Friends with Cognitive Benefits Engaging in short friendly conversations improves people's thinking

Engaging in short friendly conversations boosts people’s performance on a variety of cognitive tasks. A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan tested 192 undergraduates to determine which types of social interaction helped and which didn’t. The researchers concluded that engaging in short conversations where participants were instructed to get to know one … Continue reading Friends with Cognitive Benefits Engaging in short friendly conversations improves people’s thinking

The last of human freedoms The ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances

In 1989, I first read Stephen Covey’s  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and he introduced me to the life and work of Viktor Frankl. Viktor Frankl was an internationally renowned psychiatrist. In 1946, he wrote the book Man’s Search for Meaning. In his book, he begins with a deeply moving personal account of his imprisonment in … Continue reading The last of human freedoms The ability to chose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances

Connection before content * Without relatedness, no work can occur

We must establish a personal connection with each other. Connection before content. Without relatedness, no work can occur. Credit: Peter Block Connection before content is a principal that should run through everything we do. It can apply to meetings, projects, conversations, email correspondence, presentations and more. Before we try to get down to any serious … Continue reading Connection before content * Without relatedness, no work can occur

Peter Block’s four ownership questions * Are you prepared to take responsibility for the learning and engagement of others

How many people at a conference or a workshop truly engage with the day and consider they are as much an owner and co-creator of the experience as the chairperson, speakers, and facilitators? And how many are happy just to sit there, entranced, passively listening, and doing as they are told? This short process built around … Continue reading Peter Block’s four ownership questions * Are you prepared to take responsibility for the learning and engagement of others

How to design powerful questions * Questions open the door to dialogue and discovery

To make better sense of the world and to innovate, we need to convene small groups of people to engage in creative conversations. Creative conversations are triggered by powerful questions. What are powerful questions? Powerful questions are provocative. They spark creative thinking. This leads to new ideas. And new ideas, in turn, lead to innovation. … Continue reading How to design powerful questions * Questions open the door to dialogue and discovery

A word of advice – don’t give it Advice is unfriendly to learning, especially when it is sought

Advice is unfriendly to learning, especially when it is sought. Most of the time when people seek advice, they just want to be heard. Advice at best stops the conversation, definitely inhibits learning, and at worst claims dominance. Credit: Peter Block At first thought, the idea that giving advice is a bad thing especially when … Continue reading A word of advice – don’t give it Advice is unfriendly to learning, especially when it is sought

Speed Conversations * Without relatedness, no work can occur

I often run a speed conversation session at the start of a Knowledge Café and workshops or conferences. It is a great ice-breaker and exceptionally easy to run. Sometimes these sessions are called speed networking, but I prefer to call them speed conversations as they are far more about conversation than they are networking. You will need a … Continue reading Speed Conversations * Without relatedness, no work can occur