Gardian of the Month: Elisabet Harrell
Our Gardian of the Month is Elisabet Harrell, Director of Product Development and Meeting Services with CGi LLC.
Learn: How do you learn best? In a coffee shop with lots of noise or in a quiet, library-like setting?
I’ve always learned best when I can control my environment, so I’ve never done well in a coffee shop setting. That said, there is always coffee. I adapt my learning style to what I’m trying to learn. If I’m trying to comprehend something content-rich, my cone of silence goes up while I dig in. If I’m learning a new technology or something that’s more interactive, I prefer to have an external input – usually some music blaring in the next room. I primarily work from my home office, and my family has told me they can tell my “library mode” with just one look at my furrowed brow. They are (usually) happy to accommodate me!
Network: What's your number one networking trick?
Networking tricks are so specific to a person’s inherent disposition. I’m naturally more of an introverted empath, so networking has always felt awkward for me. It also means I’m highly attuned to others that feel the same way and gravitate toward alleviating their experience. I do genuinely enjoy getting to know people and developing professional relationships, so the tricks that work best for me to do this include one-on-one conversation, listening, expressing curiosity, and being present. But my number one trick is to ask for introductions when possible. These first-degree connections provide you with an instant commonality.
Transfer: What resources/tools do you find most helpful in helping you retain knowledge?
I think most people retain information best using elaboration – connecting information, ideas, experiences, to what you already know. Information doesn’t become retained as knowledge until you’ve personalized it. The most simplistic form of this can just be doing or applying what you’ve learned.
Please share with us a resource and why you can’t live without it.
I’m a greedy reader and love to get information from as many sources as possible. I’m passionate about the science behind the why and how of decision making and learning. My job fundamentally boils down to problem solving, so understanding these basics makes things more fun and allows for constant evolution. I find myself returning to the first books of Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point) and Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene) frequently as the applicability of their theories are boundless.
Just for Fun: What's your favorite thing about Fall?
Here is where I should say pumpkin spice lattes – but I’m with that small, unpopular group who has an aversion! Truly, my favorite thing about fall are the traditions that come with it for our family. There’s some serenity that comes with planting the mums, carving the pumpkins, raking the leaves, and spending time with extended family.