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
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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
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Tip #544: Unexpected Joy

On November 17, 2014, Posted by , In learning, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #544: Unexpected Joy

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” Maya Angelou

I did not embrace the changes I needed to make in my yard.

I was not happy when I had to remove four large trees: a willow, an elm, a pine and a plum tree.However, suddenly, there were many large open sunny areas where there once had been shade.

I could finally plant sun-loving perennials to my heart’s desire. Instead of two large, weedy and overgrown gardens, there are now seven mulched gardens of varying sizes filled with a profusion of multi-colored perennials.

I was upset when the jungle of hasta, hydrangea, Virginia creeper, and lilies of the valley on the side of the house … Read the rest

Tip #533: Requiem for a Willow

On September 1, 2014, Posted by , In learning, By ,, , With Comments Off on Tip #533: Requiem for a Willow

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” Bruce Lee

When I moved into my house almost 30 years ago, I was charmed by the ancient weeping willow that stood sentinel in front of the house. That very night, I looked out my window and saw a huge raccoon looking in at me. Since my house is in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, a mere mile from our State Capital, this seemed pretty extraordinary. Magical.

The willow branches danced in the breeze, sending lovely leaf shadows on the living room walls. It provided a lacy curtain of privacy for the upstairs bedroom in the spring, and for the living room … Read the rest

Tip #526: The Best Learning States

“Man is the only creature whose emotions are entangled with his memory.” Marjorie Holmes

No, we’re not talking about geographical states. That would be an entirely different political and emotion-laden discussion.

Instead, we are talking about the emotional states of your learners.

We know that emotional states impact learning and behavior. Now brain research explains how this happens. Let’s look at the hormones that affect the brain in such a way as to create these emotional states.

The three most commonly studied hormones that transmit messages to the brain (neurotransmitters) are dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. Dopamine is related to experiences of pleasure and the reward-learning process. In other words, when you do something good, you’re rewarded with dopamine and gain … 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