The Un-Man Falleth

As we grow older it sometimes proves difficult to make new friends, especially for someone like myself who is more reserved. On a rare occasion, you may meet or be introduced to someone with whom you quickly connect. I recently made a new friend, Barrett Martin, whom I met because he married one of my closest friends, Lisette. He is an accomplished musician, visual artist, and prolific writer. The essay shared below comes from his new book of short stories, The Way of the Zen Cowboy: Fireside Stories from a Globetrotting Rhythmatist. I recommend that everyone read (and re-read) The Un-Man Falleth.

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The New Yorker: Personal Best

I remembered reading this fascinating New Yorker article in 2011 about a very successful surgeon at the top of his field. One day he realized that he needed a coach in order to continue to improve his work. It really struck me that everyone can benefit from coaching, not just professional athletes. Mentoring is something I have been doing throughout my career. The article has inspired me to offer coaching in an official capacity and I will be sharing more information on my website regarding opportunities to work with me soon.

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Fast Company: How our brains process praise and why it’s killing our potential

I’ve recently recommended this article by Art Markman to people I coach or mentor. I thought it was a great piece to share here.

News flash: People love praise. They love being told that they’re doing a good job, that their effort is appreciated, and that they are a valuable member of the team. They love it so much, that we have embedded praise deeply in the culture. Our schools provide plenty of opportunities for students to get recognized for achievements large and small. Parents proudly display sportsmanship awards.

The problem with praise, though, is that we don’t learn much from it.

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