Multiplying others Intelligence , can I really do that?

Liz Wiesman has come up with a theory that we can multiply the intelligence of those around us, we actually have the ability to make people around us smarter. To me that seems pretty cool! She calls these people Intelligence Multipliers.

Five types of Multipliers

  • The Talent Magnet
  • The Liberator
  • The Challenger
  • The Debate MakerThe Investor

Alternately in the opposite side of multipliers, there is diminishsers, they only use 48% of people intelligence.

Five types of Diminishers are:

  • The Empire Builder
  • The Tyrant
  • The Know-It-All
  • The Micro Manager

There’s a kicker, you can also be an Accidental Diminisher. Can you ever think of a time when you had the best of intention, but how it came about wasn’t what you intended? Or perhaps you have a big personality, and like to share your ideas with people (my hand is up), that can sometimes put people off and shut down their creativity.

Some examples of accidental Diminishers are:

  • The Rescuer
  • The Optimist
  • The Rapid Responder
  • The Pacesetter
  • The Idea Guy
  • Always on

Knowing how to multiply and what diminshing looks like and the implications of it in my facilitation practice is important. How I show up, words I say and the environment I create has impact. I remember a teacher writing on my report card in Grade 11, “Alisha should not take math 12”. That statement stuck with me a long time, and it wasn’t until 8 years later when someone said “hey, you have a good way with people, go back to school and you can be teaching this stuff one day” until then I didn’t think school was for me. I wasn’t “smart” like I thought I was supposed to be. The teacher who said not to take math had a diminishing impact on me, unintentionally. And the co-worker who encouraged me showed me something in myself that I didn’t even know was there. She is a multiplier in my life and challenges and invests in me which has helped me grow immensely.

How might you be able to multiply those around you?



Tweet Tweet

If you are a twitter’ then this is a great account to follow. It has great resources, videos, printables, and of course some pretty funny tweets #teacherfail & #teacherlife are some of my favourite hashtags to look up!

Do you have any must follow twitter accounts?


My Aha with Critical Thinking

This week in our forum post critical thinking came into the conversation. When I was reading the posts and digging into other research I was hit with the idea that I don’t actually think critically and that my lack of having that skill developed means that I’m just not smart enough. My insecurities around my own intelligence really surfaced and I had a whole big story about my skill as a facilitator and learner.

Today I experienced myself critical thinking and realized that I actually do it all the time, I just didn’t realize it. I never named it but I do it! When I realized the process that I was in was critical thinking I shifted my story about my facilitation/learning abilities to, ok I can do this. I have it! And I’m telling you, I was able to show up big in the process and felt good about my contribution.


How I experienced critical thinking today was in a planning day meeting. A group of 4 of us are designing a day for an upcoming program. The process looked a bit like this:

  • Mind mapping
  • Sharing ideas aloud and capturing them on a white board
  • Clarifying/sorting/throwing out ideas
  • Transferring ideas being used to a flip chart
  • Creating a structure for the day, amending it, working it again and landing on the flow of the day (took 4 different structures to land on the final)
  • Finalized the structure
  • Added times
  • Collected activities to be used in the day


The next step after is reflecting and working on different pieces before we all reconvene on Tuesday and finalize/run through the day. Following that we will create the facilitator guide and power points.


The forums this week bringing to mind what critical thinking is, and being in this conversation allowed me to really experience the process and gain a deeper understanding to what critical thinking is and how vital it is. The amount of information shared, dialogue, and debate around the structure and tools that we are using allowed me to tap into a different level of my brain. It also brought to light that conversations/meetings/processes like this use my critical thinking skills. At this moment, I feel excited, engaged and think that when I collaborate with others and we all bring our wisdom and passion to the table we are able to create the conditions for a unique learning experience.


Lifelong learning, sharing wisdom and being in conversation


This Ted Talk by Ben Dunlap is a fabulous example of what being a life long learner can look like. He tells a story of a Hungarian Holocaust survivor and  textile manufactior who opened the first integrated mill that included both black and white workers in South Carolina, he was a true pioneer. Ben met  Mr. Teszler in his classroom and his life story encouraged Ben to be a life-long learner himself. He instilled the belief that “human beings are fundamentally good” and that you are never too old to stop learning and to share and encourage others to learn. This talk is an example for having conversations, stepping into new environments and looking for opportunities to learn is life giving. I encourage you to watch this talk and think about who you are inspired by, someone who continually is searching for new knowledge and how you can mentor others and share the wisdom and experience that you have.



