Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What do all those NPR people look like?

Here's Gaelan Kelly's mental pictures of Carl Kasell, Jad Abumrad, Robert Krulwich, and other voices in our heads.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The case for in-person learning

Valuable blog post by Deborah Laurel on why interpersonal skills need face-to-face training.  Her points 3 and 4 focus on practice, immediate feedback, and trial and error -- and how they help learners master and retain new skills.
Interactive skills require whole body learning. In other words, just because a participant intellectually grasps the steps in a specific type of interaction does not mean that the participant is able to effectively handle the interaction in real life. The only way that learners will achieve confidence in their own competence is for them to practice their new skills in simulations that are as real to life as possible.  
 a. The participants can evaluate whether their verbal and nonverbal behaviors are consistent with each other, or whether they are giving inconsistent messages.
b. The participants get a chance to see how it feels to actually say what needs to be said to the other person.
c. The participant has to adjust to and handle unexpected responses of the other person.
d. It gives participants the experience of having to think on their feet.
I've got to agree!  Practice that's designed to be authentic, realistic, and unexpected (combined with a chance to coach and be coached by peers) is tremendously powerful.  It's the difference between reading a recipe and tasting the dish.

Photo by Jill Brazel
at a Workplace Interactors program

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Good words

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand. Woodrow Wilson