I’m a seasoned, passionate, deliberate, strategic learner. I have been all my life.
And you are too. Think of how much learning you’ve done since you were a wee baby. If we didn’t learn we wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, socialize, work, play, etc.
Education and learning have radically changed my life and my vocation, in a nutshell, is helping change makers learn, laugh and lead.
I was the first (and only) in my family to get a university degree and a Master’s degree.
My emphasis on learning is why, every year, I set out to read at least one professional development book a month and then summarize them for you, dear reader.
There are untold benefits to learning. All kinds of learning – formal, informal, etc. And yet learning gets a bum wrap a lot of the time. There’s not enough time for learning. It takes too much time. It’s too expensive, etc.
We overlook one of the simplest ways of learning – by reading.
So here, once again since 2018, I’ve curated all the books I read last year.
Seek out the ones that draw you in. And have fun learning.
I’ve divided my 2022 books into the following categories:
- Learning and Development
- Personal development
- Health and wellness
- Business development
- My overall top 2022 reads
Learning and Development
On lifelong learning, HBR’s 10 must-reads
- This was a fabulous read – from learning in the thick of it and learning in action to learning organizations and why don’t organizations learn, it’s packed with, well, learning.
- Takeaways included learning to be an effective learner includes aspiration, curiosity, vulnerability, and self-awareness.
- Strategies to learn from failure include having to separate failure and whose fault is it.
- And learning organizations need a supportive environment, a concrete/practical plan, and leadership that reinforces learning.
Thanks for the feedback, the science and art of receiving feedback well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
- My biggest takeaway from HBR’s lifelong learning was an article on how we neglect to focus on how feedback is received, rather we only pay attention to how to best give feedback.
- That led me to dive into this book, the authors of which were the same authors of the HBR article.
- This book was a game-changer for me. In fact, I’ll be designing a workshop for the Learning and Development Roundtable specifically on receiving feedback.
- Receiving feedback effectively works best when we can switch from what’s wrong to tell me more
- And recognizing that all feedback goes through three triggers – truth (do I believe what the person is saying to be true), relationship (my ability to receive feedback is highly influenced by my relationship with the person giving it), and identity (if the feedback triggers my sense of identity then massive blocks go up, regardless if the feedback is accurate or not).
- So good! Go get a copy.
Teaching to transgress by bell hooks
- As a Learning and Development expert, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I hadn’t read this book till now. It has been on my reading list forever.
- An evocative writer, bell hooks captures how much resistance we have to learning and how ‘context is everything.’
- One of the key takeaways is the vast difference between education as freedom and education to reinforce dominance or the status quo.
- Like the popular education book I talk about in my top Learning and Development Roundtable books, Educating for a Change, learning should be exciting and grounded in community. It’s a sacred pursuit where learners should be active participants, not passive consumers. High five to that!
Building a second brain – a proven method to organize your digital life and unlock your creative potential by Tiago Forte
- After several years of trying I finally made it to the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon – a conference for change-makers and entrepreneurs where I got to see Tiago speak.
- He’s a compelling speaker with an equally compelling story, which includes having had a mysterious, painful, and chronic condition that made speaking very difficult.
- Now, a world-renowned expert on productivity, he’s got a lot to share.
- He says “our minds are for having ideas not holding them” – which is pretty much the premise of the book.
- Moreover, we are consuming five times the content we did in 1986 and we’re desperately lacking systems to help us. He recommends the C.O.D.E. system; ways to Capture, Organize, Distill (summarize), and Express content.
- It’s a great book, chockablock full of tips, and very much worth the read.
Mastering organizational learning – Humentum Learning Services ebook
- Humentum is a terrific organization so I was keen to get my hands on this ebook.
- As a membership-based organization, the ebook is a compilation of best practices and the “bests” of years of webinars, conferences, etc.
- Getting clear on learning is tough and the ebook is filled with many practical tips such as getting clarity via a learning strategy which means understanding the internal and external environments, the learning culture, the operational context, and more.
- Once a strategy is designed it’s important when implementing, to clarify, communicate, and ‘cascade’ (leverage and grow).
- Getting buy-in means identifying champions, just-in-time learning options, and knowing what enhances and limits Learning and Development authority.
