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At the Jay Shetty Certification School, we agree with Charles W. Eliot that, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends… the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” They are portable magic in every sense, as Stephen King once said. Here is what we have been reading this month.

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BOOK CLUB

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The Discomfort Zone
by Marcia Reynolds


Coach and author Marcia Reynolds offers a method for dealing with the challenging conversations that most of us occasionally have at work and home. Although we try to avoid this “discomfort zone,” managing tough conversations with flair and sensitivity is a skill that can be learned to improve our relationships and wellbeing.

By deliberately creating discomfort, one triggers uncomfortable emotions, which forces the other person to confront reality and adopt a new perspective that is necessary to have a positive outcome. To develop a deeper sense of what someone is feeling, using the gut and heart to supplement what the mind is telling us is needed to best approach a discomfort zone conversation. Trust minimizes the need for the recipient to become defensive and reject constructive criticism.

Create a safe and open space and focus your undivided attention and energy on the conversation. Listen deeply and show compassion. Reynolds divides the discomfort zone method into five concrete steps, which she abbreviates into the acronym DREAM.

  1.  The first is to Determine the goal of the conversation by asking questions.

  2.  The next step is to Reflect on the past and why the goal has not yet been achieved.

  3.  The third step is to identify and Explore blind spots in the person’s thinking, assumptions, and perspective that prevents them from seeing and applying the solution.

  4.  Then, get him or her to Acknowledge what they have learned or the insights they have gained in the conversation.

  5.  Finally, Make sure they commit to a follow-up plan to confirm that the action was put into practice.

So, Reynolds’ key message is that difficult conversations in the discomfort zone are best managed from a safe space and with a systematic approach that cultivates a new perspective and commitment to action.

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Limitless 
by Jim Kwik


From the time that he suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child, Jim Kwik had to find ways to learn better than the other kids. Now a renowned coach, he believes that, instead of relying on all the information we have at our fingertips today, we need to increase our ability to recall memory and think critically. Otherwise, we can easily fall into the trap of limiting our perspective and accepting ready-made opinions, Kwik argues.

Our IQ is not fixed for life. We have the power to expand the capacity of our brain. In other words, we all have the potential to become a genius if we can free our mind of limiting thoughts and negative beliefs, and practice hope and positivity. Next time you catch your inner voice saying, “I don’t,” “I can’t,” “I’m not,” or “I won’t,” think of the times when you proved these beliefs wrong, even in part.

Kwik urges you to find your passion on which to build your purpose, which, together, form the motivation to act to achieve something that you value and that others benefit from. The motivation becomes the stoking fire that carries you through good and bad times. You can also strengthen your brain by building good habits, starting with sleep, exercise, and healthy food.

Increase your energy and productivity one small step at a time. Thereby, you maintain momentum and sustain motivation. Further impact this process by increasing your learning capacity as this will help your continuous growth and development. In the book, Kwik offers various methods of improving memory and concentration, including sensory association, visualization, visual reading, and using different thinking hats.

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Words Can Change Your Brain 
by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman


 According to Andrew Newberg, a pioneer of spiritual neuroscience, and Mark Robert Waldman, a professor in neuroscience and communication, most of us are awfully bad at communicating. The two main reasons, they argue, are that we struggle to listen and read body language accurately. These shortcomings can be corrected with education and practice and the authors offer 12 simple steps to follow to improve communication.

The first is to develop a silent, present, and calm mind by doing a short breathing exercise before a conversation and using the sound and silence that follow a bell ringing to still your inner voice. Counter negative thoughts by imagining a positive dialogue. Use your core values to guide your communication. Practice having a soft and empathetic expression. Show appreciation, acceptance, and respect for the person you are interacting with. Listen deeply and reflectively, and speak less.