One practice that I have been engaging in more and want to add to my facilitation is mindfulness. Today I was reminded again about the difference it makes. I was in a workshop and we did a 5 minute meditation in the afternoon and it enabled me to be more engaged, alert and present to what was happening in the room. In this article they talk about mindfulness in schools and states that “there’s scientific evidence that teaching mindfulness in the classroom reduces behavior problems and aggression among students, and improves their happiness levels and ability to pay attention. Teachers trained in mindfulness also show lower blood pressure, less negative emotion and symptoms of depression, and greater compassion and empathy.” To me, this is a win – win. Learners have greater attention and happiness levels and instructors show greater compassion and have less negative emotion, why would I not include this in my practice?

I think that mindfulness is very useful practice when it comes to adult learning because often the participants in the room have a lot on their mind. Being physically present in the environment is difficult enough, being mentally and emotionally present is another thing. People are worried about work, family life, dinner, whatever it might be. So starting off a session with getting present I think can be very beneficial. Also, using it as a check in throughout the day, even a short 2 minute breathing exercise calms the mind and body.

An app I have on my iPhone is called Smiling Mind, one of my friends uses in her grade 7 classroom and recommended it to me, its easy to follow and provides great short guided meditations. Here is a link to another one I’ve used from YouTube that you can try out.

Do you practice mindfulness in anyway?

How to Care for Introverts



I’ve seen this image a lot lately. It’s posted in our office at work, it was mentioned in our forum; it’s a really simple way to understand “how to care for introverts”. Some of my biggest learning has been that people are unique and as an extrovert understanding what introverts need is important. I can be intense, I like to get stuff done, I’m a social butterfly and always on the go. I think aloud, need to talk things through, and I have little need for privacy. I can drive introverts nuts…I’ve been told “you’re totally extroverting and it’s driving me crazy” So, knowing that I do that, how to I care for introverts? Well, a few things that I’ve started doing is realizing that people need time to process, I don’t ask a question and need an answer right away, I’ll say, “can you think about this and get back to me tomorrow”, or I’ll say “hey I need to process this aloud, do you mind listening to me, I don’t expect a response”.


What I think has been my biggest learning regarding introverts is I often think they are unsocial or rude, which is so not the case. They just prefer more intimate social settings and take time connecting with people. I make new best friends all the time, introverts only need a few people who they are close to and care about. They take relationships seriously and put time into making deeper relationships rather than having many aquatints. If the world were all like me, we’d be in chaos. I’m thankful that I have great introverts in my life who keep me grounded, connected and show me that quiet is ok!

Playing to your Strengths

Playing to your Strengths


This week I spent two days at a conference, one of my highlights was a keynote session, Playing to your Strengths. The talk was based on the Strengths Finder Assessment that was developed by Gallup, it has a total of 34 different strengths and you do an assessment and it comes up with your top 5. The top 5 that I have is unique to me; only 1 in 33 million have the same strength order as I do. My aha moment in this was about how important it is to recognize that each persons skill set is unique and that some people just aren’t wired for certain things. For me, math was always the toughest course, I tried and tried but could never get the grades I needed or wanted. Instead of realizing that I’m more wired to creativity and arts I struggled. While I know basic math is important to have, I could have put my energy into writing or music classes that excited me, which may have opened other doors, rather than spending hours trying to get better grads in math and science, because those were the “important” classes.

My point here is, that we now have this story that we can be anything we want to be, when in fact, the story should be shifted to you cannot be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you already are. We all have unique abilities, my combo is woo, positivity, activator, communication and empathy. Essentially, I like to win over people, make connections, I come at thing with a glass half full mentality, I get stuff done and encourage others to be on track, I communicate well and I have empathy and care for others. All those things make me who I am and when I’m working in a way that uses my strengths I am energized and more effective.

If we looked at the strengths of students and played into those, what possibilities could emerge? People who struggle to comprehend literature might analytical and need proof things are true so they’d be great in a science class where there is labs and testing being done, you may find a student to be disengaged when in fact a strength of theirs is intellection which means they need time to process and think over things, then when they are ready they come back with amazing ideas that have already been thought through.

A lot of the academic world is shifting to prepare people for the workplace, it’s not so much what you know about a specific concept it’s who you are, how you sell yourself, and what you can offer individually that is unique, that organizations can benefit from.

Schools, business, and organizations I think could really benefit from using this assessment with students and employees to get them prepared to be in the best role where they can shine.

If I took an assessment like this when I first started college I wonder if I would have ended up where I did, or if other possibilities would have emerged. Regardless, I know that when I am engaged in my work and facilitation it is when I’m using my strengths which I think is pretty cool.