Learning from the pros

My theme of today is learning from the pros.  I am a learning geek and I love learning from the masters so this comes easily to me and inspires me to refine my own skills.

A few links to consider on this theme:

Love him or hate him, this is a great Podcast, from Tod Maffin who is interviewing Michael Enright from CBC radio on How to Interview Someone which runs about ten minutes.

Some main points that I think are gems:

  • The key to a great interview (in Enright’s opinion) is one of main saws: for the best interviews you need to listen and form your next question from what you hear; and
  • You can’t over-prepare for the interview.  You are there as the surrogate for the listener.  Notwithstanding a high level of preparation, there can always be potential for spontaneity; you can’t know everything.

On another note, I, like many public servants am pre-occupied (and some days in a cold sweat) because I will need to re-test on my French exams later this year.   I was particularly brain dead  from a long day on a recent visit my local library and wandered into a section I hadn’t seen before called,  “Easy Reads in French”.   I was there long enough that the woman who curates the section came along to give me some recommendations.  It was brilliant and reminded me how many French authors that I read in translation, that I could be reading in French.  I am now armed with a good long list of books, graphic novels and biographies to help me get back in the French game.

Lastly, I consider volunteering a big part of my core values though some days are of course better than others.  I find it especially challenging when I am called upon to lead volunteers.  Where people might think that this might be a natural extension of my role as a manager, it just ain’t so.  I am fortunate have found a book that I refer to a fair bit specifically on leading volunteers.  The book is called, “To Lead is to Serve: How to Attract and Retain Volunteers”  Some of the nuggets from the book include: the need to meet people where they are (don’t expect them to meet you where you are), the importance of meeting basic needs first in a volunteer setting before making demands, and the especially important place for recognition in a volunteer setting – the author speculates  that the number one reason people quit their volunteer gigs is hurt feelings.


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