Effective communication skills are the foundation of improved relationships at work and home, which are associated with greater happiness and wellbeing. The authors urge readers to practice their actionable advice to develop the presence and orientation needed to connect to others on a deeper and more compassionate level.

screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.28.png

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

New image
screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.21.png screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.28.png screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.12.png

BOOK CLUB

At the Jay Shetty Certification School, we agree with Charles W. Eliot that, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends… the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” They are portable magic in every sense, as Stephen King once said. Here is what we have been reading this month.

screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.12.png

The Discomfort Zone
by Marcia Reynolds


Coach and author Marcia Reynolds offers a method for dealing with the challenging conversations that most of us occasionally have at work and home. Although we try to avoid this “discomfort zone,” managing tough conversations with flair and sensitivity is a skill that can be learned to improve our relationships and wellbeing.

By deliberately creating discomfort, one triggers uncomfortable emotions, which forces the other person to confront reality and adopt a new perspective that is necessary to have a positive outcome. To develop a deeper sense of what someone is feeling, using the gut and heart to supplement what the mind is telling us is needed to best approach a discomfort zone conversation. Trust minimizes the need for the recipient to become defensive and reject constructive criticism.

Create a safe and open space and focus your undivided attention and energy on the conversation. Listen deeply and show compassion. Reynolds divides the discomfort zone method into five concrete steps, which she abbreviates into the acronym DREAM.

  1.  The first is to Determine the goal of the conversation by asking questions.

  2.  The next step is to Reflect on the past and why the goal has not yet been achieved.

  3.  The third step is to identify and Explore blind spots in the person’s thinking, assumptions, and perspective that prevents them from seeing and applying the solution.

  4.  Then, get him or her to Acknowledge what they have learned or the insights they have gained in the conversation.

  5.  Finally, Make sure they commit to a follow-up plan to confirm that the action was put into practice.

So, Reynolds’ key message is that difficult conversations in the discomfort zone are best managed from a safe space and with a systematic approach that cultivates a new perspective and commitment to action.

screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.21.png

Limitless 
by Jim Kwik


From the time that he suffered a traumatic brain injury as a child, Jim Kwik had to find ways to learn better than the other kids. Now a renowned coach, he believes that, instead of relying on all the information we have at our fingertips today, we need to increase our ability to recall memory and think critically. Otherwise, we can easily fall into the trap of limiting our perspective and accepting ready-made opinions, Kwik argues.

Our IQ is not fixed for life. We have the power to expand the capacity of our brain. In other words, we all have the potential to become a genius if we can free our mind of limiting thoughts and negative beliefs, and practice hope and positivity. Next time you catch your inner voice saying, “I don’t,” “I can’t,” “I’m not,” or “I won’t,” think of the times when you proved these beliefs wrong, even in part.

Kwik urges you to find your passion on which to build your purpose, which, together, form the motivation to act to achieve something that you value and that others benefit from. The motivation becomes the stoking fire that carries you through good and bad times. You can also strengthen your brain by building good habits, starting with sleep, exercise, and healthy food.

Increase your energy and productivity one small step at a time. Thereby, you maintain momentum and sustain motivation. Further impact this process by increasing your learning capacity as this will help your continuous growth and development. In the book, Kwik offers various methods of improving memory and concentration, including sensory association, visualization, visual reading, and using different thinking hats.

Words Can Change Your Brain 
by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman


screenshot_2020-10-30_at_21.09.28.png

 According to Andrew Newberg, a pioneer of spiritual neuroscience, and Mark Robert Waldman, a professor in neuroscience and communication, most of us are awfully bad at communicating. The two main reasons, they argue, are that we struggle to listen and read body language accurately. These shortcomings can be corrected with education and practice and the authors offer 12 simple steps to follow to improve communication.

The first is to develop a silent, present, and calm mind by doing a short breathing exercise before a conversation and using the sound and silence that follow a bell ringing to still your inner voice. Counter negative thoughts by imagining a positive dialogue. Use your core values to guide your communication. Practice having a soft and empathetic expression. Show appreciation, acceptance, and respect for the person you are interacting with. Listen deeply and reflectively, and speak less.

Effective communication skills are the foundation of improved relationships at work and home, which are associated with greater happiness and wellbeing. The authors urge readers to practice their actionable advice to develop the presence and orientation needed to connect to others on a deeper and more compassionate level.

Reviewed by Dr. Joan Swart, Head of Curriculum and a Supervisor at the Jay Shetty Certification School.

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