now browsing by category
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.
- 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:
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: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Adult_Learning_-_Mental_Skills
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).
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: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Critical_Thinking
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:
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
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: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Taking_Initiative
Managing Personal Finances
The Benefits of Budgeting
When going on a road trip, most people have a map which tells them how to get from point A to point B. The map is important, because it tells you how to get to your desired destination. A well developed budget is just like a map to help you reach your financial goals. You start at point A, and the budget helps you go the distance get to point B.
Having a budget can be very beneficial to get the hardship of debt off of your plate. Debt is money that is owed by one person to another person, or company. Many people these days struggle with the burden of debt. The Pew Charitable Trusts reported in 2015 that 80% of Americans were in debt. The median is almost $68,000 for Americans, talk about stressful! Debt can take many different forms, here are just a few:
- Credit Card
- Medical Bills
- Personal Loans
- Car Loan
- Bank Overdraft Charges
- Student Loan
A well-crafted budget could help you create a savings. In this context savings means money that a person has saved, usually through a financial institution, but not always. Having a savings is critical, and often overlooked. You never know when lightning is going to strike, the car is going to break down, or you suddenly need to have an emergency appendectomy. The boy scouts have a motto, always be prepared. We don’t always know what is coming our way in life, but a little foresight and preparedness can help. Saving a small emergency fund could mean the difference between saving the day, or total disaster. Here are a few different types of events you could save for:
- Car Repairs
- Housing Repairs
- Medical Costs
- Unexpected Unemployment
When a person is weighed down by their financial situation, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety can make it hard to function in life. Feeling the overwhelming pressure can be debilitating for some people. Stress and anxiety can also manifest in the following ways:
- Heart attack
- High Blood pressure
- Gastric Conditions, such as stomach ulcers
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders, weight loss/ or weight gain
Financial stress and anxiety can be curbed by having a properly developed budget in place. A budget can help you manage your monthly spending. Your budget can even help you get out of debt, if that is one of your goals.
Financial strain can affect more than just your physical health; it can affect your relationships also. When you’re stressed out, that always has a way of leaking into your relationships with your spouse, family, and friends. A major cause of divorce in America is related to financial issues. When financial stress is at the forefront of your mind, it can cause you to be distant, and irritable towards your loved ones. Sometimes we have to borrow money from a loved one, which can add even more tension to an already strained relationship. Not only are you trying to get yourself back to level, financially, but having to figure out how to pay your loved one back.
For more on our Managing Personal Finances Course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Managing_Personal_Finances
Life coaching can be a great tool to help someone learn to feel more confident, more empowered and capable of handling various decisions and situations. When employees take these skills they learned and apply them to their workplace, they find they perform better, work better with others, and feel more confident to branch out and create more business goals.
One of the most important tools anyone can have when preparing to make a change is to create some form of a game plan. After all, a well thought out plan can be the difference between success and failure. The game plan serves as a blueprint for how the employee wants to create, progress toward and achieve their goals. By planning out goals and targets ahead of time, the employee is better able to create a ‘vision’ to focus on, foresee any problems that may get in the way, and be more overall prepared when putting their game plan into action.
Parts of a game plan:
- Setting goals
- Outlining actions and processes
- Setting timelines and deadlines
- Include important people
For more on our Life Coaching course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Life_Coaching_Essentials
Mindfulness is a natural state of being. Throughout our lives we are frequently in this state without realizing it. If you have ever heard a noise at night and went to investigate, the level of attention that you bring to that situation is a good example of being mindful. However, we frequently divide our attention and, by necessity, we will selectively ignore aspects of our environment. When watching a sporting event on television, for example, a particularly enrapt fan might tune out conversation that is occurring around him or her in order to pay closer attention to the game. If the sports fanatics in this scenario consciously thought about paying attention to the conversations around them rather than the game on television, they could. In this sense, mindfulness is a mental skill that you can develop through practice.
When practicing mindfulness, whether through meditation or in a given moment, you want to pay attention to whatever comes up. For example, when you focus on your breath, note whether you are breathing in deeply or shallowly. Is your breath cold or warm? Fast or slow? Through your mouth or nose? If you feel pain somewhere, focus on that pain, note how it comes and goes or intensifies or subsides. You may notice aspects of breathing that you never have considered before. In fact whenever we are in any environment, we only pay conscious attention to a small number of details, typically.
