Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

On August 1, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

“I don’t accept the status quo. I do accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express.”  Stephen Colbert

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.'”  Ronald Reagan

There is a lot that can interfere with a willingness to learn new things.

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first eight: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness, Mere Exposure Effect, Not Invented Here, and Reactance in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the last two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary is mine.

  1. Status Quo bias: The
Read the rest

Tip #595:  The Vagaries of Change

On November 16, 2015, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #595:  The Vagaries of Change
“The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.”  Dudley Moore
I recently learned the reason for the proliferation of roundabouts in the roads. I’ve never heard anyone who was happy about them and I myself have been known to complain a time or two. It can be very confusing at first, to know which lane to be in and where to turn off. I’m sure I’m not the first or last person to go around a roundabout several times before either I figure it out or take a stab at it.
Roundabouts are intended to slow down traffic. But they apparently play an even more significant safety role.
Crash data research has shown that
Read the rest

Tip #511: How to Handle Employee Push Back Against Metrics

On March 31, 2014, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #511: How to Handle Employee Push Back Against Metrics

“The strongest human instinct is to impart information, the second strongest is to resist it.”  Kenneth Grahame

These days, performance management seems to be increasingly about the metrics. Many organizations are now measuring employee productivity and the quality of the results much more rigorously. New employees may take this in their stride, as just part of their employment. However, employees who have been with the organizations for many years may push back against the metrics.

There are many possible reasons for push back against metrics. There are the psychological factors. Metrics can seem cold and impersonal. They reduce human beings to numbers, or at least that is how it may appear to employees. If little or no measurement was conducted … Read the rest

Tip #400: Life’s a Journey, Not a Destination- Stop Asking for Directions

On November 14, 2011, Posted by , In learning, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #400: Life’s a Journey, Not a Destination- Stop Asking for Directions

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon

Our society tends to be very goal-oriented. We set long-term goals and short-term goals. We make daily to do lists. High school freshman are expected to know the course of study they should take. College freshmen have to select a major area of concentration. It seems as if we should all have our lives wrapped up in a tidy prefabricated package.

Yet how many of us make our living using that college major? How many of us are doing something entirely different from anything we could ever have planned, expected or even imagined?

Change continues to happen at a whirlwind pace, leaving us exhausted and … Read the rest

Tip #327: A Riff on “Why”

On June 14, 2010, Posted by , In management and leadership, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #327: A Riff on “Why”

“I am one of the people who love the why of things.” Catherine the Great

This is going to be a riff on the importance of knowing “why.”

1. I worked for the State of Wisconsin for ten years, primarily in the area of human resources. It became clear to me very quickly that managers generally told their employees what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. But they rarely, if ever, told them why it was important.

If you don’t know why something needs to be done, what its purpose might be, or what the consequences could be if it isn’t done- then it is very difficult to:

(a) be invested in performing the specific … Read the rest