Engaging the Whole Person in Learning

  Why is it that we spend so much on training (over $150 B in just one year, industry-wide) but see so little change? I watch instructional designers, trainers, and course writers work painstakingly to provide a clear message to the receivers, but then see the learning bounce and skip off, never fully landing at a level that creates true retention. Using the phases of learning that Bloom presents in his cognitive taxonomy is a solid tactic for good instruction. … [Read More]


Being a Leader of Change

Call it a transformation. Call it a cultural shift. Call it reset. Choose your industry buzzword for organisation-level changes that impact people, process, and technology. The bottom line is that a task force, whether internal or external, is faced with implementing huge change with complex impact to cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams. There are many processes, methods, and strategies to implement large-scale change, yet there is often missing a key ingredient. The inspiration of the people. Step 1 of any … [Read More]


Learning Resilience in Change

The start-up world celebrates experiments and failures as the fastest way to discover what actually works. It’s high energy, collaborative, disruptive … and fun. Up to this point, we are in a high state of learning. But THEN you find something that seems to really work for you. Things are falling into place! However, we can easily get fixated on what’s working. Whether we like it or not, the habits of high-speed learning fall away … and we lock onto … [Read More]


What are you measuring for success?

Do we measure opera singers by their technical skill? Do we measure jazz players by their musical exactness? Do we measure writers by their grammatical skills? If that’s how these artists measured their success, would our souls be moved? So why do we judge ourselves on things that don’t matter to our customers? Being moved to tears by the new Pia de’ Tolomei opera at Spoleto Festival in Charleston this week reminded me how I didn’t even notice the performance’s … [Read More]


Discerning the real learning needs

Remember when you felt that frustrating surge through you because “they just were missing the point”? Remember when you felt that pang of fear of totally not following what was going on and really hoping there would be documentation you could read up on so you wouldn’t have to make an idiot out of yourself? 


Working with overloaded WIP that isn’t yours…

It’s 1030pm. I was promised three major artifacts that would allow me to move forward with three different projects by three different people …. Tonight. My inbox? Empty. Surprised? Nope. So my three cards sit on the board … blocked. In fact, my blocked cards often outweigh my entire backlog. Is there ever a task or project that isn’t interconnected and requires collaboration with somebody? Limiting your own WIP is certainly a fabulous step to managing workflow and increasing effectiveness; however, … [Read More]


Problem Solving Isn’t Always about the Problem Presented

I’ve had all this army, all these officers… This damn Hooker, this damn idiot Meade. All of them. The whole bloody, lousy mess of sick-brained, potbellied scareheads. They ain’t fit to lead a johnny detail. They ain’t fit to pour pee out of a boot with instructions written under the heel. I’m tired. It’s always easy for me to watch Gettysburg because while I possibly have much of the script memorised, my empathy with their emotions experiences change and often … [Read More]


Academic Coaching Practices

This post represents the culmination of a series on values, mindset, and practices around academic coaching. In reality, coaching is difficult. If we really want to make a difference in the overloaded lives of our adult learners, we can take a page from Daloz’s book, Mentor, and see the challenges, heartbreak, and most importantly, the incredible transformation that gets experienced, both for yourself and the learner. Whether you are an administrator looking to increase retention, a professor who wants to provide the … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Writing Skills

We’ve covered three major areas for academic coaching to target with adult learners, including Academic Expectations, Communication Skills, and Grammar Skills. It can be easy to consider grammar and writing as the same strategy for improvement, but it’s an important differentiation for students, faculty, and coaches to value. Writing skills directly influence stronger communication skills, and in that we focus on flow, articulating thoughts, and presenting information effectively. It’s a natural tendency for academics to want students to focus on … [Read More]


Academic Coach Target Areas: Grammar Skills

As a continuation of focusing on the specific target areas as a learning coach to adult students, we move from Academic Expectations and Communication Expectations and into the realm of grammar skills. This is a skillset where you will see the majority of your adult learners cringe. It typically doesn’t matter where the reality of their skills lay, there is a perception that they need to do better. In fact, often the perception is that it’s simply too overwhelming to handle. Communication … [Read More]


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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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