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Forcing Functions

Jeff and I have great set of students in the shop this week. As always, I learn just as much from them as I hope they learn from me.

Today is day six of seven. It's a critical day.

Everyone MUST get their chairs assembled so they can weave the seats tomorrow and take home a completed chair.

We're all mentally drained. We're physically tired. Our bodies are sore.

And I have no doubt everyone will succeed.

This is a forcing function created by an in-person class.

"No one leaves today until their chair is assembled."

I'm still not sure how to replicate this for my remote students.

Imagine you were in my remote class. What could I do to help you push through fear, frustration, and fatigue to complete this chair?

I'd love to hear your ideas!

12 views2 comments


May 26, 2023

If you can solve this, you might be able to solve the problem of all the armchair woodworkers on the internet! This is a really tough problem though. In an in-person class you can have all hands on deck to help someone move, online you don't have this "many hands" approach. You have to first decide on a carrot vs stick as the motivator and then maybe work backwards from there, maybe even finding out the motivators unique to each attendee ahead of time.

Mark Hicks
Mark Hicks
Jun 02, 2023
Replying to

Hello Jeremy,

Thanks for the thoughtful response! It's got me thinking so much that I've decided to continue the conversation in this week's newsletter.

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