And as I read the book, it occurred to me that we can apply
Kawasaki’s principles just as readily to the classroom as to the marketplace;
just as effectively to personal relationships as to corporate politics.
This weekend—in between grading essays and plugging away at a writing project—I made time to read Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Action (Portfolio/Penguin, 2011). Kawasaki, who describes himself as the “former chief evangelist for Apple,” offers strategies on how to enchant people with a product, service, or organization.
His strategies go beyond gimmicky techniques. At the heart of the enchantment process is building transformative relationships. And as I moved through the book, it occurred to me that we can apply Kawasaki’s principles just as readily to the classroom as to the marketplace; just as effectively to personal relationships as to corporate politics. Here are a few points from the book that stood out to me.
1. Be likable, trustworthy, and passionate about a good cause.
- This is a powerful triumvirate for the classroom instructor. “Likable” in this case is all about respecting your audience; speaking with them. It’s not as trite as saying “I want to be liked.” I wrote a blog post earlier this year (The Student Perspective: What Do Effective Teachers Do?) in which I reported on an informal study I did of my students. Their number one characteristic of an effective teacher? It was all about passion for the class—hands down.
2. When getting ready to launch a product, conduct a “premortem.” That is, brainstorm all the potential roadblocks and pitfalls.
- I find this helpful when I am planning a new activity or lesson. Whether I am preparing for a class of 30 or an audience of 500, I anticipate the results. (Sometimes I am more effective than others!)
3. Practice the Japanese principle of kanso.
- Simply put, kanso is the ability to eliminate clutter and reduce things to their simplest state. At times we get too complicate in education. If we can remember to cut to the chase, we will be much more effective.
4. Become an advocatus diaboli—or a devil’s advocate.
- This will serve you when developing a new activity, lesson, or approach. It can be powerful when attempting to work through bureaucratic jargon and meaningless wheel spinning. We need to be advocates for our students and our colleagues.
5. Recognize and eliminate “bull shiitake”!
- See numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 above.
Video recommendation for the week:
Kawasaki outlines the principles.
Who will you enchant this week?
Enjoy your week—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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