42 Ways To Get Better At Getting Better

42 Rules For Getting Better At Getting Better is the sub-title of the new book, Practice Perfect.

This is an interesting book because it is co-authored by three teachers and clearly it's a book for and about teachers.

But, as the authors remind us, as leaders, we are also teachers.  And, that's why Practice Perfect is a valuable read for everyone who wants to help their employees grow and excel through practice.

And, although there's a handy three-page summary of the 42 rules toward the end of the book, take the time to read about each rule covered in the chapters:
  • Rethinking Practice
  • How To Practice
  • Using Modeling
  • Feedback
  • Culture of Practice
  • Post-Practice: Making New Skills Stick
Key lessons and takeaways for me from the book include the following tips for providing effective feedback when working with someone who is practicing a skill:
  • Correct instead of critique.
  • Ask participants to redo an action differently or better rather than just telling them whether or how it could have been different.
  • Focus on the solution rather than the problem.
  • Give feedback right away, even if it's imperfect.
  • Remember that a simple and small change, implemented the right away, can be more effective than a complex rewiring of a skill.
Additional advice from the authors is that:
  • The more consistently you give and get feedback, the more normal it is.
  • What people do right is as important in practice as what they do wrong.
  • Coaching during a game/exercise can be helpful, but teaching during a game/exercise is distracting and counterproductive.

Practice Perfect's authors are Doug Lemov, Katie Yezzi and Erica Woolway.  Lemov's previous book is Teach Like a Champion.

Finally, the book is packed with stories of practice masters like Coach John Wooden, surgeon Atul Gawande, and basketball star Michael Jordan.


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