DiscoverCoaching for Leaders569: The Way to Make Struggles More Productive, with Sarah Stein Greenberg
569: The Way to Make Struggles More Productive, with Sarah Stein Greenberg

569: The Way to Make Struggles More Productive, with Sarah Stein Greenberg

Update: 2022-02-28
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Sarah Stein Greenberg: Creative Acts for Curious People

Sarah Stein Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Stanford d.school. She leads a community of designers, faculty, and other innovative thinkers who help people unlock their creative abilities and apply them to the world. She speaks regularly at universities and global conferences on design, business, and education.



Sarah holds an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business and also serves as a trustee for global conservation organization Rare. She is the author of the book Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways*.



In this conversation, Sarah and I discuss the reality that all of us face with real learning: uncomfortable struggle. We detail some of the typical pattens that occur with struggle and how we can almost predict it at certain points. Plus, we discussed what Sarah and her colleagues have discovered about we can do to make the most of the struggles we regularly face.

Key Points



Part of the process of creativity almost always feels terrible. The “trough of despair” is hard, but also essential.

Struggle helps us learn better. There’s a sweet spot between what you already know well and what seems impossible. That middle zone is productive struggle.

It’s helpful to set expectations in advance when innovating or creating that discomfort is an indicator that you’re moving forward.

When people are in the midst of struggle, shifting the focus from thinking and talking to actually doing can often illuminate the best, next step.

Productive struggle often comes at predictable moments. When it does, scaffolding and models can help move us along to get to where we need to go.



Resources Mentioned



Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways* by Sarah Stein Greenberg



Interview Notes

Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).

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The Value of Being Uncomfortable, with Neil Pasricha (episode 448)



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569: The Way to Make Struggles More Productive, with Sarah Stein Greenberg

569: The Way to Make Struggles More Productive, with Sarah Stein Greenberg

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