We strive to blend. To not stick out or be too noticeable. Sometimes we aim to be invisible. Because sticking out can get you into trouble.
But sticking out just a little, can also bring rewards of its own.
It is a fine line.
This week’s Neurotechnology Tip is about using a little psychology on your instructor. Trust me, you want this person working for you, not against you.
Instructors will not deliberately sabotage you
Few, lecturer’s will deliberately set out to impair your academic progress. They are not OUT to fail you (really), what they want is for you to get it, so you can move on.
But…. they are only human.
I know it can sometimes be hard to believe, but your lecturer is not some android spewing out facts or an evil being bent on turning your life into a living hell. They are 100 % human.
Tap their human side
Get the basics right – treat them with respect.
What does respect look ?
- Show up on time for class
- Be polite i.e. try smile, greet them, make eye contact etc.
- Even if they are boring you to tears, try and look a little interested
- Don’t do other stuff whilst they are lecturing (at least don’t get caught doing it)
- Sit somewhere near the front of the class, don’t head for the chair right at the back of the room and slouch down in it
- Never attack the person. You can question their ideas, this is usually a good move but make sure you don’t make it personal.
- Keep your promises i.e. do what you say you will do
In other words, don’t draw negative attention to yourself. Blend by being a relatively nice polite stable human being.
So you’re thinking – but you titled this thing “STICK OUT” not “BLEND IN”. It is imperative that you “stick out” but not in a bad way. Creating an enemy is not good psychology.
Stick out in a good way
Blending is not enough. Make sure that your lecturer knows your name, not just your face.
I have taught in a tertiary environment for years and routinely stood before classes with 350 + people. The vast majority of people in the class fall into the category – “nice stable polite human beings”. It doesn’t take too long for me to recognize the faces that belong in the class and after a few weeks, I am able to recognize the faces outside of the class as well.
Likewise, it doesn’t take too long to recognize the names of the people in the class either , since there is typically lots of paperwork in academia.
But recognizing a face is not enough. I don’t KNOW you.
Being “known” has its advantages
The value to you comes when I “know” you. Why ?
A partnership is formed because I suddenly see you as a human being, not a statistic in my class.
Humanizing the learning environment
The 2012 academic year is still fresh – make sure you use a little neurotechnology to create an ally.
PS. I’m not advocating being teacher’s pet – this is just creepy weird and could back fire, because you make the instructor feel uncomfortable and annoy your class mates.
To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..
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The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below