- If you’re looking at your organization’s overall learning, this is a companion to do just that.
5 Ways Modern Learning is Rewriting the Rules of the LMS by Brainier
- Based on looking at ways to retain and engage employees, this is a helpful, quick read.
- It outlines five ways modern learning beats traditional learning- 1) it doesn’t just facilitate training, it fosters knowledge, 2) Modern learning is configurable and flexible in the face of change, 3) Modern learning doesn’t confine strategy— it enables it, 4) Modern learning personalizes content to your learners and 5) Modern learning has moved beyond a “top-down” approach.
- “Don’t make your people sit through something that’s 95% irrelevant to their situation — give them the 5% they need right now.”
- These are great goalposts to aim for and how modern learning should be.
Atlas of the heart – mapping meaningful connection and the language of human experience by Brene Brown
- Not only is this a fascinating, deep dive into our emotions and how little we know about them, but it’s a stunner of a coffee table book.
- Why do you need to read this book? When 7000 people were surveyed over five years and asked to list all the emotions they could name, what do you think the average number of responses was?
- You’ll be shocked when I tell you it was three. Three! Three?
- Given how recent neuroscience research is making it clear how much emotion drives us (without us knowing it) this is a dictionary, and a road map rolled into one for knowing yourself and others much much better.
- “Language is our portal to meaning-making, connection, healing, learning, and self-awareness. Having access to the right words can open up entire universes.”
I take my coffee black by Tyler Merritt
- I first got to know Tyler through his viral video “Before you call the cops” (link below).
- This book is a rare gem – it’s all about really, really hard issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, racism, power, privilege, and more AND it’s equal parts poignant and funny. Like seriously funny. Needless to say, it draws you in and sticks to your soul. Like these quotes (just three of many):
- ““Oh my GAAAWWWD,” she said, terrified like she’d just seen a velociraptor attack Betty White.” Tyler is describing the reaction of an older, white woman stopped in her car at an intersection as he walked across the crosswalk in her direction.
- “It’s not my job to try to make every human with fearful or racist thoughts feel comfortable. I did not cause this mess. I am tired of trying to clean it up.”
- “I truly believe that the best way to get to know someone is to understand their brokenness—and that when someone is brave enough to be vulnerable, that vulnerability begets vulnerability. It helps other people open up. And then you have a connection.”
Breaking the habit of being you by Dr. Joe Dispenza
- Become a scientist in your own life. This is advice I’ve taken to heart as I love the notion of doing experiments in my personal and professional life, watching the results, and then shifting as necessary.
- If you love quantum physics you’ll love this book. While there were bits that didn’t necessarily resonate with me I did appreciate that we’re not doomed to our genes (the notion of breaking the habit of being you).
- Combining quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, and more he does a great job of explaining how to change, for example, “neurons that fire together wire together” which then becomes our personality.
- He goes on to explain our mood is what we experience by the hour and days, our temperament is how we are through the weeks and months and our personality is then formed over years.
- Essentially this book is a dive into some pretty fantastical things, things that we’re just beginning to understand e.g. the power of our emotions and thoughts (in one study, diabetics altered 23 gene expressions just by laughing, in another 22% of research subjects increased their health just by thinking about exercise). Insert multiple exclamation marks here!!!
Mindset the new psychology of success – how we can learn to fulfill our potential by Carol Dweck
- This book was mind-blowing. Seriously. One of my all-time favorites ever.
- You’ve probably heard of Carol’s research on growth mindset and fixed mindset, well this book takes a deep dive into both.
- Our mindset, as it turns out, affects all aspects of our life – from how we handle failure, dating, work, play, and more. Even our mental health.
- I was so captivated by this book that I’m developing a Learning and Development Roundtable on it.
- Seriously, if you read just one book this year, make this the one.
There you have part one, my top reads of 2022 in the learning and development, DEI, and Personal Development categories. Stay tuned for next week’s post with my top reads on Health and Wellness, Business Development, and my overall top 2022 favs.
Now go on and learn, laugh, and lead
- My top Learning and Development books – 30+ years worth Part one and Part Two
- Get instant access to One Hundred Free Books
Learn some more
- Watch Tyler Merritt’s breathtaking video, Before you call the cops.
Leave a Reply