MIT World™ – A World of Learning for Free

MIT World™ is a fantastic, free, and informative website sponsored and maintained by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  It is a database of more than 600 videos of from significant public events at MIT.  This is a free and open site with on demand videos that a coaching friend of mine pointed out to me and you can go there too.  The site is:

The topical index for the site includes:

  • Architecture/Planning
  • Arts
  • Biotechnology
  • Defense/Military
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Environment/Energy
  • Exploration/Travel
  • History
  • Innovation/Invention
  • International Affairs
  • Business/Leadership
  • Media
  • Medicine
  • MIT
  • National Security
  • Public Policy
  • Science
  • Technology

Browsing through the videos, I found several that caught my eye:

  • Linda Mason, Chairman of the 1.3 billion dollar Bright Horizons enterprise talking about how she and her husband came to launch and build their business during a tough economic time.
  • Timothy Brown, from IDEO talking about “Innovation through Design Thinking”
  • “Innovation Leadership during Economic Crisis” by Emmanuel Maceda from Bain and Company

What a rich resource of learning and all so easily available by downloading the videos whenever you are in the mood for a little knowledge or inspiration.  Looking through the list, I also saw Thomas Friedman, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama.

Here’s how the site describes itself and its mission:

MIT World™ answers that question by publishing key presentations by the MIT faculty and guest speakers who are shaping the future. These free, on-demand videos, available 24/7 to viewers worldwide, reflect and extend MIT’s educational mission—to provide the best education in science, technology, and related fields—to engaged learners anytime, anywhere.

More a publication of thought leadership, and less a news site, MIT World aims to capture the pulse and excitement of the range of ideas discussed at MIT every day and share them with the world. A growing archive of more than 585 works offers insights on topics ranging from architecture to innovation to technology and sustainability. Cumulatively, these presentations by world-class thinkers and doers map great ideas in the making.”

So, when you need a little brain boost, check it out!

Yes, you can use this post in your newsletter, blog, or ezine as long as you post the following bio box with it:

Barbara Demarest ( received her MBA from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University and her BA from Duke University. After 20 years at the Center for Creative Leadership with executive roles in global marketing, new product development, knowledge management, and fundraing, Barbara launched her own executive coaching practice.  She helps executives, entrepreneurs, and individuals in career transition to leverage their ideas and position themselves, their products, and their organizations.  Barbara is also the co-author of Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job.  You can find Barbara’s profile on

Dec Dates Added for LinkedIn & Twitter Labs

Well, it looks like there are a lot of people who want to talk about LinkedIn and Twitter, two social media tools that help you position yourself online.  I’m excited to work on this!  I’ve added a page to this site called Courses & Events where I’ll keep a running list of the Labs and other events I am offering.

Here are the dates for December 2009 Labs:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time)
Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5 p.m.  (Eastern Time)

LinkedIn Lab
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at Noon (Eastern Time)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 5 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time)

I run these as “labs” meaning that I hope that you will actively be experimenting with Twitter and LinkedIn during the session.  If you just listen to a presentation, you’ll get something out of it, but you will remember and understand more if you actually use these tools.  So how it works is that I am on the phone giving you guidance and pointing out some things I’ve learned about these tools and you are trying them out on your computer.  These are group sessions and people end up asking questions as we go along so that each session is a little bit different.  I’ve even had a few people do the sessions more than once because they find working in this collaborative setting a helpful way to keep learning a little bit more each time they join in.

To register, go to the Courses & Events page or send an email to and I’ll give you instructions.  And if December is too busy for you to think about social media, then be on the lookout for the January dates.

Changes to LinkedIn Layout

I wanted to mention that I was working with a client on his LinkedIn profile today and noticed that my page was looking different!  And especially different than his.  So, I wanted to warn some of you who heard me talk about LinkedIn’s 3 column layout that they are changing to a two column layout and collapsing the left-hand navigation bar into the top of the page navigation bar.  This is a little disconcerting at first, but I guess we will adjust!

The information below is straight from LinkedIn and as you can see, some of you are seeing the new layout and some are not, so don’t be surprised/thrown by this.

And another FYI, some of you asked me to let you know when the new dates were posted for upcoming Labs.

Here’s the link to the page on my site called COURSES with the information on both LinkedIn Labs and TwitterLabs  (and how to register):

LinkedIn Labs:
Thursday, December 3, 2009 at Noon (Eastern Time)
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 5 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 9 a.m. (Eastern Time)
Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 5 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Please send your friends!

*************************From LinkedIn about the new layout *******************************

Have you changed the navigational bars on the site?

You may have noticed a new site navigation experience on LinkedIn. We are in the process of doing limited testing on a new design that should wrap up over the next few weeks. During this testing phase, some users will see the new design, while others will not.
Here are some of the new things you could see:

  1. A global navigation bar at the top of the page that provides convenient access to all LinkedIn services. Everything you used in the left navigation bar is now available through the drop down menu categories in the top navigation bar.
  2. Simplified local navigation within each of the LinkedIn areas (Profile, Contacts, Groups, etc.).
  3. More room available for page content and less scrolling.
  4. A cleaner, less-cluttered look.

Happy networking!
– Barbara

Barbara Demarest
Executive Coaching, Seminars & Keynotes,
Online Networking & Positioning for Career & Business Growth
Ph/ 336-303-1577
Twitter @barbarademarest
LinkedIn /barbarademarest
Coaching Profile:

My e-book with Joyce Richman, Getting Your Kid Out of the House and Into a Job is now available at

Selecting Your Coach – Remember Your Feedback

Once you have decided that coaching is the developmental approach you would like to take, the next step is to choose the right coach for you.  Recommendations from colleagues are helpful in terms of coaching effectiveness, but coach selection also requires some important personal considerations.  Will you benefit more from a coach with an outside perspective or internal shared experiences of your organization?  How do you want to feel when you are working with your coach?  Do you want a peer or an authority figure?  How do gender, race, industry experience or other characteristics influence the way you will work with your coach?  How important is it to you that your coach have a primary relationship with you and not share your feedback with your boss or HR department?

In Your Executive Coaching Solution (Davies-Black, 2007), Joan Kofodimos suggests that a coach should:

  • Provide structure in the development process
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Balance supporting and challenging you
  • Help you ask for and receive feedback
  • Assist in clarifying your true strengths, values and purpose
  • Broaden your perspectives
  • Teach concepts and skills
  • Influence how others view you

In addition, experienced coaches are also careful not to hinder your ability to learn, grow and change.  They want you to take independent action and are not there to be your cheerleader, your therapist or your de facto manager or boss. Most importantly, you want to pick a coach who can raise your developmental issues as an objective party and can show you how your behaviors affect others.

Coaches need to demonstrate that they understand and respect your values and concerns. You’re more likely to open up to a coach who creates a safe, confidential and non-judgmental environment.  However, it is equally important that coaches provide challenges that motivate you to perform beyond your usual habits and behaviors. There will be times that your coach’s role will be to confront you directly and encourage you to see the impact of your actions; and probe the motives and assumptions underlying your behaviors.

Returning to Joan Kofodimos’ list, it is important that you understand how a coaching experience is structured.  The usual steps are:

  1. Establish the coaching relationship
  2. Set expectations and the time frame
  3. Seek feedback from others using instruments, interviews, or other tools
  4. Review feedback
  5. Create a development plan
  6. Work the plan including implementing new behaviors
  7. Hold regular coaching meetings to review and assess

Regarding feedback:  it is very important that you receive authentic feedback from which to build your developmental plan.  Skilled coaches understand confidentiality and how to solicit important data from your peers, subordinates, superiors and other stakeholders.  Over time, one of the results you can expect from a coaching experience is that you will grow in your ability to create relationships where you can ask for honest feedback on an ongoing basis.

Instead of encouraging dependence, your coach should teach you how to manage your development in the future. After an initial assessment, a good coach shows you how to form links with colleagues and teaches them how to frame useful, specific feedback instead of vague judgments.

Your coach will teach you to ask for feedback and manage the conversation without being defensive. This includes learning how to determine which feedback is relevant and valid, prioritize the issues you need to address and figure out how to handle them.

So now that you have a clearer idea of the coaching process and the key role that your coach plays in helping you establish your feedback loops, you should have a better idea of what kind of coach will bring out the best results for you.

This is article also appears on blog.


Yes! You can use this article in your company newsletter, blog or website as long as you add the following bio box:

Barbara Demarest ( received her MBA from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University and her BA from Duke University. After 20 years at the Center for Creative Leadership, Barbara launched a coaching practice to help executives and entrepreneurs position themselves, their products, and their organizations.  You can find Barbara’s profile on

REFS Sponsors Canned Food Drive: Nov-7-09

We volunteer with Food Assistance/Groceries on Wheels delivering groceries each month.  REFS, a new Sports Bar in Greensboro, NC is sponsoring a canned food drive Nov. 7, 2009.  10 cans or $10 admission from 11-3 for Wings and College Football with all donations going to Food Assistance.  For more info, email or call 336-442-2138.

Flyer is attached here: