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Adult Learning: Mental Skills

In the knowledge stage of cognitive domain, the focus is on memory. For students to be successful, they should be able to recall what they have been taught. Knowledge must be mastered before they can move on to comprehension. Specific behavior, actions, and examples that accompany the knowledge stage that demonstrate mastery.

The behavior of the knowledge stage is based on recognizing and recalling data. The students who exhibit knowledge when they recite definitions, know rules, and recognize processes, for example. In the work place, recalling pertinent information, such as prices, is knowledge-based behavior. Knowledge is learned through different actions that accompany behavior.

Certain actions will help indicate students understand and implement the knowledge stage. Students who show the following actions are demonstrating mastery of the knowledge stage.

  • Read
  • Search online
  • Take multiple choice test
  • Use study aides

The list above is not comprehensive, but it is appropriate for students of all ages, including adult learners. These actions should align with the example words that are used to determine learning outcomes. Familiarity with example words will help expand your understanding of the knowledge stage of the cognitive domain.

Keywords are used to define learning outcomes. These examples words are active verbs that teachers use in their objectives and goals for the class. These example words help educators assess performance and determine what level of mastery students have reached. The different domains work together, so you will see overlap in examples between them.

Commonly used keywords for the knowledge stage of the cognitive domain include:

  • Know
  • Memorize
  • Repeat
  • Describe
  • List
  • Define
  • State
  • Match
  • Select
  • Label

Outcomes begin with action verbs that help define performance measurements.

When implementing the learning objectives at the knowledge phase of the cognitive domain, the goal is to design activities that help students demonstrate the learning objectives created. In adult learners, this requires providing accurate resources and direction such as books, aides, and lecture. This stage includes facts, concepts, principles, and procedures that are relevant to the subject taught. Be practical in the instruction, and do not overwhelm them with too much information at one time. Pace instruction because overwhelmed students will not be able to retain the knowledge.



For more on our Adult Learning – Mental Skills course, please visit:


Critical Thinking



Logical Thinking

Logical thinking is a process which involves steps. In general logical thinking involves checking the components of the argument and making connections between them, which is what we call reasoning. The four major steps of logical thinking are 1) asking the right questions, 2) organising data, 3) evaluating the information, and 4) drawing conclusions.  In our Critical Thinking course, we will analyse these basic steps (link below).


Ask the Right Questions

The first step in logical thinking should begin with asking the right questions. Based on the components of critical thinking, the logical thinker should begin reasoning by asking many questions. An important question to ask is “What are the premises?” If we are confused about the premises, we may make mistakes further down the line in the logic process. We should distinguish between whether the statement is a fact or a value, what should or ought to be the case, and be alert to not confuse the two. Finally, we should check to see if any premises or vital information is missing. A key point to remember is that no conclusions can be made without premises.


For more on our Critical Thinking course, please visit:

Team Building Through Chemistry

Understanding Teams

Before you can focus on chemistry, you must understand teams. Start at the beginning by defining what teams are and how people feel about being on them. Additionally, you need to be aware of how teams can be effective and what causes them to fall apart. Knowing the pros and cons of teams will help you avoid pitfalls and build a strong chemistry.


What Is the Definition of a Team?

Teams are described as groups of people with complementary skill sets who work on projects or activities towards common goals. Team members are cooperative and interdependent. In the business world, there are different types of teams.

  • Functional – These teams work in a general area or department to support the customer needs.
  • Cross-functional – Team members come with different areas of expertise to complete a single goal.
  • Self-managing – These teams do not have much oversight as members work independently towards goals.

Regardless of the type of team a company implements, the individual team members have to work well together.




How Do People Feel about Being on Teams?

Many people do not like the idea of being on teams. This dread of teamwork often stems from past experiences. Everyone has been on a team with that one person who did not contribute. Additionally, some managers force teams on people believing that they will magically work better without taking the necessary steps to ensure that the team members will work well together and develop chemistry. Teams that are not launched correctly have little chance of being successful. It is important to get teams off to a positive start from the very beginning by developing relationships, inspiring goals, and defining roles.


