Structured + Unstructured Learning, Vertical + Horizontal Learning, Shu-Ha-Ri (守破離)

I use three mental models to describe my pedagogy (theory and practice of education): Structured + Unstructured Learning Lecturing, teaching, textbook learning fall into the realm of structured learning. Coaching, mentoring, parental conversations are examples of unstructured learning. Then in … Read More

Three types of Empathy: Cognitive, Emotional, Compassionate Empathy

There are three types of empathy: cognitive, emotional and compassionate empathy; each respectively the desire to understand, to feel and to help and support. EQ guru Daniel Goleman, in reference to psychologist Paul Ekman, elegantly describes the three types of … Read More

Feed-Forward Positive Feedback with the FFF Feed-Forward Formula

When we think of feedbacking, we tend to just do “corrective feedbacking”; i.e. feedbacking on things to improve. Don’t do this, do that better. We know from Appreciative Inquiry and Positive Psychology that “positive feedbacking” is much more effective for … Read More

The Delegation, Empowerment Spectrum

“I don’t delegate, I empower.” The mantra of the modern enabling manager. I don’t disagree. Though caveat emptor. The delegation, empowerment spectrum is intricate business. Feed a newbie sales person to a lion. They’re going to have their head chewed … Read More

Classic Leadership Balance Still Holds for Agile Leadership

Again, it’s all in the balance. If it’s just all vision and empowerment, the team won’t move. Even as an agile leader embracing servant leadership values, you still need to command and lead your tribe, and get your hands dirty … Read More

Aristotle’s Influence Model

We use “logos” (rational) too much. It’s “pathos” (empathy), “ethos” (credibility, presence), and “kairos” (right time, right place), in balance. We love convincing and persuading. What’s wrong with being right, right? So, “logos” is our default communication style. Logic, reason, … Read More

The Two Simple Traits of Performing Teams

What do you do? The dreaded elevator pitch question. I fumble on it every time. Some days I will say that I activate people. One conversation at a time, I activate leaders, teams, organizations. Other days I say I specialize … Read More

8 Mind & Heart Hacks for Emotionally Charged Situations

Here are eight mind and heart hacks for immediate deployment in emotionally charged situations. I use Rhythm Section and Observe, Orient regularly. And more than once, Lean-in has saved me (us) from situations with dramatic effect. I don’t think there’s … Read More

Why learning from failure is so hard: Because we can’t stand looking stupid

There’s one HBR article that I share but never hear back about. It’s Chris Argyris’ “Teaching Smart People How to Learn” (https://hbr.org/1991/05/teaching-smart-people-how-to-learn). Maybe it’s the intimidating title that ticks off the interest to read. Or maybe because it’s a painful … Read More

What To Do When Feeling Overwhelmed

1. Breathe Know to stop. Stop. Take a deep breath. Slowly regulate your breathing. Our mind and body is an amazing system. Breathing is the most simple, immediate, no-need-for-tool intervention available to us in times of panic. By the time … Read More

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