Home |
Blog |

Anya Kamenetz proves her salt as an investigative writer in her latest book, DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher EducationEducational Policy Books), about the past and future of American education.  If you have an interest in the future of education perhaps as a parent, student, trustee or educator, you may want to read it.  Our live discussion will be at Laura’s Library, Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 6:30 CDT in Austin, Texas.  If you at not in Austin, simply click the event link for information on how you can participate virtually.

Discussion questions inspired by Anya Kamenetz’ book include:

  • Does the future of education seem weakened or strengthened by the big ideas in this book?
  • How will the schools you support need to shift in order to keep pace with change?
  • What are the roadblocks that stand in the way of progressive self-directed education?

Would love to hear your questions when we discuss this amazing commentary!  Join the fun.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

Vice President, MindTamers

Brendon Burchard is the heir apparent of the motivational speaking stage as the current generation of motivational platform speakers begins to slow down.  In his latest book,The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice, Burchard makes the argument that with the proper framework, we each can recognize our expertise and get our message out to the world.  The book also is a call for reformation of the “Expert Industry”.  Burchard is a credible spokeman for this cause as an honest businessman who consistently over-delivers to his customers.

Discussion questions prompted by the book include:

  • Are you energized or wearied by the thought of being an expert?  Why?
  • Is there truly an “Expert Industry”?
  • What are the obstacles in your way as an expert?
  • What is your next step to getting your message out to the world?

Join us for discussion at Laura’s Library in Austin on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 6:30 pm CDT or by clicking the event link.

Now, which of your messages are you going to share with us here below?

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

Vice President, MindTamers

RSA Animate-Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us from The RSA on Vimeo.

Drive by Daniel Pink gets right to the heart of what motivates people. The summary video above will get you started and then go out and read this book.

Strategic planning is admirable in seasoned leaders and even easier to admire in young gentlemen and ladies who understand that you don’t have to wait until you have silver hair to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  In The Four Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferriss details how to use more of your time to enjoy yourself and in the process serve more people.

One area he focuses on is outsourcing.  Consider how much more time you could spend doing important things if someone else did more mundane things for you.  It doesn’t even have to be a person, it could be a system. This week as you read Four Hour Work Week with our Tuesday Book Club, think of the three main things you do that really seem to be holding you back in the progress you would like to make in one important area of your life.  It might be, “I really need to release 15 more pounds but I just can find the time to exercise.”  It could be, “I want to deepen my relationship with God but I don’t know where to start.”  Some people might say, “I really want to promote my business but I don’t know how to get my message out on the internet.”

We will be discussing The Four Hour Work Week live in Austin at Laura’s Library on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM.  Our also discusses the book by phone at 7:00 PM on the first and third Tuesdays of the month and at 7:00 AM on the second and fourth Tuesdays.  The number is (512) 501-4531 and the code is 121014#.

On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, prepare yourself by reading the first quarter of the book.  finish the following sentence stems before you join the discussion:

If I could find two more hours in my day, I would

If I wasn’t afraid to work less at my current job, I would

I would be so much happier if I only didn’t have to

Please post your comments and questions below.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

Vice President, MindTamers

There is a well-established link between physical clutter in a household, disorganized thought patterns and unhealthy accumulation of stored excess energy on the body. For the month of September, Tuesday Book Club is covering The Clutter Diet by Lorie Marrero.

Marrero is an organizing genius and an all around classy lady. She lives here in Austin and contributed greatly to our community. She recently accepted the honor of Ambassador for the ClutterDiet/Goodwill/Levis Campaign to encourage individuals to donate all of their unused belongings.
For the month of September, we will discuss The Clutter Diet via teleconference and live in Austin.
Here is the schedule:
Tuesday September 7, 2010 via teleconference 7 PM CDT
Tuesday September 14, 2010 via teleconference 7 AM CDT
Tuesday September 21, 2010 live at Laura’s Library at Bee Caves Road and Cuernavaca in Austin 6:30-8:00 PM CDT
Tuesday, September 28, 2010 via teleconference 7 AM CDT
If you are interested in fitting in to an interesting Halloween Costume, here are five steps you can take right now to make it happen easily and quickly:

  • Go to clutterdiet.com and download the free Clutter Fitness Workbook.
  • Schedule time to work your way through the workbook and do it.
  • Prepare a weekly action plan and make sure you follow through.
  • Go to Goodwill and start assembling your magnificent costume.  Drop off a load of your own stuff while you are there.
  • Read The Clutter Diet with us this month and talk about it on the calls, live or here in the comments.

Expect the process of starting new uncluttering habits to stretch you in ways you didn’t foresee.  Last week, my friend Karen allowed me to drop in on a fitness class she is teaching at the Southwest Church of Christ School of Biblical Studies.  Karen’s workout stretched me in ways I did not foresee…I was sore for a few days.  Don’t be surprised if you get tired, feel sore and act grumpy when you start to get rid of the clutter.

Once you remove enough of the clutter that you regain a home space for renewal, you will be amazed at how well you keep your energy up and feel great about spending time at home.  Once you start feeling great about spending time at home, watch what your family starts doing.

