Nonsense At Work

Posts tagged learning

#941: You don’t have to like it to love it

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meeting1Who is the teacher – the parent or the child? The answer is obvious, until you become a parent. Then you enter the gray zone, and not only from a lack of sleep.

Can you love someone without liking them? The answer is also obvious, until your children turn into teenagers. Love, yes, but like? Sometimes that’s asking too much.

That is when you finally understand why religions and philosophies urge you to love your neighbor instead of merely asking you to like your neighbor.

At places I have worked, I had not always liked every colleague, but I often loved what we were as a team.

Today I find myself not really liking some of my fellow citizens, based on their politics. But I am now wise enough to know that liking matters little as long as I can still love who we are collectively. And what we teach and learn together.


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#901: Don’t acquire experience by practicing your bad judgement on others

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biggovI’m bored with all this talk about whether experience really matters. The answer is just too obvious. Experience doesn’t matter . . . unless the consequences of inexperience matter more.

Think about it this way. You need brain surgery; you must choose between two highly qualified surgeons, but only one has performed this operation many times before. Do you really need to be a brain surgeon yourself to make the right choice?

Clearly, experience matters when outcomes matter. However, there is another instance when experience is critical, one that is often ignored by our dear leaders.  Experience matters when your decisions will impact on other people.

I once read a bumper sticker that stated “good judgement is the result of experience; experience is the result of bad judgement.”

Exactly. But please note that you don’t have the right to acquire experience by practicing your bad judgement on others.


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#900: Drop your ego to stop falling down

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stubbornHere’s a reminder that you already know how to deal with uncertainty and change. When does real change happen? When real learning begins. Real learning begins when you admit that you don’t know. And what stops you admitting that you don’t know? Your ego.

Remember when you first learned to ride a bicycle? At first, you did not want help, because it looked so easy. But you fell, again and again. Through your tears, you finally admitted that you did not know how. That’s when learning began.

Real learning only happens once you admit that you don’t know. This is the critical moment. When you admit that you don’t know, you open yourself to new ideas and to help from unexpected sources.

The sooner you drop your ego and admit that you don’t know, the sooner you will learn, the sooner you will change and the sooner you will stop falling down..


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#841: Get newly curious to live longer and smarter

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curvaceous-glassA friend of mine will reach his three score years and ten this year. That age is no longer so remarkable, I know.

What is remarkable is that he has embarked on a new income earning career. Why on earth would he now decide to study to pass a mandated examination for this line of work? Because, he told me, if he did not, then his brain would rot.

He is right because science tells us so. Research shows that the more we elderly people are stimulated by new things, the smarter we are. But that’s not all. Research also shows that the more curious we are, the longer we may live.

Before you rush out to buy the latest new thingy to stimulate you into living longer, let me clarify. Researchers did not specify new things, but new activities and new events. It’s not about spending and purchasing, but about doing and experiencing.


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#473: Learning to destroy the future

It seems to me that many politicians pontificating and many voters marching have stopped thinking. Actually, many people who should know better don’t.

A long, long time ago, in the era known as 500BC, a Chinese poet had this to say: If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree. If you are thinking one hundred years ahead, educate the people.

Today, in the year twenty eleven, our esteemed political leaders have wise words for us: To balance the books, don’t raise taxes. Spend less on education.

What message are we sending to our children? That we adults no longer value your education enough to care about your future, which is why we destroy learning today.

But then, maybe Einstein was wrong when he explained: “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”

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Listen to the radio version of Learning to destroy the future (10 most recent radio files)

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

© 2011 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#386: Meddling with mentoring

Are you mentoring or meddling? Here’s how you can tell.

You are a mentor if you are using your experience to guide someone who is less experienced. The aim is to help the less experienced person play a ‘better’ role or to lead a ‘better’ life.

There you have the catch. What does ‘better’ mean?

And that’s where meddling comes in. You meddle when you try to change or to control what you see as wrong or inappropriate in the other person’s life.

On the other hand, you mentor when you support the other person as events nudge her into making meaningful life choices, appropriate to her situation and circumstances, not to yours.

Some people believe that you can only mentor if you have already mastered. Don’t you believe it. We teach best that which we have yet to learn. In other words, to be a good mentor, what really matters are the mistakes you are still making.

I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Listen to the radio version of Meddling with mentoring (10 most recent radio files)

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

© 2010 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

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