Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Teacher Thoughts on Dan Pink: To Sell Is Human Part 2

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.

This next segment comes from after a week of reading so I have had time to process some of my thoughts.

This is so weird that Daniel Pink is discussing"Ambivert" while I just started reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Here he discusses people who are a bit of both. As I read Quiet I keep going back to something in this book by Pink, "The notion that extraverts are the finest salespeople is so obvious that we've overlooked one teensy flaw. There's almost no evidence that it's actually true."

Ambiverts are those that sit roughly in the middle between introverts and extraverts. Ambiverts are able to find that happy medium of listening and also taking action as needed. The good news is that most of are ambiverts. I don't know where I fall. I would like to assume that I am more closely aligned with this notion of ambiverts since I have been working on my introvert skills over the years and feel like I have moved more towards the middle. I don't know how to best gauge this, but this is my gut feeling. Or perhaps I have always been in the middle and as I age and become wiser(this is debatable) perhaps I am more comfortable in my skin.

I love the notion of the best conversation starter is, "Where are you from?" I actually used this tactic while flying out to LA this past weekend. It works so well as people just open up and start talking. It is comfortable and allows the responder to answer at a level of comfort as they so desire.

I don't want to go into all the details of this concept, but I am very intrigued by this whole notion of mimicry and to mimic the actions of others while communicating. The reading on this concept is very interesting to me. I need to follow up with some more research as well as test things on my own. 

The last thing that I want to discuss/share is the Jeff Bezos(Amazon.com) and his wonderful meeting idea. When he has meeting he leaves one chair empty to remind the people of the meeting that the most important person of the meeting is the customer. I think this would be a good strategy to use as teachers. We have meetings that sometimes lose focus and become more a complain fest. However, if we had this subtle reminder that this could be a student in the meeting I wonder if things would change? I know that if a real student was sitting in on the meeting we would stay the course for sure! With any meeting how do we stay on track? It can so easy to lose focus. We have all been in meetings that you left and felt like you just spun your wheels. This can wear people out especially in this day and age when businesses and schools meet all the time. It goes back to the ideas of Quiet, are we better off just working solo or online? Would that make things better so that when we did meet in person(perhaps less often) would more get done? I don't know the answer, but it is one worth exploring.

This is enough to chew on for now. I will post my next installment tomorrow.
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