Saturday, February 23, 2013

Teacher Thoughts: Daniel Pink - To Sell Is Human Part 3

I am reading Daniel Pink, To Sell Is Human. As I read I have marked down some passages that I think are worth discussing. I am trying to read this book from the mindset of an educator and coach. As I read I am trying to figure out ways in which his ideas can be applied to teaching and coaching. I will do my best to explain my thoughts, questions, insights, etc. the best I can in hopes that it creates some dialogue to pursue further.

I will admit that at first I was not really digging the book. I have read his other books and loved them! This one did not quite grab me at first. However, when I started to look at the stories, examples, and ideas through the lens of education it really changed things and I really found the book to be powerful.

As I continue to type up my notes and ideas from the book I come to the next place that I marked to discuss.

Discussion Map

On page 92-93 he discusses doing a Discussion Map where you chart all the interactions of a meeting. I think that at my next team meeting or in service meeting I am going to chart the interactions. I would like to do this time and time again without getting caught(that would be the challenge) to see the ebb and flow of our staff and team meetings. I think this will provide some insight and answers to the dynamics of each session. I really think that whoever does the talking has a great impact on the mood, tone, and energy of meetings. You feel this with certain people. Some enter a meeting and the mood is relaxed and people open up. Other times a person can kill everything with a negative tone or fear of sharing because that person might attack the speaker. Teaching now for almost 10 years you can see how the dynamics of meetings based on the people take on whole new life or loss of life. This might be a professional development plan idea for next year! I need to remember this.

Self Talk

I talk to myself all the time. I have the most amazing conversations in my head and then wonder why I cannot fall asleep at night. I am not going to go into all the facts and research on self talk and how it can impact us for performance(one of my many preachings as a basketball coach), but I want to focus on a part of the book that discusses the framework of our self talk. Talking to oneself with an ASKING approach vs. a TELLING approach. What is striking or cool about this is when we ask or question our self talk we accomplish more because that framework expects an answer. By asking yourself a question it will cause you to dig deep. This is so true. Before my first ever presentation I asked myself if I was ready? I talked to myself out loud in my hotel about all the reasons why I was ready. During this I reaffirmed my belief in myself while calming down and going through all my facts one more time. It worked! 

Next there is the idea that intrinsic motivation is more powerful than the extrinsic pressure. This is a no brainer especially if you have read his previous work and we should all know this from life experience. Common sense, but often overlooked as we try to motivate ourselves and others and fail with extrinsic rewards.
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