Last week I wrote about receiving a wonderful email from a Learning and Development Roundtable member asking me for my top Learning and Development books. It gave me a great opportunity to dive into 30+ years of my learning resources and share them with you.
Last week I shared fifteen resources related to
- Instructional Design (e.g. how to design powerful learning, including theory of change)
- Delivering powerful learning
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion focused
- Trauma-informed teaching
- Online focused Learning and Development
This week I’m sharing fifteen more resources related to:
- Human behaviour- how we learn, what motivates us, how our brains work etc.
You may be wondering why I’ve focused so much on human behaviour. I’ll tell you.
I focus on studying what makes us humans tick and how our brains work because if you don’t know that how can you design and deliver great learning? To my great consternation, I see a bunch of learning that is actually designed to go against how we learn (insert angry face with fists raised here).
I think for example, that any profession such as marketing, that can convince us to part with our hard-earned cash to buy something that can kill us (a.k.a. cigarettes) has to know a lot about human behaviour.
I’ve learned a ton about Learning and Development by studying marketing. Therefore you’ll find some marketing books thrown in.
Let’s jump in again – part two – fifteen more books on Learning and Development
Human behaviour- how we learn, what motivates us, how our brains work etc.
1. Better, Smarter, Faster – Charles Duhigg
- The title may strike you as a book focused on productivity but it’s so much more. It includes fascinating research on what makes teams tick, how teams work and more. So good. (Plus I love that I picked it up while on safari in the Maasai Mara at Tangulia, one of my favourite places in the world).
2. Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath
- I love pretty much everything written by the Heath brothers. This was one of their first books and it gives you a fascinating deep dive into how to create content that is sticky, memorable and engaging.
3. The Hero Within – Carol Pearson
- I’m fascinated by what drives us as humans and this book is a terrific resource on archetypes or deep, underlying beliefs that drive us and our behaviour.
4. Brain Rules – John Medina
- A wonderful and fun dive into how our brains work.
5. The Four Day Win – Martha Beck
- Did your eyebrows arch in surprise with me including this book? It’s here because it taught me about the transtheoretical model of change which I adore, and which I used to design some fun surveys on discovering your tech personality and your change personality.
6. The Power of Moments – Chip and Dan Heath
- Another great book by the Heath brothers where I learned a lot that I apply to instructional design and delivery. My H.A.(n)D.S. survey – discovering your bias/preference for feedback is based on information in this book.
7. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates us – Dan Pink
- Another classic if you want to delve into, well, what motivates us. It’s well written with lots of research and examples.
8. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life – Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
- Written by the granddaddies of design thinking, this is a joyful read packed with ideas and resources. Find out more here.
9. The Mom Test; How to talk to customers and learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you – Rob Fitzpatrick
- If you ever need to gather information from a group of people without biasing the process and your findings this is THE book. Period.
10. Under the Influence podcast – Terry O’Reilly
- Terry O-Reilly is a well known Canadian marketer who hosts this intriguing podcast. Give it a listen and you’ll learn a lot about engaging, sticky, memorable ideas for content. Alligator pears anyone?
11. Hidden Brain podcast – Shankar Vedantam
- Another gem of a podcast, this one delves into how our brains work. Here’s an example based on bias.
12. Choiceology podcast – Dr. Katy Milkman
- Ditto this podcast, Katy explains a wide variety of psychological concepts in a way that’s easy to understand, relatable, and usable for learning design and delivery. Procrastination anyone?
13. We Regret to Inform You podcast – Sidney O’Reilly
- This is a relatively new podcast and I love the inspiration factor as it tells the stories of how people have kept going, with oodles of grit, after many setbacks. If you get stuck or discouraged with instructional design and/or delivery give it a listen. As an aside, take a minute to measure your own grit level here.
14. Build for Tomorrow podcast – Jason Feifer
- Hosted by the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, it’s a fascinating and incredibly thoroughly well-researched podcast on throughout history how we deal (or don’t) with change and advances. It applies that to how we can deal with the challenges of today.
15. Atlas of the Heart – Brene Brown
- I have a confession. I haven’t actually read this book yet BUT I’ve listened to a few podcasts about Brene describing it and I know I’m going to love it. It’s sitting in a pile of books that are awaiting reading. I’ve included it because I’m fascinated by the premise – namely that we don’t have the language to talk about
What did you think? Are any familiar to you? Would you add any to the list? Feel free to comment below. And be sure to check out last week’s part one where I shared my top fifteen favourites related to Instructional Design, Delivering powerful learning, Diversity, equity, and inclusion focused, Trauma-informed teaching, and Online focused Learning and Development.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Click on any of the above that tickle your imagination and dive in.
- Learning to fail and learning to fall – this sweet character joins a little girl and prevents her from being embarrassed by falling. May we all have this kind of support in our learning.
Let me know in the comments below what books or other resources you’d add to the list. And feel free to share this post with another learning-focused person.
P.S. Want to join our community and receive regular invitations to my monthly Learning and Development Roundtables plus get access to all nine-plus years of Roundtable resources? Easy peasy. Sign up here.
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