When you meditate for mindfulness, or find yourself in a mindful state, it is important to accept things as they are without judgment. At some point, you may decide to act to change things, but initially you want to accept what you experience for what it is. Most religious thought includes some form of acceptance, whether it is the Christian view of surrendering your will to all God’s will to be done, or the Islamic view that you must submit to Allah. By accepting things as they are, you allow yourself to remain open to a wider range of possibilities. So, for instance, when you meditate, do not do so with a goal in mind, as if you are trying to change yourself from one state to another. This may happen anyway, but that’s a side effect. Instead, think of the meditation as an opportunity to observe how things change and how they don’t change with the passage of time. Mindfulness is an act of observation rather than an attempt to change something. While you may determine later that a change is in order, initially you want to take a moment to observe how things are first.
The best way to practice being mindful is through a regular program of meditation. Keep in mind that not all meditations are for the purpose of making you more mindful. Transcendental meditation and mantra meditation might increase mindfulness as a side effect, but these aim at an entirely different result. Furthermore, there are numerous methods of meditating that do aim at improved mindfulness. Some techniques take some time to learn. For example, Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) approach involves taking an eight week course where you go through guided meditations. This can get expensive and time consuming. However if you are interested in a self-directed version of Kabat-Zinn’s course as an additional supplement to this course, you can follow the link at the bottom of this section.
The different approaches to mindfulness meditation typically focus on the following three attributes:
- Your body
- Your breath
- Your thoughts
One technique that Kabat-Zinn’s approach to mindfulness meditation includes is called scanning, or body scanning. Once you are used to it, you can do it without the need for a guided meditation, but one option for beginners is to record your voice talking yourself through the body scan. You start by lying down on your back in a comfortable space. Focus your attention on the toes of your left foot and noting anything you observe. You then move your focus to the sole of your left foot, your heel, and the top of your left foot. Then you move your focus up your left leg – your ankle, your calf, your knee, your thigh, and finally your left hip. At this point, you do the same with your right foot and leg all the way up to your right hip. Once you have moved your focus up both legs, focus on your mid-section – pelvis, hips, groin, and buttocks – and then move your focus up your main torso – lower back, stomach, insides. At each point focus on how this part of you feels – are your muscles tense? Do you feel any pain, aches, coldness, warmth, etc.? Move your focus up the rest of your torso – your solar plexus, chest, breasts, spine, shoulder blades and shoulders. Once your focus has reached your shoulders, move your focus down the length of your left arm – your shoulder, bicep, elbow, forearm, hand, and fingers. Then do the same to your right arm. Finally we focus on the neck and head. Focus on your jaw, your cheeks and ears, eyes, forehead, back of the head, and finally top of the head. Once you have completed the scan, you can remain in this state for as long as you choose.
Increasing Your Happiness
Plan Ahead for Happiness
Most of us spend more time at work than we do engaged in any other activity other than sleeping. If we consider how much of our lives we spend in our workplace, it quickly becomes clear that spending this time unhappy, unfulfilled, and just counting the days until the weekend is a waste of time and energy. Finding ways to be happier at work can not only lead to better mental health, but can improve your productivity and overall work performance. One key way to cultivate more happiness at work is to plan for it! Develop habits that get your workday off to the right start, and you’ll see greater happiness throughout the day and week.
Have a Nightly Routine
Nothing gets your day off on the wrong foot like rushing around in the morning! Lost keys, skipping breakfast, discovering that the pants you wanted to wear are not back from the dry cleaner – all this can throw your morning into chaos. Taking time the night before to organize what you need for the next day can help avoid this morning rush and let you start your day centered, organized, and with everything you need. Create a nightly routine – and follow it! Choose your clothes for the next day, set up your coffee maker (especially if it has a timer and automatic brew!), pack your lunch. Take time to place the things you will need for work the next day in your briefcase or bag. You might even choose a space near the door to be your “launch pad,” a space where everything you need for the day is in one place and easy to pick up. Your routine will vary depending on what you need each day, what your workday looks like, and what the needs of your family are. It might even help to make yourself a checklist until the routine truly becomes a habit.
Get at Least 8 Hours of Sleep
Sleep deprivation is bad for your mental, emotional, and physical health. It’s hard to feel productive, happy, and positive when you’re exhausted! Making sure that you get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night is one step you can take to help prepare yourself to be happier and healthier, both at work and in the rest of your life. Many of us are used to running on just a few hours of sleep, or to getting sleep that isn’t truly restful. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that you get the most restful sleep possible and wake up ready to face the day with a positive attitude.
Steps to Quality Sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day – including weekends.
- Have a nightly routine that prepares you for bed – shower, tooth brushing, prayer or meditation, etc.
- Put away the electronic devices!
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary.
Wake Up Early Enough for Some “Me” Time
Getting enough sleep is important, but waking up early enough so that you have time to transition into your day can also help foster happiness. If you usually hit the ground running and leave the house with just enough time to make it to the office on time, you are kicking your day off with anxiety. Waking up even 15 minutes earlier so that you can have some “me” time can help you ease into your day with a sense of centeredness instead of a sense of panic. Some people like to wake up very early and have an hour or more of “me” time, while others just need an extra 10 or 15 minutes to linger over a cup of coffee or tea. Figure out what works for you!
Ways to Use Your “Me” Time:
- Read the newspaper or a passage from a book you are enjoying.
- Pray or meditate.
- Do some light stretching or yoga.
- Linger over your coffee, tea, or breakfast.
- Spend time stroking your pet.
It’s important not to use your “me” time to get a head start on your work day by reading emails, working on projects, or checking voicemail!
Give Yourself Time to Arrive at Work Early
Commuting is often the most stressful part of the workday. Whether you drive, walk, bike, or take public transit to work, delays and traffic jams can get your day off to a stressful start. Too often we make this worse on ourselves by leaving for work at the last possible moment, meaning there’s no room for error, and that we arrive at work with only moments to spare before we have to jump into our first project or meeting. All this can leave us frazzled, anxious, and short-tempered. Altering your morning commute so that you can arrive 10 to 15 minutes early for work helps you ease into your workday instead of having to throw yourself right in. And giving yourself that cushion can also give you much-needed wiggle room in your commute to account for the unexpected. When you arrive early, you have time to transition gradually into your work — check email, get a cup of coffee, check your schedule and to do list, or simply say good morning to your coworkers. This helps you meet the day in a positive frame of mind.
For more information on our “Increasing Your Happiness” course: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/course/Increasing_Your_Happiness
Essential Skills for Successful Coaching
Life coaching is a profession that is designed to offer guidance and boost confidence in individuals to help them make empowered decisions and reach their goals. The life coach must possess a variety of skills in order to help their client, such as good listening and communication skills, organization skills and the ability to offer guidance and direction.
Listen with Curiosity
Great listening skills are important for life coaching skills, but listening with curiosity goes deeper and portrays an actual interest in what the client is saying. Listening with curiosity is considered a vital tool in any coaching dialogue or team (coach and client) discussion. When we listen to other normally, there is usually a sense of impatient and lack of attention while we try to determine what we want to say or input into the conversation once the other person has stopped speaking. Sometimes we focus so much on what our answer will be that we do not give our full attention to the question in the first place. This thought process can hinder the dialogue or conversation between people and can negatively affect communication skills. Instead, whether the coach or the client, take a valid interest in the other person and devote your attention to them while they speak. Life coaches shouldn’t do all of the talking, but be able to pace the conversation and keep the client focused on the topic if needed. They will be more willing to open up if they feel you are genuinely curious in what they have to say.
Take in What You Hear
Listening with curiosity may be the first step in being a great life coach, but it doesn’t end there. The life coach or the client may be genuinely curious as to what the other person has to say and may want to be involved, but the information means nothing if it is not taken in when it was heard. The information should not – as the old saying goes – “Go in one ear and out the other”. The listener should not only be listening to the other person, but they should be taking in and registering what the other person is saying – actually hearing the words, recognizing gestures and feeling emotions. For life coaches, this includes being able to listen to the client and not only listening to the words they say, but what they are trying to get across with their words. The client may sound happy when they talk about their job, but then they change their tone when discussing their job duties. The life coach may need to pace and steer the conversation so they client does not wander off topic when talking.
Reflect with Accuracy
Reflective listening is a common tool used when two people are having a conversation. Reflective listening involves actively listening to a person and then reflecting or ‘mirroring’ back what you heard. This not only helps with obtaining clarity, but also shows the other person that you were listening and are hearing what they are saying. It also allows the other person to hear what was said to them and can portray to them what they are putting out there – and if it was what they meant to say or not. In life coaching, it is always important to clarify and reflect what the other person is saying because it is not uncommon to mishear or misunderstand what a person is trying to get across and derail any target or goal plan.
