Thursday, October 11, 2012

Let's Drop Some Science Tonight: Boundaries for Better Business

Before I get super excited about my class tonight at the Makeshift Society I want to give a quick THANK YOU to all the incredible, inspiring, talented and business minded women who came out last night for Success Squad.  Sarah & I were blown away by your creativity and intelligence!!  There is nothing that we like more than seeing women take the lead and ladies, you all really showed us something!! We will be talking about last night's meeting in greater detail, but in the mean time I just wanted to say THANKS.

AND, of course I hope you will join me tonight at the Makeshift Society for my class Boundaries for Better Business.  I'll be sharing my thoughts on ways to set up your business to best handle the daily challenges that disrupt our work flow.  Mostly, difficult customers!  Plus you will learn why...

There is still space, so stop on by, I'd love to have you!  Here's the link and a small part of the outline, if you want to sample the psych:

·                We are animals
·                 I will survive

·                 It’s just psychology silly
·                 Shakespeare was right. Know your role.
·                The cool High School teacher myth

·               Woody Allen vs. Hannibal Lechter
·               Even Steven
·              The Troublesome Tester

Back to business...

Sarah and I started the week posting about teaching.  This has been a teaching focused week for both of us and it seemed fitting to include you in on our thoughts and process.  We believe that teaching and speaking can be a fun and important part of your business, if they are processes you are comfortable with.  Outside of interacting with curious folk, my favorite thing about teaching is it is my own little test of my level of expertise on a subject.  To teach, you really need to know.  This doesn't mean you need to be the world renowned expert on what you are sharing, but you need to be able to hold on to the concrete and abstract parts of a particular subject.  In order to clearly explain how or why, you need to walk yourself through the process, this is always a good exercise and one that can really help ground you in your brand and pitch.  I thought it helpful to share below some touch points that I consider when creating a class.  These are pretty standard for me, whether I am teaching to grad students or teenagers, these same general rules seem to apply.
  • Teach what makes you salivate.  A big part of holding court in a classroom, regardless of the size and scope is passion.  Your passion for a subject will engage your audience in ways you cannot recreate on the blackboard.  
  • Know your audience.  A subject taught to a group of focused conference goers is going to be presented differently to a group of energetic teenagers. If you like to teach a specific subject, have a few versions of the class in your arsenal, so you establish different starting points for various audiences.
  •  Be learner centered.  Not everyone learns the same way.  Some people need to see it, others hear it, and others need to actually do it.  Try to mix it up!  Give everyone a chance to grasp the material by offering visuals, lecture, and hands on.
  • Own it!  Hold court in that classroom and be grounded in your expertise.  Teaching is not only about imparting your expertise of a particular subject, but it's also about holding the space well enough for learning to occur.  This means setting up reasonable rules and boundaries.  For example, handing out an agenda, being aware of the time, and taking charge.

We will leave it there for now.  I could go on and on.

Happy Thursday!



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