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positive illusion

still on my switch buzz and now they are talking about the situation known as positive illusion.  what it boils it down to is that we think we are better than we are.  for the most part, i think they’re correct.  i know lots of people who downplay their ability but i wonder if they are just doing that as a facade or if they really don’t think much of themselves.  what is it about us that doesn’t allow us to honestly appraise?  you would think that an educated adult would know themselves better than anyone (a point they make in the book), but often relative strangers can more accurately assess us with very little contact.  odd, and a bit unsettling.  professionally, why do so many teacher NOT want to be video taped?  why don’t professional developers want to see footage of themselves facilitating a group?  does it have to do with vanity?  not really important…but what is important is the idea that, like athletes, we need to study the tape.  we need to see ourselves as others see us so that we can perhaps get a better read on ourselves and what we do.

do you think that there is a phenomenon for negative illusion?  is there a population or situation when people tend to devalue themselves?  as teachers, how can we both build a positive self image but tap the breaks before we unknowingly lay the groundwork for a positive illusion?

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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the heath bros. know resistance as well

i blogged a while back about seth godin’s linchpin and several of the ideas that hit home with me.  it’s his best work and the book really resonated with me.  i’m now reading switch by dan and chip heath and the idea of resistance has come up again, and it’s looked at in the same way.  in the same way that godin talks about resistance as a force that disables thrashing or shipping, the heaths see it, too, as an obstacle to overcome but this time in the context of change.  clarity dissolves resistance, so simple and so true.  this line comes after a piece about scripting moves to stay the course during times of change, but it works in the context of linchpin as well.  when the resistance is in the form of someone, often clarity will be able to disarm them.  to continue the author mashup even futher, lencioni uses fable to drive home very simple points that often/always end in some sort of success.  perhaps what lencioni is doing is offering a bit of clarity to a situation, thus making the solution seem almost intuitive where at one point it was completely hidden.  a friend of mine questioned my reading choices a while back, i suppose it would appear that my reading for pleasure could easily be misconstrued as reading for work.  i’m not sure if they are right or not.  if i were still in the classroom would these books appeal to me?  it saddens me to think that i wouldn’t read/enjoy them if i hadn’t left the classroom but that may be the case.  i like books that make me think.  i’ve had a terrific run of books and authors that seem to connect with me and with each other and speak strongly to the work i do and the work that i might someday want to do.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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switch

just began dan and chip heath’s latest book switch.  i’m just 22 pages in, but i’m a fan.  i think that it’s easy to tell early on if a book is right for you at the time you are reading it.  this one fits.  perhaps it has to do with the massive change going on all around me or perhaps it has to do with my recent read by seth godin, linchpin.  their second ‘surprise’ about change really has me wound up – it says that what looks like laziness is often exhaustion.  until reading this opening section, i never considered self control as an exhaustible resource, but it makes loads of sense.  we’ve all been worn down by ourselves at times but we see it as a weakness or as a quality lacking, not a lacking amount.  what has me thinking is this – how do we build a greater capacity for self control?  if we accept that it is a resource that can be work down, how to build up more short of taking a break?  which leads me to my next question…is self control like a rechargeable battery?  how long does it take to reset/recharge so that we are back to full strength?  i have had some crumby rechargeable batteries in my life and it seems like they have a finite number or recharges until they are completely worthless.  here’s to hoping that is not the case with us.  i digress.  when i consider my current situation, the self control seems to be spent holding our curiosities inside.  the information isn’t flowing freely and it takes just about all most of us can muster to suppress the questions and concerns that nobody seems willing/able to answer ans assuage right now.  so in my case, its not that lots of people don’t care about the massive change going on around us, its just that all the energy spent trying to not worry about it has worn us out.  i like it.  more importantly, i think it’s dead on.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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i’m a sucker

in just a few days the heath brothers will release their latest book, switch.  the synopsis is a bit eerie considering what is happening – ‘how to change things when change is hard’.  their first book made to stick was brilliant and i can’t wait to get my hand on their second.  in fact, they are coming to speak in houston, but i don’t think i’m going to be able to make it.  although a friend has been asking about babysitting…i digress.

they have been working their blog pretty hard recently to prep the masses for the release and they have absolutely nailed it with their post on multitasking.  long story short, multitaskers aren’t cognitively superior in any way, in fact they tend to be worse.  the part that i think was just perfect is when they sum up the research by saying that multitaskers are suckers for irrelevancy, and that everything distracts them.   they’re right.  i say this as a person who tends to multitask more times than not.  you get in to that frame of mind and instead of having a narrow focus you almost get in to a zone of looking for something else to do instead of cycling back to everything in front of you.  i would like to think that i do pretty well having a single focus when the task calls for that type of attention, but i’m not the kind of guy with one browser window open or one document open at a time.  i have zero interest in going down the path of which is better, however i think that this study spotlights an inherent danger in not having a single focus when working.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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