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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills
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The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  7,265 ratings  ·  543 reviews
The Little Book of Talent is a manual for building a faster brain and a better you. It is an easy-to-use handbook of scientifically proven, field-tested methods to improve skills—your skills, your kids’ skills, your organization’s skills—in sports, music, art, math, and business. The product of five years of reporting from the world’s greatest talent hotbeds and interviews ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Bantam (first published 2012)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  7,265 ratings  ·  543 reviews

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Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tot, to-buy, to-buy-reread
Getting started

1.Stare at who you want to become
Studies show that even a brief connection with a role model can vastly increase unconscious motivation.“windshield”.

2.Spend fifteen minutes a day engraving the skill on your brain
watch the skill being performed, closely and with great intensity, over and over, until you build a high-definition mental blueprint.
The key to effective engraving is to create an intense connection: to watch and listen so closely that you can imagine the feeling of p
Eric Wallace
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
First you should know before continuing to read my review is that I am totally addicted to books about increasing productivity, developing talent and creativity, probing how the mind works and how to get the most out of it, and building good habits and influencing positive decisions. So how could I not like this book?

And yet because of said affliction, there were few ideas or concepts that were new for me, simply because I've read so much on these similar topics. Still, I enjoyed the book for it
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Some great tips here, including:

TIP #4
"...write stuff down and reflect on it. Results from today. Ideas for tomorrow. Goals for next week. A notebook works like a map: It creates clarity."

TIP #16
"...set a daily SAP: smallest achievable perfection. In this technique, you pick a single chunk that you can perfect—not just improve, not just “work on,” but get 100 percent consistently correct."

TIP #50
"Grit is that mix of passion
Amir Tesla
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: productivity
Nuggets of applied techniques for effective learning and training many of which if employed enables you to achieve the results of 1 year training in just couple of months.

This book would be a great companion to his other amazing one "The talent code"
It's supposed to be a pocket book, so, the material are quite concise. I'd prefer more in-depth material, hence the two withheld stars.
Marissa Morrison
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Stare at what you want to become (e.g. watch YouTube videos).
Musicians should have "listening practice" as well as playing practice.
Play super-slowly to find mistakes.
Work in a simple, spartan space.
Learning hard skills requires precision and repetition.
Soft skills require variation and improv.
Don't stop practicing the basics.
Good coaches are impolite, scary, succinct, focused on fundamentals, and older. They also make an emotional connection in the first minute.
Find the "sweet spot" (50-80% err
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I won a copy through Goodreads' Firstreads giveaway program!!!

I am always skeptical of self-help books, but “The Little Book of Talent” is more of a pocket reference guide. There are undoubtedly a couple tips in here that everyone already knows…but moreover many you never thought to try.
Coyle offers quotes from famous successes and examples for how these tips relate to everyday talents. I especially enjoyed his focus of nurturing ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. Although this is not a new concept, the
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book had a lot of really great advice. And you can read it in a few short hours. Don't ask me to list it out for you, but I know it will come out of my head when it's needed. Oh! Here's something I remember. They talked about a therapy for shyness. Instead of delving into your past and figuring out why you were what you were, they just decided to create good habits. So the first assignment would be, Go ask a stranger what time it is, then go ask 5 strangers. All culminating to the final mom ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to win this book through a Goodreads giveaway. This is a great book on the topic. It isn't filled with fluff or wordiness. Just a common sense approach that gets right to the point. Some of the tips were new to me and it was well worth the read. I would recommend to anyone. ...more
This small book looks like one of those small books received as a graduation present. If a person did receive it, s/he might smile politely, and express gratitude while secretly wishing they had received cash instead. It would be a shame if the recipient never read it, because this book contains nuggets of wisdom beneficial to anyone looking to succeed in the workplace, improve on the sports field, or become a better musician.

This book can be easily skimmed (which is what I did), stopping on the
Ahmed Zunair Cheema
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
In my estimation, this book should serve as the benchmark for self-help genre. It is concise and hence time saving but at the same time it touches almost all the relevant issues concerned with honing one’s skills.
We are already aware of some of the principles discussed but a revision rekindles the value of these things.
Anna Berendzen
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I'm not one for reading the self-help kind of books but I liked this one. I received it through the first reads program. It is very short and to the point with each of the tips being no more than two pages. An easy read to expand your knowledge! ...more
Ahmad Hossam
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A bible of inspiration and practical advice for skill developments. I admire its conciseness and clear cut instructions; if you're only interested in conclusions, not arguments or lengthy scientific discussions underlying self-improvement , this is the perfect book for you. ...more
Jalynn Patterson
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Who doesn't need to improve our talent from time to time? My favorite tip take a nap. With four kids running around I could always use this one. ...more
Lots of practical advice packed into this slim book. Plenty of good reminders, too, though there were a few things I'd never heard before (or didn't recall), which I plan to implement into my work and studies. I loved how each lesson was delivered in only a page or two. Give me pure information over long-winded speeches and anecdotes anytime (for this kind of book, that is ;).

Just a few of the lessons from this book:

1. It's better to spend 5 minutes a day every day than an hour once a week, whe
Wafa Foufa
Feb 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, eng, owned, 2021
This is my first time writing my thoughts while reading a book (not here, but on my journal).

This book is handful if you want to know the right process to learn something new (just like I did). The tips were short but straight to the point. I liked that the author included examples in each one, and that they were short and precise.

