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Friday Finds — SMEs, Effective Communicators, Living Pointlessly

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“Notice that, while lots of people are happy to tell you about Golden Ages, nobody ever seems to think one is happening right now. Maybe that’s because the only place a Golden Age can ever happen is in our memory.”

― Adam Mastroianni

This has been an amazing week spent with my son! We've been totally absorbed in exploring new places and learning about history (and let's not forget indulging in delicious French pastries and Belgian waffles!). It's been such a special time together, and I'm so grateful for it. I hope this trip will stay with him for a long time, even if it's just half as amazing for him as it's been for me.

Thanks for reading!

🎶 What I’m Listening To

Since we’re driving around Europe this week, the European Vacation Soundtrack seems appropriate for today.

📰 News & Notes

Why Your Experts Aren’t Always Great at Teaching

Will Thalheimer is previewing some parts of his upcoming book, and this one argues that subject matter experts are not always the best people to develop training courses. I’ll bet most of us can relate to that dynamic. He tells us that there are three main reasons for this. First, creating good training is time-consuming and experts are usually more valuable to the company doing their actual jobs. Second, experts often struggle to explain complex topics to beginners because they forget what it's like not to know something. Finally, experts typically lack the instructional design skills required to create effective training programs.

🎯 Take away: Subject matter experts often aren’t great trainers due to time constraints, difficulty explaining concepts, and lack of instructional design expertise.

4 Habits of Highly Effective Communicators

Charles Duhigg's Supercommunicators reveals the power of creating deep connections through effective communication. Duhigg demystifies the traits of "supercommunicators" who, regardless of personality, excel in making others feel understood through listening and meaningful dialogue. He shares four essential skills: identifying conversation types, demonstrating active listening, engaging with insightful questions, and genuinely seeking to understand others.

🎯 Take away: Effective communication, rooted in active listening and empathy, is key to forging stronger, more authentic connections.

A Short Guide to Living More Pointlessly

This is a super interesting and relevant article for all of us. As game-like elements (points, badges, levels) creep into more and more areas of our lives, often subtly, we start to wonder: how is this constant gamification affecting our well-being? Unlike traditional games with a clear ending, these ongoing systems leave us chasing ever-receding goals. Maybe it’s time to take a step back, take stock of our values, and ask ourselves a simple question: am I playing the games I want to play?

🎯 Take away: Our digital platforms are invariably built on point systems. But do we really want to play life like a game?

Get free L&D insights and resources on the Neovation Learning Hub! Explore topics like instructional design, digital accessibility, learning analytics, training use cases, and more.

🧰 Tech Tools & Tips

If tools are your jam, check out my new Work Smarter newsletter.

One tool does it all—ClickUp offers all the features you need in one platform: Tasks, Docs, Whiteboards, Dashboards, Goals… and more!
Get ClickUp for free—no credit card needed!

🎧 Podcast

This is the conversation that caught my ear this week. Check out previous episodes in the Friday Finds podcast playlist.

🧳 Where’s Mike?

If you or your event needs a speaker or workshop that is highly interactive and super practical, we should talk.

Clear-Cut Steps to Build Effective Scenarios Faster

Role-play simulations are a new trend in online corporate training. Having surpassed their initial use case of customer service games, they are now used for many other purposes, such as teaching leadership, interpersonal processes, and abstract relationships.

Discover new types of role-plays and learn how to create them step by step.

Department of Shenanigans

Spurious Correlations is a fun reminder that correlation is not causation

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