Reduce extraneous load

Why simpler relates to better learning

Recently I watched a webinar from Harvard Business School Publishing (HBSP) presented by Bill Schiano. HBSP has been an excellent resource for online teaching tips, and Bill has been one of the most insightful presenters. One tip from this webinar was to reduce extraneous load.

Bill shared insights from the book Cognitive Load Theory in Action, suggesting that when we learn, we have a finite amount of working memory in which to absorb new information. We need to reduce the extraneous so our listeners can focus on the important.

Time for a career, business or life checkup?

Go back to your values

Recently I read Think Again by Adam Grant. His premise is that approaching life with a more scientific mindset can help you be more adaptive and innovative as compared to an approach of preacher, prosecutor or politician.

The final chapter was particularly insightful. Chapter 11 is titled “Escaping tunnel vision: Reconsidering our best-laid career and life plans”. When making a review, Grant suggests to go back to our values.

This is the third time in the past few months that I have heard the advice “go back to your values,” so I decided to explore further.

Ice cone vision

Are you prepared to refreeze?

This Covid change process is getting old. Last spring we responded to a crisis and opened up quickly for change. We have been adapting ever since. I am fine with adapting, but will it ever end?

Kurt Lewin’s change model describes the need to unfreeze, change and refreeze. My favorite image illustrating this concept comes from this article by MindTools:

Lessons from Improv

Building social connections virtually

In our dramatic switch to online working and learning, we have learned how to navigate virtual activities. We find that tasks can be handled in a virtual environment, sometimes even better.

The Long Covid Winter

Inspiration from the prairie

Like many young girls growing up in the American midwest, I read the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. One summer on vacation we even visited the Ingalls’ homestead in DeSmet, South Dakota. The South Dakota prairie is flat, flat, flat and in the winter it can be cold, cold, cold with the wind and snow blowing across it.

Building trust in a virtual world

Learn how from research on virtual teams

In our new Zoom environment, we are all adapting to remote working and learning. And we find that some things actually work better while some things are more difficult.

Building trust is one of the more difficult elements, yet it is one of the most important for effective virtual teams.

Awaken Your Sleeping Ties

When you can’t meet new people, why not reconnect with people with whom you have lost touch

In this time of staying at home, meeting new people is difficult, if not impossible.

If you need to reach out to generate new ideas or for job leads, consider awakening your sleeping ties instead.

Centering the Bubble

Finding balance in our turbulent environment

Over the past few months I have been thinking about finding balance. First the objective was to balance a busy professional life with more time for personal things. In just two weeks, it has swung drastically to the other end of the scale, with lots more time for personal things and seeking balance with professional activities. How quickly life can change!

Being “otherish”

How to focus your giving and take care of yourself

Following last month’s newsletter about asking for help from superconnectors, one reader responded with this question.

As someone who could be considered a superconnector, how do I deal with so many people asking for my help? People want Skype calls or coffees, and this always takes more than 5 minutes of course. If they are just looking for a contact, then I can shoot an email but this is not the type of request I get often. Some people think I am in the HR business and should refer them to companies. So, how to politely refuse or deflect.