Monthly Archives: November 2013

What Made Einstein So Smart?

The left and right hemispheres of Albert Einstein’s brain were unusually well connected to each other and may have contributed to his brilliance, according to a new study conducted in part by Florida State University evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk. The research team’s findings show that Einstein had more extensive connections between certain parts of his cerebral hemispheres compared to both younger and older control groups.

The study, “The Corpus Callosum of Albert Einstein’s Brain: Another Clue to His High Intelligence,” was published in the journal Brain and contributed by lead author Weiwei Men of East China Normal University’s Department of Physics. (October, 2013)

What can we learn? It’s about balance. The use of the 4MAT model intentionally engages both the right and left sides of the brain.

On Being Uncomfortable

Transformation is not a comfortable process. It’s interesting to notice how uncomfortable we can be with making others uncomfortable.  I’ve heard many trainers and leaders share examples of how often we brush up against the wall of our comfort zone and stop:

  • “Our leaders won’t do that kind of activity.”
  • “We can’t really talk about that because we don’t know where that will go.”
  • “If we go there, we may never get back on track.”
  • “That could provoke a lot of (emotional) reaction…I don’t think we are ready for that.”

If we expect real learning, deep changes to the way we engage that result in huge leaps in life and business, we have to honor that discomfort is part of this process.

When leaders normalize discomfort, they invite a culture that embraces feedback and change.

What does normalizing discomfort look and sound like? It looks like putting it out there, bravely inviting in THE conversation that is the most important one we should be having. It sounds like, “We are all about growth here. Growth is uncomfortable and sometimes messy. You’re going to feel uncomfortable and that’s ok.”

Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, says that when she is teaching at the University of Houston she tells her students, “If you’re comfortable, I’m not teaching and you’re not learning. It’s going to get uncomfortable in here and that’s okay. It’s normal and it’s part of the process.”

What would it look and sound like for you to invite in the uncomfortable?

Cool People Doing Great Things with 4MAT – Heidi Matthews, Regional Employee Development Manager at Grundfos


What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?
I am working on a flipped classroom concept for our presentations training for employees. 4MAT comes into play in an overarching structural way. An engaging opening eLearning piece that lays out the program and gets input from students, followed by software video training for some PPT content. The students will meet in a virtual classroom to show their practiced slides they have created for critique. The course will continue in that same flow until the final presentation is loaded into an internal share site for class and invited guest feedback.

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?
We are trying to discover what makes people “click.” Part of the engagement is getting them to invest in their own learning to begin with so how can we entice them to do that? It is still audience focus, just a different spin.

What are you consuming these days? (content, books, new food, music, art)
Art books geared toward sketch noting and doodling. Rachel Maddow’s Drift is on my nightstand and Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn read by Cassandra Campbell on my iPod. My girls have introduced me to Macklemore—that Thrift Store song and Same Love are tunes that stick in my head. Pizza from different places to compare them has been on the menu a lot.

What’s your favorite quote? Why?
“May you feel God’s presence surround you during this day and with each inhale, be filled with peace.” Tracy Hemsath (a personal friend). It is on a sticky note on my computer and helps me be calm and focus.

Visit 4MAT 4Business to learn more about training programs and tools based on the 4mat learning styles model.