Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Laurel Learning Tips

Tip #701: Why Failing Isn’t a Big Deal

“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” Elbert Hubbard

We all want to succeed at what we choose to do. But when we experience failure after failure, it’s hard to believe that success may be just around the corner.

There have been lots of articles about famous people who failed on their way to success. Some of them failed thousands of times, and yet they still persevered.

Their secret? They believed in themselves and in their dreams. And, as David Bayer has said, “Beliefs are decisions.” Once a positive dream-affirming decision is made, possibilities and opportunities begin to appear that, when grasped, will ultimately build a path to success.… Read the rest

Tip #700:  Do You Know Your Emotional Style?

“Rather than being a luxury, emotions are a very intelligent way of driving an organism toward certain outcomes.” Antonio Damasio

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson spent almost 40 years studying the brain mechanisms that underlie our emotions. He determined that individuals have unique and consistent ways of responding to life experiences. These emotional styles are governed by specific identifiable brain circuits.

In his book, The Emotional Life of Your Brain, co-authored with Sharon Begley, he describes six emotional styles:

  1. Self-Awareness: How well you perceive the physical sensations in your body that reflect your emotions. (Self-awareness is determined by the ability of the insula to interpret signals from the body and organs.)
  2. Sensitivity to Context: How good you are at regulating your
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Tip #699: Overlooking the Simple Answer

On November 28, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #699: Overlooking the Simple Answer

“It’s very satisfying to take a problem we thought difficult and find a simple solution.”  Ivan Sutherland

I could kick myself. I love to do Sudoku, particularly the jigsaw puzzles. To complete them, I have to look at each section from every possible perspective. It is always a joy when the missing numbers are right there, in front of my eyes.

The reason I could just kick myself is because my life would be so much easier and much less stressful if I only looked at every situation the same way. I would save myself so much wasted time and energy if I just realized that there is probably a simple answer.

Technological issues are the worst, because I always … Read the rest

Tip #698:  Do You Portmanteau?

On November 21, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #698:  Do You Portmanteau?

“Don’t bogglefunk around with words.” Roald Dahl

I recently read an article in which the word satisficing was used. The word intrigued me. According to the author, satisficing is a combination of sufficing and satisfying.

This led me to investigate if there were other words that were made by combining the sounds and meanings of two existing words. I learned that such a composite word is called a portmanteau. I also discovered that there are many portmanteaus that we use on a daily basis, frequently without realizing that’s what they are.

A portmanteau is typically defined as a large trunk or suitcase that opens into two equal parts. However, Lewis Carroll gave it a new meaning in his book, Through … Read the rest

Tip #697:  Where Training Design Goes Wrong

On November 14, 2017, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #697:  Where Training Design Goes Wrong

Boring and effective are mutually exclusive attributes in learning.” Michael Allen

I’m gearing up to teach an online course on How to Design Dynamic Learning curriculum. This has led me to consider the reasons why some training design results in ineffective training programs.

I came up with 35 reasons. In no particular order of importance, here they are:

  1. Wrong reason for the training;
  2. Wrong target group;
  3. Unclear goal;
  4. Wrong content;
  5. Wrong methods;
  6. Desired level of learning not identified;
  7. Learning activities cannot achieve the desired levels of learning;
  8. Heavy reliance on lecture and PowerPoint;
  9. Places all of the training content on PowerPoint slides;
  10. Lack of specific, observable and measurable learning objectives;
  11. Disconnect between objectives and learning activities;
  12. Over reliance on
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Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

On November 7, 2017, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” Hans Selye

It has been said that those who can’t do, teach. As a matter of principle, I disagree with this statement with one personal exception. People who know me well can’t believe that I teach stress management- but I do. And when I conduct a stress management class, my focus is to help the participants become conscious of the stress they have in their lives so that they can make choices to reduce their stress.

Over the years, I’ve campaigned against stress because, as everyone knows, stress is bad for us, and too much stress can affect our health, our relationships, and our very lives.

Well, … Read the rest