I'm definitely gonna reread some of it while trying this new hobby of mine ^^
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Audible version: this short book is a great one for anyone learning something or teaching something. The chapters are just a few minutes long and could be used by teachers to share with their students how the learning process works and what it takes to build skills.
I won this book through the goodreads first reads program.

Received this book - with postage due! Only 59 cents, but still! Why didn't they just send it media mail instead of first class? This is an uncorrected proof, so I can't quote it.

I haven't read The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else. For art, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative may be better.

I definitely think this book would be a worth
Mikki Ibarra
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Holy Moses! I am in love with this book! Okay, I don't usually like self-help books, or inspirational type things, but I do adore things like writing prompts and simple suggestions to increase chances of success. This book sort of hauls all of that in and shoves it into these handy little tips, all of which are not beyond anyone's reach. Wow, I just keep reading and re-reading and my roommate has already told me that he is stealing the book from me when I am not looking. He read through it befor ...more
Eric Jensen
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Little Book of Talent is a 'how to' guide based on Daniel Coyle's research on the science and practice of skill building and coaching (see his previous book The Talent Code). He presents 52 tips organized into three sections: Getting Started, Improving Skills, and Maintaining Progress. Coyle's approach differs from most books written by athletic coaches and music teachers in his divergent focus and emphasis on the underlying neuroscience of skill building. While this is not really a scientif ...more
Andd Becker
Jul 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Easy to read, easy to understand, and filled with imaginative tips on how to help others develop talent and strengthen skills, this book is a winner. It is a pocket-sized book to read again and again. The rule of ten thousand hours is mentioned. Take this concept figuratively, as a rule of thumb. As the author says, "Greatness is not born, but grows through deep practice, no matter who you are."
Have you considered the windshield phenomenon -- learners observing top performers? Have you ever he
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Putting this book on hold at the library was step one. Bringing it home, step two. And then it sat on my coffee table because I wasn't ready for another non-fiction lecture, even though the topic intrigued me.

When I received a notice from the library it was due, I renewed it, and opened it up. Step three.

From there I consumed it hungrily, talking with others I met about all I was learning from its short and precise chapters. This book is not long or dry. It is informative with relevant examples
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received a free advanced copy in soft cover.

Wow this book is great. I like the fact that it is tips, small concise ideas, that you can add to your life. I don't like the usual self help books because they are long about explaining why this idea will help. Just give me the tip and the supporting theory and I can choose to add it to my life.

This book has a few tips that I may not totally agree with, but there are many excellent ideas that make great sense. It's like "why didn't I think of that!
Bianca A.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, speed-read
Written in 2012, this is your typical self-help book by the author of The Talent Code. Since the boom in self-help AND motivational video content on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, the information from literature such as this can hardly be considered novel and it is also quite slow to be consumed due to the medium. However, it does provide structure and somewhat of a linear flow when approaching different strategies, dos and don'ts. And that's why it receives 3 instead of 2 or less stars ...more
May 29, 2015 rated it liked it
It's a bedside / reminder book.
Taken most of its ideas from other sources (which is perfectly fine - awesome even!)

The main tenets:
Prodigies only go so far; practice makes people awesome
Focus - in various forms is needed for developing true talent
Teaching is awesome
Mistakes are awesome
Be a stoic
Be slow, repetitive, ever changing, focused... etc.

Note: Methodical persistence pays
Anne Bogel
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I put off reading this for way too long because I thought it looked like one of those pretty but low-quality books that are made for gifting. It's not. This is a fabulous read/handbook/reference for anyone geeking out on the subject of deliberate practice like I am. ...more
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Handy list of evidence-based strategies for honing raw capacities into excellence. Each tip is clear, concise, and concretely illustrated with examples or anecdotes. Overall: informative and fun to read.
Jean Konieczny
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: won-books
A fun book full of tips! Simple things, everyone should do, no matter your talent! Great book, great advice!
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a sneaky quick book that I snagged on a whim (I think I heard someone mention it or I saw it on my twitter feed....regardless, I snatched it up the last time I was at the library) and was rewarded by it being an enjoyable page turner.

Daniel Coyle does a nice, brief job of setting up what we are about to read and then just lays it simple as the title states. Fifty-two tips. Some good reinforcement items, some obvious common sense stuff, but there was a lot of really good, prac
Amit Verma
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is interesting collection of practical tip to enhance and use your talent to further and nurture your career.
It is short , crisp, paragraphed and seperated into well drafted chapters.
Tips are practical and free of useless opaqueness.
Few concepts are well known and shared widely , already.
Others were new for me like practice just after performance and sandwich technique of practice.
Overall a nice book to delve on a free evening in the silent company of a cup of caffeine.
Nuno Miguel
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: productivity
Building on the "Talent Code", Daniel Coyle consolidates the foundations of its talent theory in a body of 52 tips, aimed to sharpen your talent skills. This book could be a final chapter of "The Talent Code", a more practical hands-on approach to the principles enumerated throughout the book. This is good stuff, the tips are precise, and very effective. Give it a try! ...more
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Daniel Coyle is the author of the upcoming book The Culture Code (January 2018). He is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code, The Little Book of Talent, The Secret Race (with Tyler Hamilton), and other books. Winner (with Hamilton) of the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prize, he is a contributing editor for Outside magazine, and also works a special advisor to the Cle ...more

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“Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.” 13 likes
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