086 – Understanding Engineers with Joanie Connell

086 – Understanding Engineers with Joanie Connell

Understanding Engineers with Joanie Connell

“Let your kids be bored…  When you’re bored and you have time to let your mind wander, that’s when you have time to be creative.  Structuring and feeling like we have to be in an “educational moment” at all times has taken away that opportunity for kids to explore and figure things out on their own.”  –Joanie Connell, PhD

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Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcast

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • How much does work-life balance matter to today’s professionals?
  • Why do people communicate differently on email vs phone vs face-to-face?
  • What are the effects of helicopter parenting on the kids we are trying to protect?

Today’s podcast will reveal the answers to these crucial questions.

Welcome to the Table Top Inventing Online Radio Show.  Every week we interview successful individuals from across the career spectrum and share their stories.  The best information on how to raise intelligent, curious, successful kids is out there, and we’re collecting it into one place on our on-demand radio show.

Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcastToday’s guest is particularly well-acquainted with the pitfalls surrounding current trends in parenting and education.  Joanie Connell is a PhD psychologist with a degree in engineering who coaches high-performing professionals.  In her work with these high-profile individuals, she has become painfully aware of some glaring issues in modern parenting and education habits.

Let’s jump straight into this action-packed interview.

Joanie and I discussed things I’ve believed for quite some time, but she brings the psychological and social credibility.  Her background in engineering and work with professionals strikes a curious juxtaposition with the stories and woes of executives with unmotivated kids.

I loved her advice to just let kids be bored sometimes.  It’s so easy as parents to feel like we must be in an “educational moment” all the time, but Joanie’s wisdom says we should back-off and allow kid’s natural curiosity take over.

I couldn’t agree more.  Our whole Inventor Camp framework revolves around letting kids jump into the deep end of the pool to see if they can figure out how to swim.  Standing back while kids discover things on their own inspires more learning than over-scheduling or helicoptering ever can.

It is a hard thing to let our kids face life on their own.  I know.  I have teens too.  But you don’t have to take this road alone.  Sign your kids up for Inventor Camp and become a part of a growing community of parents who are learning to pull back on the helicoptering.  Head over to our Inventor Camp page and sign your teen up for the best summer of their lives!

We’ll help you step back and let your teenager step up.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

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Guest Bio

Dr. Joanie B. Connell is an organizational consultant and leadership coach who specializes in maximizing leadership potential.  She works with companies to attract, develop, and retain top talent.  She works with individuals to improve their success and happiness in their careers.  She is also an author of the book “Flying without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life“.

As a consultant, Joanie develops leaders across generations.  She coaches executives and youth at Flexible Work Solutions.  She consults with organizations in a variety of areas, including executive leadership development, diversity, generations, flexible work arrangements, work-life balance, life transitions, character and ethics, team building, and virtual teams.   Her clients are from Fortune 100 companies, not-for-profit, and government agencies and high tech, biotech, healthcare, finance, legal and other industries.

As a professor, she teaches/has taught business and psychology students of all ages at the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego, the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management at Alliant International University, and in the Masters in Human Behavior program at National University.

Joanie earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in Engineering from Harvard University.

Joanie is available to consult, coach, present keynote speeches, and make media appearances.  She also likes to write guest blog posts.

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Joanie Connell in Paris - Table Top Inventing Podcast

Favorite Quote


Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” ­­Muriel Strode

About a Teacher

“Ms. Spanuolo was one of my high school English teachers. I never liked English because I thought it was boring until she came along. She inspired me to enjoy classic literature to the point where I took her AP English class. She not only taught me how to appreciate literature, but also to keep an open mind. Look how far I’ve come; now I’m a writer!”

Something Joanie learned recently…

“I just got a new scheduling app called ScheduleOnce. It allows me to send a link to someone to schedule a meeting with me at times I have already selected to be available. It’s a great app, but I also decided to try it for personal calls. I sent the link out to a few friends around the world whom I hardly ever talk to and we scheduled time to meet via Skype. It was so much fun!”

Something Joanie made recently…

“The last thing I made was a coaching tool to help people think about their beliefs and assumptions behind their thoughts and actions. I created a model based on research in the field and wrote up an example to go with it that people could relate to.”

Additional Notes

Connect with Joanie:

Additional Links:

Joanie Connell - Table Top Inventing podcast

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Text Transcript Coming Soon!

“I was more interested in Engineers than in Engineering.”  –Joanie Connell, PhD

I’m trying to help communicate to this younger generation and their parents that we’re so focused on the “education piece” on the getting into college and getting the “right” education that we’re losing touch with the other important life skills…  My new book is about taking these lessons learned from successful people in the workplace and bringing their wisdom to younger people.  It’s not just about getting A’s or taking AP English.  It’s about being independent, having the resilience to bounce back after a failure.  It’s about being creative–a skill we are losing by over-scheduling children.  –Joanie Connel, PhD

Helicopter parents are working a lot harder to help their kids–with the best intentions–to be successful in life, but the helicoptering is what’s holding them back from being independent individuals who can be resilient and communicate effectively.  –Joanie Connell, PhD

Let your kids be bored…  When you’re bored and you have time to let your mind wander, that’s when you have time to be creative.  Structuring and feeling like we have to be in an “educational moment” at all times has taken away that opportunity for kids to explore and figure things out on their own.  –Joanie Connell, PhD


Joanie Connell at the Harvard Book Club Meeting - Table Top Inventing podcast
Joanie Connell at the Harvard Book Club Meeting

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