Positive Questions for Professional Development: Setting the Stage

This week I'm exploring how positive questions might transform our approaches to professional development. Originally I was going to start by playing with some questions about what to learn, but in thinking about the whole issue of professional development, it occurs to me how many of us may need help in setting up for ourselves a more positive environment around taking control of our own learning, especially when we work... Read more →


Professional Development from Inspiration, Not Desperation

I've been thinking a lot lately about positive questions and their connection to professional development. Last week I talked about the power of positive priming and how brain research shows that when we have negative expectations for learning and development, we are less likely to learn from our experiences. I also discussed positive questioning and how reframing the questions we focus our brains on can lead us to better solutions... Read more →


Action vs. Activity

Over on his Learnstreaming blog, Dennis Callahan writes about the difference between signing up for social media and joining: Having a social media account (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve joined. It means you’ve signed up. It’s like signing up for the gym. You can say that you belong to the gym but if you don’t get on the equipment and exercise, what benefit is there to your... Read more →


On yesterday's post about creative anxiety and risk-taking, Holly McDonald left me an excellent link to an article on risk-taking at the Open Education blog, which, in turn, led me to Gever Tulley's TEDTalk on 5 Dangerous Things You Should Allow Your Child to Do. We learn as children to stop taking risks, but I think that as we become adults, we can be even more risk-averse, mainly because we... Read more →


5 Strategies for Supporting Bottom-Up Social Media Use

Jane Hart writes an interesting post on top-down vs. bottom-up approaches to nurturing social media in organizations, making the excellent point that bottom up support of existing social media activities will work better than imposing social media use from the top down. What I've been observing in my work with clients, though, is a tendency to use top-down strategies to support bottom-up initiatives, especially in organizations where they're just delving... Read more →


Reason 543 Why You MUST Stop Site Blocking: Your Employees Can't Solve Their Problems On Their Own

Yesterday was a typical day for me as a knowledge worker--lots of unrelated problems to solve, ranging from troubleshooting an issue with a Wordpress blog I was setting up for a client to gathering information on employment statistics for people with disabilities. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in having this kind of wide-ranging work to do. Even the specialists among us have found their job duties broadening in this... Read more →


Conference Homophily is a Problem--Maybe Conference Mashups are the Solution

I'm back from a two-day conference and I think I've discovered one of the reasons conferences are becoming a big waste for me--the homophily problem, otherwise known as "birds of a feather, flock together." Most professional conferences are made up of people who are in a particular occupation or industry, which means people who tend to look at the world through the same lens. We tend to view problems and... Read more →


I've written before about the importance of reflective practice in professional development--the process of reflecting on your development as a professional and recording those thoughts somehow. The problem for most people is that getting in a regular practice of reflecting and recording can be difficult. Developing new habits can be hard, so having a tool to help you along can be invaluable. So, via TechCrunch and Marianne Lenox, here's a... Read more →


More on Blogging When Your Industry Isn't Into It

The other day I posted on how to blog when your industry or occupation hasn't embraced the whole social media thing. Today I ran across a great article on 15 Practices to Deepen Human Connection and Engagement Online that I think are a nice complement to some of my previous suggestions. Some of these ideas include: Ask people for advice and favors. People like to help. Helping others gives them... Read more →


Virtual Career Fair Lessons Learned: Implementation

In a previous post, I shared some lessons learned in planning for the virtual career fair we piloted in the spring with several Pennsylvania counties. Today I'm going to share some lessons we learned during implementation. Make presentations more interactive and visually interesting--While a few of our presenters had some experience in presenting online, most did not. We ran practice sessions ahead of the actual events, but these were primarily... Read more →