegate → The more things you will be able to accomplish

Categories: Leading, Teaching

Best way to Learn: Embracing Failure

October 3, 2009 1 comment

Grill-FlameThis past Tuesday was FailCamp Toronto, it was pretty enjoyable & insightful. The point of the seminar was to “Embrace failure”.

Here is an interest comment that caught my ears:

We rarely learn from success,
all our best learning comes from failures & mistakes.

From working for years in parts of IT & a decade of teaching, I really like this comment.

When I teach, I often allow kids & co-worker to try the system/math problem, so they can learn to figure out how things work & learn to try. Sometimes I do this so much that the kids end up teach themselves. (I just give a few leading comment/questions)

Here is an exercise: Which way do think you learn more from this scenario?
Learning a new computer system at work, when the teacher:
1. Corrects you every moment you might do something wrong
2. Just let you try out the system, even though you are making mistakes.

In the first scenario, you might feel safer because the teacher is making sure you are clicking correctly; but do you think you can really can anything with the system?
While the second scenario might sound scary to play around with a system, you will definitely remember most of the errors or weird results from the mistake.

By letting mistakes happen, it gets the person to remember because it makes thing more exciting & no one way of doing thing.

Categories: Learning, Teaching

Recognizing the Curse of Knowledge

August 30, 2009 1 comment

From my last post on describe one impact of the curse of knowledge & said I was going provide method of avoid it. Although if we can’t see it happening, how can we avoid it? So let’s talk about recognizing it first.

The core issue is people having missing information. It could be as simple as weird acynoymns.

First, we need to recognize when does it happens.
You know the curse of knowledge is occurring when:
 – Everyone is disagreeing against 1 or 2 people (it could be you)
 – The same topic keeps on coming back
 – Too much arguing
 – Both side is giving incoherent suggestion
 – When someone look confused & keeping quiet (Scare of looking stupid)
 – When someone sounds like they don’t know what they are talking about
These are all signs one or both side being misinformation or misunderstood.

To break this is to make sure the other understand the situation or you just start asking question. That’s the quick version. I will leave the details & the how till next post. (9 days from now, after a sunny vacation … Cheers)

Categories: Leading, Teaching

Curse of Knowledge … on Delegation

August 19, 2009 2 comments

book-SpiritEarlier today, I read a post from Ravi Kudesia at Brazen Careetist about the curse of knowledge on innovation & it reminded me of Guy Kawasaki’s Reality Check. The book said the following:

“The curse of knowledge… Lots of research in economics and psychology shows that when we know something, it becomes hard for us to imagine not knowing it.”

At first it not seem that important, but when you can’t delegate because your team can’t produce the similar results as you … it is devastating.

Have you ever experienced someone training you tries explain what to do in one shot … then give you a stupid look when you starting asking questions?

When someone knows how to do something it will seem easy to the person because of their knowledge & experience. Although they try to explain it, but they cannot explain it in Layman’s terms; Even if they want to delegate some tasks,  they couldn’t.  This is one of the power from the Curse of Knowledge.

Next post I will attempt to find some ways to beat this curse.

Categories: Leading, Teaching

Learning: Building Confidence is Key

August 11, 2009 Leave a comment

ridebikeLast weekend, I was teaching two grade 4 students about long division. It was one of their first time learning it, so of course there were mistakes every try.

One thing I learnt was people learning new things set their impression of being good/bad at something very easily.

Steps to learn new things:
1. Never say the word ‘wrong’ … use a positive tone

2. De-emphasis the importance of making mistakes
    (Never make them feel bad for trying)

3. Giving them permission/encouragement to try again

4. Joke & have fun

5. Complement of small success … builds confidence

6. Let go

Just like learning to ride a bike or skating, it might take a bit of time to start, but once the confidence of not falling is gone … the learning speeds up + the fun begins.

This works on adults as much as kids; in my day time job, sometimes I would teach the IT system we are implementing to new team members. Depending on their confidence level, I had applied the above method & it works. With confidence, it takes people 2-3 days to learn 1+ week worth of material.

At the end, the students did their long division on their own & was pretty happy getting a 90-something on their short quiz.

Categories: Learning, Teaching

A Good Lesson: Introduce, Show & Summarize

June 26, 2009 Leave a comment

With a couple of post about why to teach, it’s about time to show how to teach. I got this method from doing a good presentation. To get anyone to remember a lesson, you must Introduce, Show & Summarize.

1. Introduce: Tell them what you are going to them
A good intro get the listener to pay attention (even kids). Usually it takes 2-3 sentences to get your audience interested or something that your audience would be able to relating to. With any complex ideas, make sure to take your time to make the idea to be relate-able.

2. Show: To explain & show what to do
This is what we usually do when teaching, mentoring or presenting … drawings help.

3. Summarize: Tell them what told them
Just give a direct overall summary of the idea or process. (For presentations, 1 slide is enough for this.) This is for everyone to “make sure” they understand. Remember, this is to get a sense of understanding of your idea by your audience & not making anyone feel dumb. Plus, this part is also allow Q&A, so nothing falls through the gap.

Although the explanation step is what we usually do when teach. Although step 1 & 3 are as important. Even though this might take 1/4 more time … Done well, this will save you another trip. If the listener is surprised from what you are about to say … how are they going to remember lesson? So introduce it, show it, then them what you told them.

You only need one good lesson to learn something.

Categories: Teaching

Teach to Gain Leadership Soft Skills

June 12, 2009 1 comment

couch-kidsBeside actually leading, a really great method to gain leadership skill better than teaching someone. Teaching, mentoring and leading are all about guiding people, so there are tons of leadership soft skill that can gain from teaching others. The following are leadership skills you gain from teaching:

Providing Guidance
In a micro-level,to teach is to lead people on a path/solution. When you become more experienced at this, the more effective you will be at guiding others in any situations.

Being Heard
The point is to not making people feel dumb when communicating, otherwise people will feel imitated to ask for you help. Teaching forces you to show an ides while not talking down to your audience.

View as an Leading Voice
As you teach a topic/software/process often, the more you get to view as an expert by others.

Becoming an Expert
The more you teach, the more you get exposed on the topic/software/process. This way the more question you the, the more you need to find the answer to. This naturally will push you toward an expert.

By getting these skill, you can improve your soft skills needed to become a leader others will listened to.

Categories: Leading, Teaching

Teach: Being Better at Work

May 12, 2009 Leave a comment

teach_shadowHaving been a teacher before going into university, I learned alot from teaching. When I started working full-time, I have taken as many opportunities to teach others as much as possible.

This is what I gained through teaching at work:

1. Better interal networks
When you teach others on things that save them time, others will show gratitude, trust and deeper connection. When you help enough people to save their time … you will have a vast network that will help you when you need it.

2. Better communicator
This one is simple, when you guide & explain more; The better you are at explaining & guiding

3. Better learner
If you teach others a lot, you will naturally keep on learning; so you can teach others. Also you will get to know how to be better at what’s the best way to learn for yourself.

Of course there more, much much more teaching can teach us. These are 3 interesting one I want to start off with.

Categories: Teaching Tags: , , ,