Questions and answers about seminar

March 21, 2011 by Joshua
in Blog

I’ve been getting a few questions on the talk, so I thought I’d post the answers here for all.

Question: Which session should I go to? / Can I just go to one?

Answer: The seminar is one unit over two days. It’s two days because it covers the essentials of a semester long class. And it’s cumulative. The breakdown is more theory the first day and more implementation the second day, but there are exercises throughout. The information is cumulative.

People generally comment that the second day is the more valuable one, but it makes sense because of the content of the first.

Question: What are your sources? What is your foundation?

Answer: The foundations of the seminar are, on the science side, evolutionary psychology, positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, systems theory, and my synthesis of them. Relevant authors to read include David Buss, Steve Pinker, Robert Wright, Martin Seligman, Dan Gilbert, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Aaron Beck, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Donella Meadows, to name a few. Feel free to write me if you want more.

On the business side my experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, and coach as well as traditional business training in leadership, negotiation, consulting, general management, etc. Relevant authors to read include Marshall Goldsmith, Peter Senge, Srikumar Rao, Roger Fisher to name a few. Again, feel free to write me for more.

Many of these authors gave TED talks too.

Finally, I refined the seminar through working with clients, business leaders, psychologists, other executive coaches and professors, and so on as well as leading the seminar many times.

Question: How should I prepare? Will there be homework?

Answer: No need to prepare. There will be in-person exercises and I will give you exercises and reading to follow up with that you will be able to do indefinitely. Anyone who wishes to follow up can ask me for specific exercises afterward.

Question: Do I need to know physics (or any other science)?

Answer: There is no physics in it. The seminar stands on its own, so I’ll cover any science involved. Two things science thrives on will help. First, a healthy curiosity for the natural world will help you understand my perspective. Second, the ability to adopt a model/theory/perspective when it helps and adopt a different one when it doesn’t helps too.

Question: How did a physicist come to lead seminars about success, leadership, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness?

Answer: I’ll talk about how my background led to the seminar in the seminar. The major four steps were 1) an idea I had in graduate school led to my co-founding my first business, which put me in the business world, 2) realizing I loved starting ventures and needed more background in business led to business school, 3) appreciating the value of soft-skills like leadership, negotiation, and general management set me into researching and practicing them, and 4) sharing what I learned led to developing the seminar and course.

Underlying everything was my scientist’s interest in searching for natural explanations for causes and being able to explain what I learned to others to practice, experiment, and test.

Question: What if I have to leave early or arrive late?

Answer: I hope you can attend the whole thing. I’ve removed all the inessentials I could. I believe what’s left is the basic core, especially the beginnings and ends of each day.

I’ll try to address more questions as they come up. If you have any more, feel free to post here or to contact me directly.

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