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!

Leading Productive Meetings [Learning Circle]

How many hours a week do you spend in meetings? Now how much of that time do you actually enjoy? How often do you end a meeting feeling pleased with how productive it was? Meetings can be essential for collaboration and innovation, so why are they often cited as being so painful? Join this roundtable-style learning circle as we draw on our collective knowledge as well as industry best practices to share ideas and tips for facilitating productive, meaningful, and engaging meetings whether that is in-person, online, or hybrid.

  • Facilitator: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 11:30am – 1:00pm on September 21
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

How Diversity and Inclusion Will Drive Workplaces [Learning Circle]

By Jennifer Brown

To give their fullest contribution, employees must feel they can bring their full selves to work. The research shows many do not feel comfortable doing so. Individuals are spending valuable energy every day minimizing or managing aspects of their own diversity - of identity, background, experience-in order to succeed. This takes a particular toll on diverse employees - women, people of color, LGBT individuals, people with disabilities - at a time when organizations are struggling to recruit, retain, and develop those same individuals. But all of us, and the university, pay the price. Especially in today’s shifting landscape, we need to think more broadly about the very definitions of diversity which will resonate most with current and future employees. Join us as we learn from Jennifer Brown the valuable opportunities we have to build more inclusive workplace environments where everyone feels welcome.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 1:00pm – 2:00pm on October 5
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

The Gifts of Imperfection [Book Circle]

By Shawn Achor

Is your life designed for you or for someone else? Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown shares how to embrace your imperfect self and the rewards that come from self-compassion. Join this book circle and cultivate your authentic self through courage, compassion, and connection to embrace who you are.

  • Facilitator: Lisa Gray, Human Resources
  • Time and Date: 2:10pm – 3:00pm on October 6, October 13, and October 20
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

Thinking Fast and Slow [Book Circle]

By Daniel Kahneman

System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The impact of overconfidence, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything we do - each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems shape our judgments and decisions.

In this Book Circle, learners can expect 4 lively conversations about how we think as the author reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. Kahneman offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our professional and our personal lives - and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.

How to Access the Book: Upon registration close, a complimentary Amazon Kindle copy of this eBook will be emailed to participants.

  • Facilitator: Andrea King, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 12:00 pm – 1:00pm on October 14, October 21, October 28, and November 4
  • Location: Zoom Meeting

How To Be An Inclusive Leader [Book Circle]

By Jennifer Brown

Human potential is unleashed when we feel like we belong. That's why inclusive workplaces experience higher engagement, and performance. But the reality is that many people still feel unable to bring their true selves to work. In a world where the talent pool is becoming increasingly diverse, it's more important than ever for leaders to truly understand how to support inclusion.

Anyone can - and should - be an inclusive leader. In this book, Brown lays out simple steps to help you understand your role, boost your self-awareness, take action, and become a better version of yourself in the process. Join us as we read and discuss this book that will meet you where you are and provide a road map to create a workplace of greater mutual understanding where everyone's talents can shine.

  • Facilitator: Lanaya Gaberel, Employee and Organization Development
  • Time and Date: 1:00pm – 2:00pm on October 26, November 2, November 9, and November 16
  • 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.