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  • Dr. Eric Rooker

June Countdown to Success On Metacognition and it's role in onboarding and professional development

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

5 Inputs, 4 Quotes, 3 Thoughts, 2 Challenges and 1 Question (June 18th, 2022)

“Helping you achieve high-performance medicine.”

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Happy June,

Your journey of professional development is important to me. Please hit that reply button or join our Facebook Group to share your journey and inspiration with our community.

You never know when your ideas, stories, actions or reflections will inspire another vet out there!

Alright, let’s get to it!

Here are 5 Inputs to Inspire, 4 Quotes to Contemplate, 3 Thoughts to Ponder, 2 Challenges to Conquer and 1 Reflection Question to help you grow this month.

5 Inputs to Inspire

I. If you're like me metacognition is a new vocabulary word for you! Vanderbilt defines metacognition as a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner.

II. Are you looking to onboard a new associate or team member? Using metacognition to help them become aware of what they know, what they know they don't know and what they don't know they don't know can help the onboarding process go much better. This strategy originated in the classroom but can be applied effectively in the workplace as well. Checkout this Inner Drive blog that does an excellent job summarizing it's classroom utilization.

III. One of the key concepts within metacognition is the awareness of one's own thoughts, biases and weaknesses, aka self-awareness. Self-awareness plays a key role because unless we reflect and become more aware of of what we do and don't know and why we know it, it can be impossible for us to change how or what we think about. To better understand this we return to a fantastic Very Well Mind summary article.

IV. Are you looking to improve your, an employee's, or even your child's self awareness? Then a great starting point is to help them engage in activities and exercises that unknowingly improve this awareness. Check out Positive Psychology's broad activity list for self-awareness here.

V. Looking for a short jump start to support your new employees metacognitive development? An evolution on the technique of see one, do one and teach one?

This guide helps encourage reflection on the way so the employee begins to realize how and what they exactly learned from the situation or training.

4 Quotes to Contemplate

I. World famous personal development leader Jim Rohn on the importance of education beyond veterinary school:

Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. Life wants you to win, but you must get out of your own way. – Jim Rohn

II. Business coach Keith Cunningham on the importance of being aware of our weaknesses, inherant biases, and areas in our thought process that are not fully developed:

The best time to learn the lessons (and avoid the dreaded dumb tax) is prior to making the mistake in the first place. – Keith Cunningham

III. Positive Psychology researcher David Meketon about how life long education is not so much about extrinsic information as it is about intrinsic awareness:

Students are a product of how they learn about themselves. - David Meketon

IV. Writer and personal development speaker Simon Sinek discusses why we cannot simply offer more money, security, or status at work and instead must focus on altering behavior through greater awareness of one's own thoughts and actions:

You cant incentivize performance you can only incentivize behavior. – Simon Sinek

3 Thoughts to Ponder

I. The majority of veterinarians I work with at OTO rank highly in two Clifton Strengths called Input and Learner. These strengths value collection of information or resources and learning from them. Therefore, to engage this method of meaningful work, and improve their well-being, these professionals often need to develop their metacognition and improve their self-awareness around what and how they like to collect and learn.

II. The biggest obstacle to what we can accomplish in our career is not based around our current skills or what we know we do not know. It is based around the black hole of knowledge that we don't even know we don't know; for if we knew that which we do not know we would truly be able to learn about or adapt to this short coming and inevitably improve our professional development.

III. The majority of our day is spent thinking about other people's problems and challenges. We spend the day driving in a truck or in the office, thinking about these issues, and rarely spend this time reflecting upon what our own challenges are and how they are affected by our habits, biases, and thoughts. Even blocking 20 minutes a day to look introspectively could significantly improve self-awareness and by proxy, metacognition.

2 Challenges

I. Step back and take a 10,000 foot view of your client list, clinic employees or peer group. Who could benefit from improved self-awareness? Once you've identified the person, engage them and create an accountability group where you meet weekly to discuss the self-awareness revelations that occurred for both of you and help accelerate your metacognitive development through open discussions in a peer environment.

II. For one week set aside 10 minutes per day to sit and think about what your learned that day, the challenges you faced, and what might have helped address them and where your current interests are. Devote 3 minutes to each question as a simple primer to your self-awareness.

1 Reflection Question

Next time you face interpersonal conflict (between individuals) train your self-awareness by stepping back and contemplating; what did I believe was true and why did I think it was true?

Until next month,

Dr. Eric Rooker

Founder of Operators to Owners

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