You can access the weekly calls at (512) 501-4531 121014#.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.


Dr. Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training is the classic text on improving your own communication skills so that the person you are talking to feels heard and respected.  The August selection of the Tuesday Book Club is as helpful to parents and children today as it was back in 1970 when the first edition was released.  Here are the links to listen to the past three teleconference discussions in case you missed them.

Tuesday Book Club 7/27/10

Tuesday Book Club 8/3/10

Tuesday Book Club 8/10/10

In a subsequent publication, research from the Gordon Training International of over 250,000 parents who attended P. E. T. training classes revealed there were three ideas a parent has to accept if they really want to improve their parenting skills.

  1. Children must be respected as individual persons, not as a different species or anomalies in time.

  2. How the child behaves is largely determined by what goes on in the parent-child relationship.

  3. There are fundamental principles about interpersonal relationships that must be understood.  The two primary principles are: all humans are inconsistent in what behaviors they find acceptable in another (it is okay for parents to be inconsistent); and the principle of problem ownership (who owns a problem determines the strategy one must use to successfully communicate at that point in time).

Start now to change the habits that hurt you as a parent and build new habits using the helping skills Dr. Gordon describes in Parent Effectiveness Training.  Those helping skills are:

  • four basic listening skills that communicate messages like “I won’t take your problem away from you and I am here to help you find your solution”;  “I have faith that you have all the ability you need to handle your problem constructively”; and “I love you for who you are and problems are a normal part of life.”

  • how to talk so that kids will listen

  • how to change behavior by modifying the environment

  • win-win conflict resolution which is helpful when a behavior is impacting both people in the relationship

Tuesday Book Club Meets live at Laura’s Library, 9411 Bee Cave Road, Austin, TX 78733 next Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM CDT in Austin, Texas.  Join us for practice of the core skills in Dr. Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training book and for fun frank discussion about the challenges of parenting.

If you are out of town, join via teleconference at 7:00 PM CDT on 8/17/10 at (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.

Your comments and questions are welcome here as another avenue for book discussion and personal growth.  Until next time, remember one idea is all it takes to change your world.  Have you already fallen in love with an idea and are having trouble getting back up when someone or something knocks you down?  Find your tribe and mastermind with them.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

Vice President, MindTamers

P.E.T. in Action, Thomas Gordon, General Publishing Company, Toronto, Canada, 1976

At the heart of the Dr. Thomas Gordon’s Parent Effectiveness Training are listening and speaking skills that help you clarify what you hear and what you say to other people.  The last Tuesday Book Club teleconference gave participants a chance to practice active listening in a safe friendly no risk environment.  There are free videos available of all of the skills described in the book at Gordon Training International.  At least two generations of families around the world have adopted active listening and I-messages into their communication arsenal and dramatically improved family communication.

Here are the questions for the next two chapters of Parent Effectiveness Training, our August Tuesday Book Club selection.

Parent Effectiveness Training Chapter 6:  How to Talk So Kids Will Listen To You

Who owns the problem in this chapter?

What feelings are clues to who owns the problem?

List a few examples where you have owned the problem in a relationship.

Who does the parent need to help when the parent owns the problem?

What three alternatives does the parent have when he or she owns the problem?

What are the effects of sending solution and put-down messages?

Why are “I-messages” more effective than ”you-messages”?

What two characteristics foster intimacy?

Parent Effectiveness Training Chapter 7:  Putting “I-Messages to Work”

What are three common mistakes when using “I –messages”?

How do you use an “I-message” with a pre-verbal child?

What possible solutions can be used if children do not respond to “I-messages” at first?

What did you learn about the mixing of “I-messages” and active listening?

Tuesday Book Club meets by teleconference again on  Tuesday August 10, 2010 at 7:00 AM CDT at (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.  Join us to practice these vital communication skills is there is any room for communication improvement in your relationships.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.


Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children by Dr. Thomas Gordon shocks the reader into an entirely different mindset.  There are two main reasons why people fail to implement the principles of Parent Effectiveness Training. Either they feel that they cannot afford to “surrender” their position of power in the parent-child relationship or, the idea of putting so much effort into a new pattern of communication is too exhausting.

The Tuesday Book Club is spending the month of August studying Parent Effectiveness Training.  There are free weekly teleconference discussions and if you are in Austin, a free live meeting on the Third Tuesday at Laura’s Library.  Last week our teleconference focused on the front matter and first two chapters.  Click here to listen and catch up.

Here are some discussion questions for chapters three through five
that will help you start to use the language of acceptance that is so necessary in a successful relationship.

Parent Effectiveness Training Chapter 3: How to Listen So Kids Will Talk to You: The Language of Acceptance

What example do you have of a child refusing to talk to a parent?

How is unacceptance communicated?

Name two ways to communicate acceptance non-verbally.  Try these and record your results.

Write what your exact verbal response would be if your child came home and said:

“School just isn’t for me.  I’ve decided not to go to college.  There are so many other ways to succeed these days.”

“I wish I could figure out what is wrong with me.  Susie used to like me but now she never comes to play.  Every time I go to her house, she is playing with Brianna.  They have fun and I just feel left out.  I hate them.”

“How come I have to mow the lawn?  Sam’s family has a gardener     to do that stuff.  You are not fair!  This is child abuse!  Nobody works as hard as I do!”

You are having another couple over for dinner.  Your five year old     burst into the room as you are enjoying the after-dinner conversation and shouts:
“You are all a bunch of stinking fish heads!  I hate you and wish you never came here!”

Classify your responses according to the categories in Chapter 3.  Do you tend to communicate acceptance or the opposite?

How many meanings does a typical verbal response carry?

Name three “door openers” you are willing to try.  Record what happens when you try them out.

What is active listening?

Try it out on a stranger and record what happens.

Why should people learn the skill of active listening?

What are the six requirements for Active listening to be genuine?

What are the risks of active listening?

Parent Effectiveness Training Chapter 4:  Putting Your Active Listening Skills to Work

What is the most important action a person must take to master active listening?

When is it most appropriate to use active listening?

What three classifications apply to any situation encountered in a relationship?

Why is it important to classify situations?

What does active listening help the child find?

Name five common mistakes to active listening.

Parent Effectiveness Training Chapter 5:  How to Listen to Kids Too Young to Talk Much

What two requirements must be met to use active listening effectively in children less than 4 years old?

How do you “learn to listen accurately to non-verbal communication”?

What can a parent give a child if the parent listens accurately to non-verbal communication?

What do most parents do instead?

What is the long-term result of this choice?

An Unofficial Reader’s Journal to Parent Effectiveness Training, based on the 1975 edition of this classic is available as a free resource to you.  Please join us Tuesday, August 3 at 7 PM CDT (512) 501-4531 enter the code 121014# for a live discussion of some of these questions and your experience as you read this manual on communication skills that will revolutionize every single relationship in which you engage.

Your comments and questions are welcome below.  Remember, all it takes is one idea to change your world.

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.
Vice President, MindTamers

Tags: , , , ,

Dr. Thomas Gordon rocked the parenting world with one idea: if parents mastered effective communication, they would enjoy raising effective communicators.  He first published Parent Effectiveness Training in 1970.  Within five years, it was a worldwide movement. Even though Dr. Gordon died in 2002, many effectiveness training instructors like me continue to teach parents the skills they need to turn around the obstacles they encounter during child-rearing.

You can pick up a copy of his book at any bookstore or at any library.  Tuesday Book Club will meet weekly by phone (and will have a live Austin meeting on August 17, 2010) to cover this amazing classic.  The book has 16 chapters and 5 practice exercises in an appendix.  Here is the format for our first meeting which will be a teleconference on Tuesday, July 27 at 7 AM CDT.  The number for the call is: (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.  Plan on reading about four chapters a week and on practicing your new communication skills at least 3 hours a week if you want to develop a new habit of communication before the end of the month.  Don’t worry, you can intersperse the practice into your daily activities…in casual conversation with drivers, athletic partners, wait staff, passersby and others.

It is hard to master these skills in just a month unless you really bend your will to that goal.  Here are a few tips that helped our family develop new communication habits taught in this book twenty years ago.

  1. Identify at least one person with whom you can practice the skills daily.
  2. Make appointments with your buddy and keep them.
  3. Practice, practice, practice.
  4. Make a list of example phrases and post on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror or on the notepad of your smart phone.

Most readers who are new to these ideas need room for their own questions to be answered, especially when digesting the first four chapters.  Please post your questions here and they will be answered on Tuesday each week.  I promise you that if you will simply give these ideas a try, you will be amazed at the changes possible within your family and not just with your children.  You will begin to use them with coworkers, friends and everyone you love.

So just a reminder about the calls and live meetings:

First and third Tuesdays at 7 PM CDT via telecomference (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.

Second and fourth Tuesdays at 7 AM CDT via teleconference (512) 501-4531 and code 121014#.

Live in Austin, Texas, third Tuesdays 6:30 PM at Laura’s Library on Bee Caves Road.

We welcome you to participate here in blog comments and to come to as many or as few of our book club meetings as your time allows.  Better yet, start your own book club!

Until next time remember all it takes is one idea to rock your world!

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.

Tags: , ,

Fireside, Texas  Do you know where it is yet?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 7 PM CDT is another chance to ask and answer questions about Ruby and the Stargazers with Marci Henna.  The Austin number is (512) 501-4531 and dial the code: 121014#.  Here are a few thought questions for you to ponder.  As you read the book ask answer and comment here.

  • When you read about the recipes and their significance in this book, what favorite recipe came to your mind?
  • Who’s Santa are you?
  • How do you let others know when you need a Santa?

Think about those, add your own and come talk with Marci on Tuesday!

In friendship,

Lori L. Barr, M. D.


Tags: , , ,

Older Posts »

Google Analytics integration offered by Wordpress Google Analytics Plugin