For more on our Team Building Through Chemistry course, please visit:

Business Acumen

Seeing the Big Picture


Business acumen requires an understanding of finance, strategy, and decision making. Most managers and employees, however, are responsible for specific areas and they have little understanding of the impact their decisions have on other areas. When too much focus is placed on one aspect of the business, it is difficult to make decisions for the good of the company. In order to make effective decisions, it is necessary for you to examine the big picture.


Short and Long Term Interactions

When looking at the big picture, it is necessary to consider long term as well as short term interactions. Short term interactions are immediate, single exchanges, and they are necessary for the company to survive. Without looking at the big picture, however, short term interactions may hinder long term success. For example, you may damage a business relationship by using aggressive sales techniques, costing you sales in the future.

Long term interactions are processes or relationships that are essential to growth. Long term business success requires the long term interactions. The relationships with customers, vendors, and employees need to be carefully cultivated. Failure to cultivate relationships occurs when there is a lack of communication or communication is not respectful. Long term relationships help guide the future of the business.


Improving Long Term Interactions

  • Build relationships: Relationships must be based on mutual trust, respect, and support.
  • Use feedback: Request feedback and listen to complaints.
  • Offer value: Provide value in product, services, and compensation.




Recognize Growth Opportunities

It is essential for every organization to recognize growth opportunities to ensure long term success. An opportunity is any project or investment that will create growth. Opportunities, however, can be overlooked when we do not pay attention to the big picture. Individuals with business acumen are constantly recognizing opportunities for growth. If recognizing opportunities does not come easily for you, there are steps to take that will ensure that you do not overlook growth opportunities.

  • Identify market trends: Monitor changes in the market such as technological advancements.
  • Actively research customer needs: Conduct market research and anticipate customer needs, which you will fulfill.
  • Pay attention to competitors: Take advantage of a competitor’s weakness and learn from their strengths.
  • Monitor demographic changes: Changes in demographics indicate potential shift in customer base or needs.
  • Consult employees: Do not overlook employee ideas; encourage brainstorming.
  • Monitor abilities of the workforce: Pay attention to employee skills. Offer training or hire new employees in response to growth opportunities.


For more on our Business Acumen course, please visit:

Customer Support

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service is a general field that involves assisting customers in a range of issues, such as purchasing, troubleshooting, installation and even disposal of products or services.  Customer service is designed to focus on the customer and how they can benefit from your product or service, so it’s important to do your part in the delivery.


Support vs. Service

In many companies, customer support and customer service are often mistaken for the same thing.  While they are very similar, support and service do have some variations.  Customer service generally refers to a type of service the customer received before, during or after a sale.  This can include choosing a product/service, being the cashier and even packaging your items.  It’s the service of the industry.  But customer support goes beyond just the sale of the item, but focuses more on the customer’s selection, use and satisfaction of their product.  Support aspects often include help with product selection, installation and handling any problems that may come up later.  The term service is used more for employees that do something for you, such as taking a returned item.  But customer support is designed to ask why you want to return the item, ask if they can do something to fix the problem, and then accept the return if nothing else can be done.



Who Participates?

When it comes to customer support, everyone in the company participates.  After all, customer satisfaction is up to everyone.  Within every company, there is typically some form of employee process or chain of command to follow.  Customer support often begins with a ‘front line’, or a set of agents a customer can reach out to for support at any time before, during, or after a sale.  A common example would be agents in a call center or agents that speak with the customer over webchats and emails.  If the agents are unavailable or unable to help, a team lead or customer lead can take over.  If leads are not available, manager or directors can step in.  No one is above providing customer support to customers that need it.


For more on our Customer Support course, please visit:

Coaching Sales People

What Is a Coach?

Before it is possible to implement any coaching activities, the definition of a coach must be made clear. Understanding the roles and responsibilities of coaching as well as the challenges that coaches face will establish the foundation necessary for the moving forward in the process of becoming a coach for salespeople.


