Jeff Wetzler is the co-founder and co-CEO of Transcend. Transcend is a non-profit focused on accelerating innovation in the design of learning environments. Before that, he was the Chief Learning Officer of Teach For America. He’s the author of a new book called, Ask: Tap Into the Hidden Wisdom of People Around You for Unexpected Breakthroughs In Leadership and Life.

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The Learning Leader Show

  • The ASK approach – Choose curiosity, make it a safe space to tell the truth, pose quality questions (that’s a question that helps you learn something), LISTEN (check if you heard them right, rephrase), then reflect and connect – FOLLOW UP. Make sure the other person feels that you’ve listened to and heard them.
    • 1) Choose Curiosity to awaken your interest in new discoveries.
      • What can I learn from this person?
    • 2) Make it Safe for people to tell you hard things
      • Find the right context. Be vulnerable. Radiate Resilience.
    • 3) Pose Quality Questions so you can uncover what’s most important
      • Questions that help you learn something. What do you really think?
    • 4) Listen to Learn, to hear what someone is really trying to tell you.
      • Request reactions… What holes are in my perspective?
    • 5) Reflect and Reconnect, so you take the right action based on what you’ve heard.
      • Update my thinking. Sifting through what we heard. What can I take away of value?
  • What are the best questions to ask in an interview for a job:
    • As the interviewee, ask them what concerns they have about you? They’re going to talk about these when you’re not in the room. You might as well talk about them together when you’re in there…
    • As the interviewer: Fast forward 1 year. There are two scenarios. 1, you crushed it. 2, You didn’t. Tell the story of what happened in each of those scenarios…
  • What did Jeff learn from his work as a magician?
    • Magic trains you to hold your cards close to your chest, that’s what makes the illusion work…He dreamed (still does) of someone asking him, so what do you think Jeff? He’s held back so much because he wanted people to ask him what he thought… It’s like he needed permission.
  • When pollsters asked Americans, “If you could have any superpower you wanted, what would you pick?” Two answers tied for the number 1 spot. Reading other people’s minds and time travel.
    • Asking helps you read people’s minds.
  • Key learning from Chris Argyris:
    • How smart people fail to learn… They don’t ask.
  • A child asks 25-50 questions per hour. An adult. A tiny fraction of that. Curiosity goes away as we age if we’re not intentional about it.
  • “We’re all stuck inside our own certainty loops.”
  • Leadership hiring must-haves…
    • Alignment with the mission
    • Core values
    • Track record
    • A learner
  • Learning design – How to make your next leadership retreat as impactful as possible? ASK the participants to help you co-create the event.
  • We often miss out on goals, opportunities, and relationships because we don’t know how to ask the right question, in the right way. Yet this critical strength can be learned, and transform your career, organization, and relationships.
  • Career and Life advice: You don’t have to have it all figured out. WHO matters more than WHAT.
  • Apply to be in my Learning Leader Circle

Time Stamps

More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership