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Read Faster and Better to Maintain Your Leadership Edge

Read Faster and Better-1

By Dr. Geri Markel On 

Good Leaders Take Reading Seriously to Keep their Leadership Edge!

“I wanted to tell you that the suggestions you made about reading strategies has eliminated the problems I was having. I’m much better prepared and am reading much more efficiently. That’s cut my reading time way down—as well as my stress. “

This assistant professor in a technical field had difficulty keeping up with journal reading, teaching preparation, research projects and peer interactions. While in training, she was able to take the time she needed to read, review and synthesize vast amounts of information. She was used to reading scientific and technical matter slowly and carefully. As faculty, however, she lacked the time. She’s not alone. Regardless of the field of endeavor, fast and effective reading skills are critical as professionals or executives rise in the ranks and maintain their edge.

Executives and professionals need advanced reading skills such as;

  • Laser-focused surveying, skimming and scanning to select the most important points and then supplement with ample facts and examples.
  • Flexible rates of reading depending on the purpose of reading, as well as, the interest in, and difficulty and length of the material.
  • Skill raising relevant questions to address. Generating questions to answer prior to reading helps focus attention, arouse curiosity, and bring to mind prior knowledge about the subject.
  • Summarizing the main ideas, facts and examples that address the reader’s questions. The reader visualizes the message and summarizes the information in his or her own words. This enhances memory and retention of the information.
  • Scheduling times to read under non distracting conditions. 10 to 15 minutes, three times a week.

In this age of information overwhelm, executives can maintain their edge when they employ advanced reading skills and schedule the time to read. Whether newspaper, magazine, journal article or book, reading adds to leaders’ knowledge base and provides a framework for greater productivity—and creativity.


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