Be a Coach

In the business world, a coach is responsible for increasing employee and company success. The goal of coaching is to develop employees at all levels, including productivity, adaptability, satisfaction, and retention. There are professional coaching positions, but any manager can be a coach who develops the best in their employees.

Coaches are not mentors, although they share some of the same roles. Coaches work to help people discover information on their own rather than relying on direct teaching methods. In any coaching relationship, it is necessary to develop trusting relationships based on confidentiality.




Being a good coach demands a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities that a coach must provide. These roles include:

  • Challenge assumptions – Ask team members to consider their beliefs.
  • Offer encouragement – Celebrate achievements and build confidence in times of struggle.
  • Provide education – Help team members find skills, knowledge, and expertise.
  • Act as counselor – Develop interpersonal relationships between team members and those outside the team.

These roles that a coach plays requires balance. It is important to avoid focusing so much on one role that you fail to address others.


For more on our Coaching Sales People course, please visit:


Taking the Initiative

What is Initiative?

Initiative is something we can all use in our careers. It is what sets us apart from others and our competition. Many people are afraid to take the initiative, but if you can, you will stand out. Initiative is deep down inside all of us, but the successful ones are the ones who use it.



It is important to know what initiative is to properly utilize it. Initiative is defined as the ability to assess and initiate things independently. In other words, it is taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you. It is stepping up, and going beyond your typical duties. Take charge of situations before others do. You may not want to step out of your comfort zone, but usually you will be rewarded for doing so. It is thinking outside the box, preparing for success, capitalizing on opportunities. It is making changes to take a step forward and being persistent.


Benefits, Personal and Professional

In life, taking initiative offers many benefits. It is a positive step that anyone can take for themselves. Only you can take the initiative for yourself, so ensure you do it. Taking the initiative provides individuals with a sense of self-control both in their personal and professional lives. No one is going to offer you opportunities if you do not deserve them, so stepping up will make all the difference in your life.  In your personal life, it may benefit you by helping you feel more confident with yourself. In your professional life, it may help you get that coveted promotion. In either aspect of your life, it will promote better things.

Taking initiative promotes:

  • Control
  • Achievement
  • Confidence
  • Proactivity
  • Inspiration
  • Self-Awareness
  • Creativity
  • Fear-busting



Why People Do Not Take Initiative

Not everyone is comfortable with taking the initiative, or even knows how to do so. It is something that is developed mentally and takes strength to do. Some individuals have a bounded rationality. These individuals are unable to see past what they currently know. They cannot see the benefits of stepping up. Typically, the individual has never thought about it. Also, individuals do not take the initiative due to a lack of capability. Outside their general knowledge, some individuals do not possess the expertise to take the initiative for a more difficult task. Execution over innovation is also another popular reason that individuals do not take initiative. These individuals only focus on their own work, and do not have concern for any new tasks.  Finally, some individuals are too busy to take the initiative. There is already too much on their plate, and they physically and mentally cannot process anymore work.

Reasons for not taking the initiative:

  • Bounded rationality
  • Lack of capability
  • Execution over Innovation
  • Task overload




Make Initiative a Priority

It is our duty to make initiative a priority in both our professional and personal lives.  To make initiative a priority, we must first understand what it is and what its benefits are. Once we understand this, we can take the leap forward. To make taking initiative a priority, we must watch for opportunities. We must be aware of our surroundings, and what can potentially be a fantastic opportunity to do so.  In your professional career, if you see that your boss needs help with something, offer it! Show that you are a go-getter.  Take the extra step when you can! People will take notice of your initiative, and you will be rewarded positively.


For more our Taking the Initiative course, please visit:

Top 10 Sales Secrets

Effective Traits

We usually end up avoiding the pushy salesperson. The one that follows you around the store, asking a million questions. There are many traits in a sales representative that we all avoid. Being that salesperson that a customer wants to see and to talk to takes a little bit of practice. But with these traits, you will become that salesperson, it will eventually lead to the customer making a purchase, and beginning a positive, long lasting relationship with you.



There is a fine line between being assertive and being aggressive. Being pushy and overly aggressive can not only offend but also scare away perspective customers. On the other hand, being assertive, and in tune with the customer’s needs, you can draw in customers.

Before you begin the sale, know the objections/concerns the customer may have and be prepared to respond. Give all of the supporting data when delivering the sales pitch. Always be calm, positive, and honest about the product/service. This will convey the message that you are an authority in the field.

Assertive behavior:

  • Calmness
  • Positivity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Honesty

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to identify and control one’s emotions, and to recognize and manage others’ emotions. In short, being aware of one’s emotions and being able to control them, along with having empathy for others, are both signs of emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence are usually better team players, better problem solvers, and overall better “people” persons.

Those with high emotional intelligence are very aware of their own emotions. They know their triggers and are capable of controlling their emotions, even in stressful situations. High emotional intelligence also involves a motivation to understand other’s situations and empathize with them. Improving all of these traits is important to developing a high emotional intelligence.

Traits of a high emotional intelligence:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy


Solve Problems

Sales = problem solving. If you want to be valued by your customers, you have to solve their problems. Customers that need solutions to high priority issues are willing to pay for those solutions. But first, you must identify the customer’s problem. What are they missing or needing? Then you must analyze that problem. What causes the problem? What could solve the problem? You then need to formulate several options to remedy the situation for the customer. Which products/services will solve this problem? And lastly, assist the customer in choosing the option that best suits their needs.




The hardest thing to learn as a sales person is to close the deal, make the sale; no matter how you word it, there are many techniques to getting your customer to put their name on the dotted line. After you have presented all of the facts, and the customer wants the product, you may still need to gently push your customer to actually committing to the sale.

One of the techniques used is the assumptive technique. You assume the sale is completed and you say something like, “So you would like your delivery date to be next week?” Another technique is the bonus. Hold back a low cost, high value bonus to purchasing. Use this bonus to sway your customer into the purchase. Another way to close the deal painlessly is to put a deadline on the deal. This works well when offering sale prices. “This sale is about to expire, so I assume you want to take advantage of this pricing now?” would be a good example of this technique.



For more on our Top 10 Sales Secrets course, please visit:


Contact Center Training

It Starts at the Top

There is a very common saying, ‘Attitude reflects leadership.’  A manager sets the tone for the whole staff.  If a manager shows the staff that having the appropriate information is important, it will be more likely to be utilized.  You can help your staff be the best contact center possible by creating an open culture, knowing the goals of the company, knowing your employees job duties, and being able to identify additional training opportunities. A manager has to have their eyes peeled at all times for new information needed, and new ways to deliver that information.


Create an Open Culture

When you are a manager, it is important that you create an open culture with your staff.  What is an open culture?  An open culture means that as a manager, you are creating an environment where employees feel free to share ideas and concerns. This type of environment helps employees feel empowered and important, which helps them want to come to work and do a great job.  When an employee starts to feel like they don’t matter to a company, it can bring down not only the whole department but the company itself.  Here are some ideas that will help you create an open culture in your company:

  • Loose the door – taking out the door or leaving your door open tells your staff that you’re available for them.
  • Don’t be secretive – you are not working for the Pentagon, tell the staff what’s up. When you as a manager keep secrets, it has a tendency to make the staff feel paranoid, and/or unimportant.
  • Recognize that change is not always black and white – change can be hard on anyone. There will always be the good with the bad. Let your staff tell you their opinions on changes that were made.  Be open to their concerns and suggestions
  • Have one on one training sessions with your staff members- this helps the staff members get to know management on a more personal level, and makes them more likely to voice concerns or suggestions later on.




Understand Goals

The worst thing a manager can do is to not understand the goals of the company.  This entails looking at the company as a whole, in a large scope.  Try asking yourself, and your supervisor these questions:

  • What is the company trying to achieve?
  • What are the company’s long-term and short-term goals?
  • What does the company need in order to accomplish these goals?
  • How can my department help facilitate those goals?


