Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

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Tip #763: Why You Are Neotenic

On March 11, 2019, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #763: Why You Are Neotenic

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”  Albert Einstein

I just read this article about “Why Are So We Curious?”by Tom Stafford. Rather than attempting to paraphrase, let me quote the salient parts that explain why we are neotenic- and why that’s a good thing.

“Evolution made us the ultimate learning machines and the ultimate learning machines need to be oiled by curiosity.

… We humans have a deeply curious nature, and more often than not it is about the minor tittle-tattle in our lives. Our curiosity has us doing utterly unproductive things like reading news about people we will never meet, learning topics we will never have use for, or exploring places we will … Read the rest “Tip #763: Why You Are Neotenic”

Tip #761: The HOW is Important

On February 25, 2019, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #761: The HOW is Important

“A good teacher…is understanding of needs and challenges and gives tools to help other people succeed.” Justin Trudeau

As facilitative trainers, it is our responsibility to help our participants discover WHAT to do in certain types of situations and WHEN and WHY it is important. But our most significant task is to help them discover HOW to implement their new knowledge and skills.

For example, we can provide a checklist for how to conduct a meeting that indicates the do’s and don’ts. If one of the items on the checklist is “ensure no one dominates the conversation,” our participants need to know HOW to do that. Should they sit on the offending dominators, tell them to shut up, ask them … Read the rest “Tip #761: The HOW is Important”

Tip #754: Holding Learners Accountable

On January 7, 2019, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #754: Holding Learners Accountable

“At the end of the day we are accountable to ourselves-our success is a result of what we do.” Catherine Pulsifer 

There is a lot of information these days about how to measure the impact of a training program, including Kirkpatrick’s model, return on investment and return on expectations. All of this is well and good. But they all depend on the learners’ commitment to using what has been learned- and changing their behavior for better performance. Other than getting the learners’ supervisors to reinforce and monitor the application of new learning, there is little advice regarding how to instill in the learners themselves a commitment to change.

I’ve written about the Peer Learning Group model that involves two 90-minute … Read the rest “Tip #754: Holding Learners Accountable”

Tip #752: Mistakes

On December 17, 2018, Posted by , In learning,Uncategorized, By , With Comments Off on Tip #752: Mistakes


“To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is to swear off having ideas.” Leo Burnett

It is the end of the year and I’ve been thinking about paths I didn’t take as well as paths that essentially blew up in my face. Sigh… I would like to say that each mistake has been an opportunity to learn something about myself, about the world, or about life itself. That’s not entirely accurate. Some “mistakes” were strong good faith efforts that failed for reasons well beyond my control.

My experience with federal government service contracts, for example. I needed to show a certain dollar amount for federal contracts on a yearly basis and was unable to … Read the rest “Tip #752: Mistakes”

Tip #738: Keep It Moving

On September 10, 2018, Posted by , In learning, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #738: Keep It Moving

“A peer learning group is a wonderful testing ground for new behaviors.” Deborah Spring Laurel

The public library in Waupaca, Wisconsin is going to have a Civil Discussion Series. The purpose is to ‘strengthen community through relationship and understanding.’ It will begin by teaching civil communication techniques. This will prepare the participants to use civil discourse as they discuss the “Hard Topics” that have polarized our country, such as immigration.

This program got me thinking about all of the different types of personality profiles that help people learn how to better communicate with others and to value their differences. DiSC, Meyers-Briggs, Kiersey Temperament Sorter, INSIGHT inventory, Neuro-linguistic Programming, True Colors, The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, and The Big Five … Read the rest “Tip #738: Keep It Moving”