Laurel and Associates, Ltd.

Category Archives : learning

Tip #673: Would You Like a Memory Trick?

On May 30, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #673: Would You Like a Memory Trick?

“Memory is more indelible than ink.” Anita Loos

I attended a webinar with Ida Shessel, who discussed five elements that increase the likelihood that a memory will be imprinted in the brain. She believes that we can boost learning retention if we incorporate some, if not all, of the following memory imprint elements:

  • Visual
  • Rare or unusual
  • Linked or associated to something
  • Movement (that enhances the visual)
  • Emotional

Ida demonstrated one very powerful way to do this through the link-method, which is an image-based technique for memorizing lists. It uses visualization and association to change abstract facts into mental pictures that are easy to remember. This works because most people’s brains can remember visual images (pictures) much easier than abstract … Read the rest

Tip #664: Staff Development Options

On April 4, 2017, Posted by , In learning,training resources, By , With Comments Off on Tip #664: Staff Development Options

It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”  Queen Elizabeth II

Staff development is defined as the improvement of the knowledge and skills of employees within an organization by providing them with training.

Organizations that invest in staff development have found that it improves efficiency, improves productivity, ensures the continuation of institutional knowledge, reduces turnover, reduces costs, improves employee morale, and increases employee job satisfaction. Staff development may also give the organization greater scheduling flexibility and may lead to operational improvements.

Staff development can take many forms, as the following table illustrates.

Staff Development Conducted within the Organization
Mentoring A deliberate pairing of a more skilled/experienced person with a less
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Tip #657:  Understanding Others’ Thought Processes

On February 7, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #657:  Understanding Others’ Thought Processes

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” Desiderius Erasmus

Chris Argyris has identified seven different subconscious stages in decision making that he calls rungs on The Ladder of Inference.

We can use the Ladder with others, helping them to analyze their thought process at each rung so we both can understand the decisions they have made.

[Note: This is very much like the 5 Whys, which is a quality improvement problem finding technique. In the 5 Whys you keep asking “why?” until the other person has moved down from the obvious or presenting problem to the root … Read the rest

Tip #656: How to Analyze Our Choices

On January 31, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #656: How to Analyze Our Choices

“Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.” Peter Drucker

Chris Argyris has identified seven different subconscious stages in decision making that he calls rungs on The Ladder of Inference:

Rung 1: Observing reality

Rung 2: Selecting reality

Rung 3: Interpreting reality

Rung 4: Making assumptions

Rung 5: Forming conclusions

Rung 6: Adopting beliefs

Rung 7: Taking action

The purpose of the Ladder of Inference is to help us question our decisions. We can work down the ladder, analyzing our thought process at each rung so we can understand the choices we have made.

For example, there has been a lot of discussion recently about “false news” When the news is particularly troubling or inflammatory, we may leap … Read the rest

Tip #655: There is Never Just One Reality

On January 24, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #655: There is Never Just One Reality

“Sometimes you have to look reality in the eye, and deny it.” Garrison Keillor

We know that there are many obstacles to true understanding when two or more people are trying to communicate with each other. They may have a difficult shared history that colors their perceptions of what the other person is saying. They may be distracted, have a different frame of reference, get defensive, or make assumptions- to name only a few reasons for a potential bottleneck.

Just as there can be a difference between what a speaker says and what the listener hears, there can also be a difference between how two people react to the same fact situation.

My reality may be very different from your … Read the rest

Tip #654: Words Matter

On January 17, 2017, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #654: Words Matter

“There is no sin except stupidity.”  Oscar Wilde

There has been considerable discussion in the news lately regarding words- what was said, what wasn’t said, what was meant, how it was interpreted, if harm was intended, if defensiveness was justified, etc.

This is not a new occurrence, and has probably existed from the time that language was developed and used.

Here is an exploration of how the choice of words can make a great difference in the meaning and resulting impact of a communication.

Frederick Lewis Donaldson identified what he considered “The Seven Social Sins” during a sermon he gave in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 20, 1925:

Wealth without work.
Pleasure without conscience.
Knowledge without character.
Commerce without morality.
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