Without knowing where the company itself is wanting to go, you won’t know how to get there.   Talk to your own supervisors to understand the goals of the company.  Once you understand what the company wants to accomplish, you can set goals for your staff.  When setting the goals for your staff, make sure to be very clear about the goal that you want to accomplish, and the steps it will take to accomplish it.  Make sure that the goals you set are realistic.



Understand Agents’ Responsibilities

There is nothing worse, from an employee standpoint, than a manager that doesn’t understand the job duties and processes of an employee. If the manager doesn’t understand responsibilities of a contact center employee, how is the employee supposed to understand them?  Take the time to talk to your supervisors so that you know what is expected of your employees.  If you are a new manager, asked to be trained as if you were one of your employees.  This way you can see the processes, and learn how to improve them for your employees and customers.  Knowing their processes and what their job responsibilities are also helps you train future employees.



Identify Education Opportunities

There is never a point when an employee has learned too much.  Employees who learn are more engaged in their jobs.  As a manager it’s your job to make sure that your employees remain engaged, and are effective in their positions.  You can see what training or education would be beneficial to the company and employee.  Having educational opportunities helps maintain employee engagement, thus retaining more employees.  Engaging employees helps them feel important and part of the company, instead of just another lackey.  Education opportunities can come in many shapes and sizes.


Here are just a few different educational opportunities your company could provide for your employees:

  • College tuition reimbursement
  • Cross Training
  • One-on-one training
  • Seminars & workshops

Having these education opportunities helps the employees feel like the company cares about their personal growth.  Happy employees create happy customers.


For more on our Contact Center Training workshop, please visit our website at:

Archiving and Records Management

Understanding Records

Records are in every organization. From purchasing reciepts to tax documents to communications, they need to be identitied and managed properly. The method of records management that a company uses should be tailored to fit the needs of the organization. There are, however, some basic concepts in most records management systems.


What is Records Management?

Records management systems will create uniformity and understanding. Regardless of how the records management system is organized, the management will affect the way that data is collected, stored and accessed.


Aspects of Records Management

  • Establish a company filing system that is uniform
  • Determine the storage of physical, confidential records
  • Develop programs for consistent management of records
  • Create archives and resource libraries

Over the course of this instruction, you will develop a better understanding of these aspects and how they connect in records management.


Defining Records

All records are documents, but not all documents are records. A document can be a contract, email, business negotiation, etc.  If it relates to the legal obligations, evidence, or business transactions, the document becomes part of the legal record. When identifying a record, it is necessary to consider the purpose of the document.

  • Is it personal, or business?
  • Does it relate to a transaction?
  • Does it reflect any company action or activity?
  • Does it have legal implications?

Once a document has been identified as a record, it must be carefully maintained for future use.

Archives vs. Records

Records can become part of archives. Archives are records that are no longer current but are preserved past average records. Records are kept for varying lengths of time, depending on what they are. Once documents pass the necessary time for storage, they are disposed, or they are placed in archives. Archives typically have a historical, political, or legal reasons. They have value for the long-term. For example, documents that provide legal protections might be archived along with the founding documents of an organization. When choosing to dispose of documents in records or keeping them, remember that only a few of the documents will be archived. Archives may be stored on site, although some institutions will keep them offsite. Larger organizations with multiple locations are more likely to use offsite archives.
Life Cycle

There are differing definitions for document life cycles, which have become even more complicated with the introduction of electronic records. In this text, there is a blend of the classic cycle and the life history.


The Life of Records:

  1. Documents are created or received. Records are identified.
  2. Identified documents are captured for record-keeping. The captured files follow the necessary business practices and are current.
  3. Record management occurs. The records are stored, used, or maintained. The records may be current or not current. Records that are no longer considered current may become current again in events such as audits.
  4. Records are assessed and action taken. The records are identified as in use, necessary to maintain, necessary to dispose of, or necessary to archive.


For more on our Archiving and Records Management course, please visit our website: