While I have never considered myself an auditory learner, during each school year I began noticing a significant dent in the time I was able to spend on my own professional education. These days I have a weekly slate of business-related podcasts that I count on to keep me on pace with the industries I work within, while traveling for work or waiting in the carpool line.
Whether you are writing client copy, marketing content, or your first novel, you likely know the mad, skull-squeezing feeling that writer’s block brings. When you’re working on deadline, there is hardly anything worse. Extracting even the most mundane of words from your mind is like pulling teeth. And that blasted blinking cursor underscores how much more white space there is on your screen than written words. It is enough to push a sane person to the brink and cause them to wonder if they had ever been able to string together coherent sentences in the first place.
Most of life’s metamorphoses are impossible to detect while they are happening to you—at least not in their fullest and rooted eventuality. That was certainly the case for me over the past year. While most of the big business and personal decisions were made with great deliberation, there were moments when I worried I may have lost sight of the end goal.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” The Golden Rule. That hallmark of thoughtfulness that we were all taught makes a harmonious world turn round. But does it really? Differentiation is paramount for effective leadership, and my friend and colleague, Micaela Alpers, is a model of adaptive leadership.
Isn't it funny the way a certain concept or behavior can seem to suddenly be all around you, all the time, after its compelling first appearance on your awareness radar? Nutella was like this for me. I lived a full 30 years of my life, blissfully unaware of its existence. But once I was introduced to its chocolate-hazelnut perfection, it was literally everywhere I looked.
Picture a nine-year-old boy, up extra-early on a Wednesday morning in May to put the finishing touches on his end-of-year school project. It is a project he has been working on and researching for months, and it all culminates with a presentation in front of his teacher and all his classmates. He is ashen with anxiety and he has faint circles beneath his eyes from a restless night’s sleep.
So just how do organizations justify continually-increasing training expenditures without the ability to prove the actual effectiveness of those investments? While in some cases, it can be justifiably blamed on an institutional "checklist mentality," it is much more often related to the particular challenges of developing a truly effective training evaluation strategy.
Like understanding the rules of email etiquette or how to backup important files to cloud storage, the ability to monotask–to effectively distinguish information delivery vehicles from our to-do list, to prioritize work based on actual goals, and to manage our engagement with digital communication tools accordingly–is merely another learned behavior necessary to successfully communicate and work within our modern digital environment.