Coronavirus Information from Administration & Finance

Book and Learning Circles

Employee and Organization Development hosts book and learning circles throughout the year which are open to all Cal Poly employees. Book and learning circles are great opportunities to engage with colleagues in thoughtful discussion around common themes of interest.

Book Circles involve discussing a book over three sessions. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the selected book with the expectation that they will engage in all discussion sessions. Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article, and participating in a discussion during a single session. Please join us for one, or more, of these enriching conversations!

How Language Shapes the Way We Think [Learning Circle]

By Lera Boroditsky

There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language that suggest the answer is a resounding yes.

  • Facilitators: Li Guan, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 11:10am – 12:00pm on October 1
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Mindful Leadership [Learning Circle]

Featuring talks and reflections from Janice Marurano, Mark Bertoli, and Jessica Amos

Explore the intersection of mindfulness training and the qualities associated with leadership excellence to learn how mindfulness training can develop leaders who are present, steady, and tuned into the needs and actions of their teams. This learning circle will open with a Huffington Post interview by Marc Camont Hill in which Janice Marturano, founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindful Leadership, discusses how truly transformative leaders practice mindfulness. Following discussion, we will next watch excerpts from the Wisdom 2.0 Business symposium in which Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini discusses how he utilizes the practices of mindfulness to be a steady and present leader while managing a sometimes chaotic work environment and chronic pain. This learning circle will conclude with a 7-minute mindfulness guided mediation led by writer and teacher Jessica Amos at TEDxSalem.

  • Facilitators: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 11:00am – 12:30pm on October 6 and November 17
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do [Book Circle]

By Claude M. Steele

Through personal stories and research results, the book author of Whistling Vivaldi, Claude M. Steele, paints a compelling picture of how simply being aware of negative stereotypes toward our social group diminishes our ability to perform. The author described how he came across the psychological phenomenon he named “stereotype threat” and how this phenomenon fundamentally changed the way psychologists thought about how stereotypes shape our lives. He sheds light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays outs a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 11:00am – 12:00pm on October 6, 13, 20, and 27
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

How Incivility Shuts Down Our Brains [Learning Circle]

By Christine Porath, Ph.D.

Dr. Christine Porath studies how workplace culture impacts individuals with the goal of creating organizations that thrive. The little actions we take can make work a better place. Do our actions lift people up and make them feel respected or hold people down, and make them feel small and disregarded? Dr. Porath’s research has demonstrated that uncivil behaviors have a major, negative impact on well-being, creativity and productivity. She also found the effects of incivility are far-reaching; witnesses to incivility are also significantly impacted. Learn why incivility can take such a stronghold, how incivility affects our culture and how we can address it.

  • Facilitator: Lisa Gray, Human Resources
  • Time and Dates: 2:00pm – 2:50pm on October 7
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace [Book Circle]

By Christine Porath, Ph.D.

Who do you want to be? Whether you know it or not you are answering this question every day through your actions. When you receive an email that you perceive as short or unkind, how will you respond? What should you do if you are the target of incivility? How do you know if you are being uncivil? In Mastering Incivility: A Manifesto for the Workplace author Christine Porath outlines more than twenty years of research across nearly every type of workplace. Join us to learn the importance of being civil to yourself and those around you, and the costs of incivility. We will make time for self-reflection, learn how to increase our influence and effectiveness, how to increase civility within organizations and what to do if you are the target of incivility. Join us for this three-part book circle exploring the impacts of civility and incivility on us as individuals and in teams, in and outside the workplace.

  • Facilitator: Lisa Gray, Human Resources
  • Time and Dates: 2:00pm – 2:50pm on October 14, 21 and 28
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior [Book Circle]

By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, A. Switzler

Broken promises, missed deadlines, poor behavior--they don't just make others' lives miserable; they can sap up to 50 percent of organizational performance and account for the vast majority of divorces. Crucial Accountability offers the tools for improving relationships in the workplace and in life and for resolving all these problems - permanently.

  • Facilitator: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 12:00am – 1:00pm on October 20, October 27, November 3, and November 10
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Race: The Power of an Illusion [Learning Circle]

By Herbes-Sommers, C. Cheng, J. Adelman, L. Smith, L. Strain, T.

Scientists tell us that believing in biological races is no more sound than believing the sun revolves around the earth. So if race is a biological myth, where did the idea come from? And why should it matter today? Race – The Power of an Illusion provides an eye opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy and justice. Whether you join us for one or all of the three episodes that comprise this video series, we look forward to an engaging discussion following each viewing.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 10:30am – 12:00pm on October 23, October 30, and November 6
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life [Book Circle]

Shawn Achor

New York Times bestselling author Shawn Achor reveals how rewiring our brain for happiness helps us achieve more in our careers and our relationships and as students, leaders, and parents. Drawing on his original research—including one of the largest studies of happiness ever conducted—and work in boardrooms and classrooms across forty-two countries, Achor shows us how to rewire our brains for positivity and optimism to reap the happiness advantage in our lives, our careers, and even our health.

  • Facilitators: Li Guan, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Dates: 11:10am – 12:00pm on October 22, 29, and November 5
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) also hosts book circles each quarter and you can learn more about their offerings by selecting “Book Circles” on their Programs and Services webpage at: https://ctlt.calpoly.edu/programs-services.