Learning Technologies Newsletter

ISSUE 7 - December 2005 - by Phil Chambers

TIME TO READ: 4 minutes (Average Reader), less than a minute (Speed Reader) - Word Count: 1,003. To learn more about Speed Reading Contact us.

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Welcome to the December issue of the Learning Technologies Newsletter.

This month as well as our regular quote of the month and Mind Mapping tip, we a Christmas "Visual Thinking" game plus some thoughts on learning, fears and beliefs.

Quote of the Month

"To think is easy.To act is hard.
But the hardest thing in the world is to act
in accordance with your thinking"


For many more quotes click here.

Mind Mapping Tip of the Month

Allow a gestation period for ideas to mature in your subconscious if you are problem-solving with a Mind Map. Use a Mind Map to gather and organise the facts, define the problem and, if possible, the ideal outcome. Then switch off: have a bath, go for a long walk, sleep on it. The subconscious will be working on the problem the whole time and will alert the conscious mind when it has a solution. An idea will 'pop into your head'! Here are the main branches that you could start from...

For another 100 tips on Mind Mapping see "101 Top Tips for Better Mind Maps" by Phil Chambers, available from our online shop, click here.


Christmas Visual Thinking Quiz

Identify the Christmas songs and carols below...

Answers at the bottom of the page.

(For our non UK subscribers the person in 1. is Noel Edmunds, a TV presenter)

Christmas Special Offer

This Christmas why not give the gift of learning? We have a range of books on our website from under five pounds. What is more you can avoid the crowds by buying online and don't even need to have the bother of wrapping and delivering the presents.

As a special service for Christmas - Throughout December we are offering free gift wrapping on any products bought from our online shop. When you place your order simply send a separate e-mail to orders@learning-tech.co.uk   with details of the product that you ordered and a message for the recipient. We will beautifully wrap it, print your message, attach it to the parcel and dispatch it with 24 hours of the order.

Click here to visit our shop.

Snow, Skiing and Success

Seeing the recent snows locally, cast my mind back to many years ago in the Austrian Tyrol learning to ski. One of my early problems when I was hurtling down hill, but probably nothing like as fast as I remember, was that I would bend my knees too much, shift my weight and effectively sit down - coming to an abrupt stop. This fear of uncontrolled speed was only short lived. As I learned to slow down, 'snow plough' turn and eventually perform parallel turns, my confidence increased and I was more able to control my descent.

Much has been written about the fear of failure and indeed this can be a huge barrier to success, especially in a company with a long established blame culture. Rikki Hunt, Chairman and CEO of Fuel Force, a highly successful petroleum supplier talks about winning and losing instead of success and failure. It is a subtle shift of attitude but important. Failure is seen as final and disastrous whereas losing is something even the best football teams know all about - It is a fact of life and will happen from time to time. The important thing about losing is that it is an opportunity to learn and increase the likelihood of winning next time. Hunt says, " The winning companies with be those that mobilize the most brains", emphasising the importance of thinking and learning.

It is often though that learning is a smooth curve or continuous improvement as shown below.

However this is an average and doesn't allow for the fact that you have trials that you will win and others that you will lose. The actual graph is more like this...

Look the graph and decide where you are in your learning process. If you appear to be failing don't let this discourage you. It is a normal and natural part of the learning process.

Even thought losing will happen, you and reduce it's likelihood by expecting and believing that you will win. Our beliefs shape out actions. Hunt again says, "Change the way you think and you change the way you act" - One of his central Groundrules is a "Can do" positive attitude.

Just as important as removing fear of failure is removing fear of success. This is what I had when skiing. I wasn't worried about falling over. In fact I was in a way deliberately falling over because things were going too well. I was going too fast. Have you ever found that you know the right course of action but there is something stopping you. Some trepidation before you take the next step. A fear of success, maybe. This boils down to belief again. Not just belief that you can but belief in yourself, belief that you deserve to win.

Think about what beliefs and fears are stopping you reaching the success you deserve. What is your current position on the learning graph?

Graphs from "The Age Heresy" by Tony Buzan & Raymond Keene. Also see "Creating a Thinking Organization" by Rikki Hunt with Tony Buzan (reviewed Here).

That's all for this month. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions. (Contact Details Here.) I look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you a very merry Christmas (or your particular winter festival) and a Happy New Year.

P.S. The answers to the Quiz are:

1) The First Noel
2) The Night Before Christmas
3) We Wish You A Merry Christmas
4) Jingle Bells
5) We Three Kings Of Orient Are