Methods of reflecting:
- Repeating words or phrases
Questioning for Exploration
No matter how well we listen or how well we reflect and mirror information, there are chances that something will be missed or unclear. That is why it is important to utilize asking questions and use them to further explore the conversation. The use of active listening and using questions further creates a more productive dialogue between the life coach and the client. Life coaches should use open ended questions with their client in order to draw out more structured answers other than ‘yes’ or ‘no’. These types of questions allow the client to search within themselves and create a more thoughtful and personalized answers. Also, when the client is able to bring out these answers for themselves, they feel more empowered and confident about what they share and will be more willing to participate since they provided the answers themselves instead of blindly taking it from someone else. From these questions and answers, the life coach can better offer various forms of feedback as well as guidance and help with their development and growth.
For more information on our Life Coaching course, please visit: https://corporatetrainingmaterials.com/pages/training_library
Increasing Self Awareness
What Is Self?
What is the self? To many, the answer might be so obvious that they haven’t given it much thought. Others might proffer up one idea after another and finding each imperfect to an extent that they wonder if the self even exists, and if it does can it be defined. They may or may not realize that this is a question humanity has been asking for millenia, with answers from different eras often addressing not just what we are but who we are at that particular place in time. Nor is the answer a trivial one. Too often we stumble through life and take a shallow view of ourselves, our environment, and prevailing forces. And yet, we can do better. We can be better. Our first step is to become aware of who and what we are.
Which still fails to answer the original question, what is the self? No answer will be completely accurate or at all times precise. Instead , here is a temporary answer, good for the purposes of this book: the self is the aspect of an individual organsim that is aware of its existence as an individual organism. It’s the part of ourselves that we are referring to when we each say “I,” as in “I am thinking” or “I am feeling”, etc. One helpful way to think about the self and become more aware of our complete and total self is to divide it into four aspects: the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
The Physical Self
This is probably the most obvious aspect of one’s self, our physical bodies. Awareness of our bodies when that body is in great pain or distress is usually strong. But when we feel physically neutral or slightly good or bad, we can block our awareness of the physical body and replace it with other levels of awareness, awareness of our thoughts or our emotions, for instance. It is important to remember that each level of self affects the other levels of self. Feeling physically uncomfortable can lead to feeling emotionally uncomfortable, as well as feeling emotionally uncomfortable can lead to changes in our physical feelings.
At a certain point, examining one’s physical self requires an examination of one’s physical environment, such that what emerges is the recognition that the two mutually interact, change, and reinforce each other. This aspect of one’s environment and one’s self interacting with and changing each other is important to remember not only in examining the physical self and the physical environment, but at all levels of self-examination. Just as there is a physical environment that interacts with a physical self, there is a mental environment, emotional environment, and spiritual environment that interacts with each corresponding level of self. This will become vital to our understanding the concept of interdependency that comes up in a later chapter.
The Emotional Self
Being aware of oneself on an emotional level means being aware of one’s emotions. In a culture that values concepts such as logic and reason, emotion often gets undervalued. When people become emotionally expressive others will tell them to calm down or to act rationally. Being emotional is thought of as being out of control. This might give you the idea that emotions are things to be avoided, but such a position would be harmful. Emotions serve an important purpose in providing the self with information about its environment as well as motivation for what to avoid or embrace in that environment.
Typically, when we speak of our bodies or of our emotions, we speak in terms of feeling or sensations, things that come upon us rather than things we create. This gives the impression of passivity. We are slaves to our physical and emotional needs. Rather than choosing how we feel, feelings hit us, and then, we react. The most important thing to remember is that we cannot avoid feeling emotions, but we can intervene and through our actions change how we react to our emotions and this can transform our future emotions in turn. Being able to identify how you feel in any given moment is an important goal of becoming more self-aware.
The Mental Self
The mental aspect of your self concerns your thoughts and your imagination. Like the physical and emotional feelings, thoughts also have to capacity to come upon you without your control, but it is far easier to consciously change your thoughts, especially when you practice being more aware of them in the first place. When people think, they often think in sentences or words, but just as often, they can think in images or words and phrases that act as a kind of shorthand. In these moments, it is quite easy for thoughts to get distorted and not accurately reflect a true situation.
The Spiritual Self
This is not about any one religious belief, nor does it reject religious belief, either. The use of the term spirit here is not meant in a religious sense. Instead, the spiritual self is about your continuing sense of identity. The spiritual self is the realm of what a person values. It’s the world view and the source of motivation. If the emotional self and mental self are about the feelings and thoughts of a person in a given moment, the spiritual self is about the interconnectedness of thoughts and feelings over time that forms into a sense of personal identity.
For more on our Self Awareness course, please visit: