INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP – THE BEST TRIED & TESTED TECHNIQUES

Let me start by dispelling a common misconception that . . . . a job title does not make a leader inspirational. Also many senior leaders expect employees to follow them because of their title, their company ownership, or their place in the organization’s hierarchy. And many employees do follow a leader for these reasons. However, all these do not mean the leader inspires their best work, support and contribution.

Rather, it’s the ability to drive people to reach great heights of performance and success and to demonstrate the qualities employees will follow by choice—passion, purpose, listening and giving meaning to their role.

Inspirational Leadership Is NOT A Style Of Leadership Per Se

According to research, an inspiring leader can effectively use a variety of leadership styles depending on the scenario at hand without ever losing sight of the inspirational part of their approach. It all comes down to employing the appropriate approaches at the appropriate moment, as well as taking into consideration the needs and motivations of those you are leading.
In other circumstances, the very directed approach will be exactly what is required, and it will be this approach that will serve as the inspiration for your reports. Depending on the situation, a less directed approach may be required, in which staff are encouraged to take the initiative and push for change themselves.

INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP, AT ITS CORE, is about finding ways to enhance the potential of those you lead in a way that works for them, and inspiring others to push themselves, achieve more and reach that potential. The methods by which this is done will vary from person to person, and business to business, but the outcome is always the same – people developing a greater confidence in what they can do, and applying this confidence in a way that benefits the organisation they work for.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to being an inspirational leader

If what you advocate doesn’t truly align with your personal values, then you will always struggle to inspire and motivate those around you. As highlighted previously, one of the key components of being an inspirational leader is a strong conviction in your values, and unless you live in accordance with these on a daily basis, and continually inspire yourself to strive for bigger and better things, you will never achieve true inspirational leader status.

COMMON TRAITS OF INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to being an inspirational leader, there are a few key traits that tend to apply across all those considered inspirational, and perhaps unsurprisingly these traits have nothing to do with background, education, intelligence or wealth.

An inspirational leader does not just tell employees they are deeply committed to their clients’ experience. The leader must demonstrate this commitment and passion in every meeting, presentation, and in how they handle customer problems. The leader’s behavior must inspire employees to act in the same way.

The traits that make someone an inspirational leader are far more powerful.

What are the key traits of inspirational leaders?

Self-inspiration – Developing the skills to be an inspirational leader of others is a highly beneficial from an organisational perspective; however it is equally important for leaders to also inspire themselves.

THEY ARE AUTHENTIC – Authenticity is essential for inspirational leaders because it serves as the foundation for respect. Even those who do not agree with your message will show respect if they see that it is driven by principles and is completely in line with what you stand for.

Leaders that constantly adjust their message to cater to the whims of their followers are those who fail to inspire or generate respect. However, while achieving authenticity as a leader is one of the most important qualities, it also necessitates a number of other abilities and traits from this list., it also require several other skills and traits within this list in order to do so.

THEY ARE PASSIONATE – The inspiring leader is enthusiastic about the organization’s vision and mission. They can also communicate their enthusiasm in a way that inspires others to do the same. Shared passion propels organisations to achieve their goal and vision. It is lot simpler to be your real self and inspire those around you if you are attempting to do it in an area about which you are sincerely enthusiastic.

THEY ARE GOOD LISTENERS – Listening is an important element of communication. Leaders should make themselves available to staff on a frequent basis to discuss issues and concerns. The inspiring leader pays attention to the individuals in their organisation. Talking about your passion with others isn’t enough. To share meaning—a favoured and meaningful definition of communication—you must let your staff’s ideas and thoughts to help shape the vision and purpose, or, at the very least, the goals and action plan. No one is ever completely supportive of a course of action in which they had no say. People want to see their ideas implemented—or to understand why they weren’t.

THEY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE – While it is not necessary that you know everything in order to be an inspiration to others, you do need a level of understanding in your field in order to exhibit credibility.

People will not be able to trust what you say if this is not present, and trust is another important component in inspiring others.

THEY ARE INCLUSIVE – To experience inspiration, people need to feel included. Inclusion goes beyond the realm of listening and providing feedback. For real inclusion, people need to feel intimately connected to the actions and processes leading to the accomplishment of the goals or the final decision.

THEY ENGAGE PEOPLE – Engagement as an inspirational leader isn’t only about being engaged with your area of expertise or your particular passion, but also being engaged with those you lead. This means taking the time to listen to the views of others, spend time to understand their concerns, and engaging with them on a personal level.

THEY ARE PERSONABLE – The most inspirational people tend to be the ones we connect with on a personal level; sharing similar values and passions with those you lead is essential, but if you then combine this with an unpleasant approach to interacting with others, this will weaken your influence considerably.

Developing a strong rapport with others, alongside viewing and treating them as important and valuable human beings, is hugely important in becoming an inspiring leader.THEY HAVE SELF-AWARENESS – Highly effective inspirational leaders are not just aware of what their followers appreciate, but are also committed to growing their own self-awareness. Understanding who you are, what motivates and inspires you, and having a clear set of underlying principles that will guide you; and then living according to these, is the pinnacle of being an inspirational leader, and this can only be achieved via self-awareness.

THEY GIVE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT – An inspirational leader gives people what they want within their capabilities.For example, you can’t provide a pay rise if the company is not reaching profit goals. But you must share the rewards if the organization is doing well.

THEY ARE RESILIENT – It is not simple to be a leader. Some individuals will defy or detest you; plans will go awry, and things will get difficult. The key to being a great leader is learning to overcome these problems, but the key to being an inspirational leader is also learning and growing from them, and using your experiences to inform and help others on their journey. As a result, resilience is an important skill to acquire and grow as a leader.

THEY ARE MOTIVATORS – Leaders must motivate their staff to go above and beyond for their organisations; simply offering a fair wage is rarely enough motivation (although it is important too). You can inspire your employees in a variety of methods, including building employee self-esteem through recognition and prizes, or giving staff additional duties to boost their interest in the firm.

THEY DELEGATE – Leaders who attempt to take on too many things on their own will struggle to complete anything. These leaders frequently believe that delegation is a sign of weakness, while in fact it can be a sign of a strong leader.

As a result, you must identify each employee’s skills and assign assignments to each employee depending on his or her skill set. You can focus on other vital activities by delegating responsibilities to staff employees.

We Can All Be Inspirational Leaders

As the list above shows, there is nothing inherently different about inspirational leaders; they’ve simply developed some valuable skills that help them connect with and inspire others. These are skills we can all develop, and may already have within us – so whether you think you currently are an inspirational leader, everyone has the potential to be.

THE INSPIRATIONAL LEADER also understands that, while money is a motivator, so are praise, recognition, rewards, saying thank you, and noticing an individual’s contribution to a successful endeavor. Speaking directly to a contributing employee about the value their work provides for the organization is a key source of inspiration for the recipient. The actions you take every day at work are powerful.

So, How Can You Build Leadership Skills? 

You do not need to supervise or be a manager to cultivate leadership skills. You can develop these skills on the job in the following ways: 

  • Take initiative: Look beyond the responsibilities listed in your job description. Consider what is best for your department and the firm in the long run. Try to come up with new ideas and commit to producing work that goes above and beyond the daily grind.
  • Request more responsibility: While you shouldn’t ask for more responsibility in your second week on the job, if you’ve been in a position long enough to become an expert, you can tell your boss that you’re keen to develop your leadership skills. Inquire about how you can assist—are there any future projects that require a point person? Is there anything you can delegate from your manager’s to-do list?
  • Target specific skills: If you want to enhance a certain talent, such as creative thinking or communication, make a plan to improve your abilities in that area. This could include attending a class, seeking assistance from a mentor, reading books, or creating a small objective that forces you to acquire this talent. Talk to your bosses and coworkers, as well as friends outside of the office, to help you establish an improvement strategy.

REMEMBER that everybody has the capacity to be an inspirational leader, but it is not something that everyone is born with. Awareness is the key to inspirational leadership — both self-awareness and awareness of people around you. You can’t inspire others unless you first inspire yourself, which means identifying what motivates you and using that as a springboard to inspire others.

Of all, the primary objective of a leader is to lead others, so while self-awareness is important, you must also be aware of what others find inspirational; what drives your employees?

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!

EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES TO MENTORING INDIVIDUALS @ High School

Mentoring is a process in which a qualified professional provides advice, support, and guidance to an individual or group in order to aid in their learning and growth. The mentor serves as a guide, advisor, or counsellor, sharing expertise, experiences, and skills with a trainee or junior within agreed-upon parameters so that the words of wisdom can help in the professional career of the trainee or junior.

It might be a short-term or long-term commitment, depending on the cause for the mentorship.

  • A MENTOR has the responsibility of offering support to and feedback on the individual under supervision.”
  • A MENTOR is someone who contributes their knowledge, skills, and/or experience to assist others in developing and growing.

Mentoring is frequently longer-term, with some mentoring relationships lasting 6 months or more, and mentoring can span years or even decades in some circumstances.

One of the most distinguishing features is that mentoring is directed, whereas coaching is non-directive. In practice, what does this mean? In mentoring meetings, the mentor is likely to do the majority of the talking, whereas in coaching, the coach is likely to pose questions and give the person they are coaching space to reflect and do the majority of the talking.

Finally, both coaching and mentoring are about allowing people to go to where they want to go by utilizing the coach’s or mentor’s experience.

The Skills Required for Mentoring

The 3 C’s of successful and effective mentoring programmes are based around the following principles: Clarity, Communication and Commitment. …

For mentoring, whilst qualifications aren’t required, there are lots of skills that are recommended for someone to be an effective mentor. Here are just some of them:

  • A keen interest in helping others is a given but we hope you’ll have that – it’s a key place to start when mentoring people.
  • First-hand experience, knowledge, and insights in the area in which you’re providing mentoring – because mentoring should be built on solid and concrete advice and guidance.
  • Relationship building and interpersonal skills are crucial for mentoring – they’re also important for coaching.
  • Dedicated long-term time commitment whilst not potentially considered a ‘skill’ is important because if you start a mentoring journey with someone, it’s vital to see it through.
  • Motivating, encouraging, and inspiring energy throughout all mentoring meetings.
  • Helping to identify the mentee’s goals is crucial. This can take some self-reflection from the mentor, in order to help the mentee and work out where their goals should be.

The benefits of mentoring are well known: It gives less experienced employees valuable feedback, insight and support, while passing down wisdom and institutional knowledge

Choices

When deciding whether to use a coach or a mentor, consider the goal you wish to achieve. The coach and the mentor will help professionals in different ways to accomplish their goals. In fact, some professionals use multiple coaches or multiple mentors throughout their careers, depending on their desired goals. In both coaching and mentoring, trust, respect and confidentiality are at the forefront of the relationship

REMEMBER . . . .

Being involved in a coaching or mentoring relationship can enhance your professional and personal life in ways that you could not achieve on your own. Keep your mind open to the possibilities. When you have been coached and mentored, then you can pay it forward by coaching or mentoring others. Take what you have learned and pass it along to those who can benefit from your knowledge and experience.

Techniques of Mentoring

Mentoring is a voluntary arrangement where both the mentor and the mentee are eager to build a viable relationship. The numerous mentoring techniques used by a mentor are described below

1. Group Mentoring Technique – This type of mentoring procedure involves the participation of one or more than one mentor for a group of mentees. Schools generally encourage group mentoring as there is not enough time and resources for undertaking a one-on-one mentoring program for all the children.

2. Peer Mentoring Technique – In this mentoring technique a peer addresses an individual or a group by sharing his experience so that it can help others to make necessary adjustments

3. One-On-One Mentoring Technique – In this type of mentoring only the mentor and mentee are involved. The young mentee works with an experienced individual and gains from his wisdom and know-how.

4. E-Mentoring Technique – With advancements in technology, the mentorship programs have also undergone a revamp. It is now possible to participate in the e-mentoring method by connecting virtually without even losing the personal touch.

5. Speed Mentoring Technique – The speed mentoring technique is usually followed during events and conference where the mentee has the chance to interact with several mentors in short time

6. Formal Mentoring Technique – The formal mentoring technique includes structured programs that offer accountability based on the formal contract between the mentor and mentee. It helps to boost confidence among the mentees and increase their performance levels.

7. Informal Mentoring Technique – This type of mentoring technique lacks a proper structure. It tends to be voluntary without any pressure of doing something in a set manner. Mentees seem to develop a strong connection with their mentor during the informal mentoring

8. Training-Based Mentoring Technique – In this type of mentoring technique, a mentor is assigned explicitly to a mentee. He assists in developing the required competencies, skills and knowledge in a specific field in which the mentee has enrolled himself.

Qualities Of A Good Mentor

The qualities that make a good mentor are as follows:

Willingness to assist others in succeedingEthical behaviourEmpathetic behaviourTrustworthiness
Willingness to listen with patiencePatienceStrong initiativeOpenness
Willingness to work with othersCommitment to the professional growth of the menteesThe right amount of self-confidence to make a differencePeople management skills
No biasHonestyCommon senseLeadership skills
Desire to motivate othersSelf-awarenessCommunication skillsQuestioning and answering skills
Desire to pass on  skills, know-how and expertiseWillingness to receive and give feedback with enthusiasmWillingness to learn and pass on the knowledgeWillingness to engage with others on an interpersonal level
FlexibilityRealistic expectationsKnowledge of a specific fieldSensitivity towards the mentee’s situation
Maintaining the levels of objectivity

The New Opportunities 

There are new opportunities for the mentees where they can develop their skills and boost their know-how. Being mentored is a privilege that everyone does not have. The support and encouraged broadens horizons and instils self-confidence as ….

  • Mentoring is a two-way street where the beneficiaries are both the involved parties the mentor and the mentee.
  • The mentor achieves personal satisfaction by sharing his skills and know-how with a willing individual.
  • He gains recognition as a viable leader and expert, and this boosts his professional credibility in the organization
  • While mentoring, the mentor comes to know about the ideas and concepts of the new generation. He gains a fresh perspective that helps him in personal growth
  • The mentor gets an opportunity to reflect on his practices and goals and make changes in his life if necessary
  • Every individual is different, and when the mentor comes into contact with the mindset of diverse mentees, he can regroup and develop the most suitable coaching and mentoring style
  • Mentoring for a mentor is an extension of his professional development record

Disadvantages Of Mentoring

The big disadvantages for mentoring include:

Feeling of resentment – If the mentoring is not voluntary, then the mentor might have a feeling of resentment because he has to undertake additional responsibilities. This might prove harmful for the mentee as he might be on the line of fire and will have to bear the brunt of the mentor’s displeasure

Create conflict – The organization takes the help of several mentors, and this can ultimately cause conflict and create loyalty issues.

Issues with dependence – There is a high probability that new employees in the organization will become highly dependent on their mentor’s support and advice and that it will become problematic for them to walk unaided later on. When such a situation occurs, it is the organization that suffers as it hampers its level of efficiency and productivity. Moreover, the workers will continue to struggle and without mentor will not be able to handle the pressure of the workplace

Additional expenses and loss of time – Mentorship may cost money to some, the programme itself costs time, effort too and is often an additional expense that nobody wants to bear.

ON A FINAL NOTE . . . .

Mentoring is all about empowering and motivating the mentee so that he can identify the issues and resolve them admirably as per his satisfaction

It is not about holding his hands and taking him to the end post but showing him that different ways can help him to achieve his goals. Mentoring is not therapy or counselling but building a relationship for future growth.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!

HOW TO MAKE OUR MEETINGS MATTER AT HIGH SCHOOL

As a leader, you must consistently drive effective communication. Meetings must be deliberate and intentional – your organizational rhythm should value purpose over habit and effectiveness over efficiency – Chris Fussell

Just imagine this ….

Invigorating meetings are what make the world go round. The goal is clear, and accomplishing it is vital to everyone who is participating in the process. There is an agenda, which is typically developed with collaborative input, and the group proceeds through the agenda at a moderate pace, without moving too quickly or too slowly, adapting as needed, and always keeping the final goal in mind.

During the meeting, everyone participates and makes a contribution. Our meetings frequently have a period of time where the group is in a state of “flow,” feeling a sense of timelessness that fosters deep creativity and connection, even when the work itself is incredibly difficult to complete.

And, at their most fundamental level, great meetings are enjoyable.

Is this what your meetings are always like?

Given the fact that every meeting has the potential to be a rich source of adult learning, it stands to reason that excellent meetings have a lot in common with excellent classrooms. In both, people are actively engaged in difficult tasks that require them to use their intellect, solve difficulties, and communicate with one another. Facilitators at meetings are similar to skilled teachers who take on various roles, sharing the work and meaning – making with the participants in the same way that teachers actively engage pupils. And in both cases, all participants are aware of the social standards that they are required to adhere to, and each interaction is designed to aid in the reinforcement of those social norms.

High school meetings and all other meetings must be places for learning. The facilitator’s roadmap is defined by a meeting agenda, which determines how a group will approach their common but often distant goal by working through a few phases in a given meeting. A wise facilitator would not use an agenda as a straitjacket, but rather as a resource to be altered as conditions change. This is precisely like how teachers frequently alter their lesson plans in the present based on what is happening.

To truly help learning, the meeting must either have learning in it or must be connected to learning in some way. A support plan for a student’s education may be designed by an intervention team working with a parent, a lesson’s performance assessed by a teacher team, the running of buses analysed by an operations team, or the accessibility of rich out-of-school experiences discussed by a district team. In each instance, to make any significant progress, adults must do or think something different, and it is simple to connect the meeting’s goal to improvements in learning.

Four Things to Consider

When organising a meeting, there are four critical factors to consider.

Purpose: The single most effective thing you can do to have a good meeting is to be very clear about why you are meeting and what you intend to achieve.

Process: It is critical to be clear about what needs to be accomplished during the meeting. However, it is also vital to consider how to engage the group in working toward the stated goals.

Preparation: Consider what more the facilitator and participants could do ahead of time to ensure a smooth meeting.

Pacing: Before you finalise your plan, go over the details and double-check that your minutes are adding up and that you are spending them in the proper areas. Then take a step back to look at the big picture and make sure you’re ready to have the meeting you really want to have.

A successful meeting, like a good classroom experience, includes a defined aim, a smart plan for accomplishing that purpose, and a group working together to accomplish that goal.

None of us became educators to be champion meeting planners, facilitators, or participants—but sensible meetings can help deliver on a commitment to better learning and teaching for all kids in our care.

Meetings as Powerful Learning Spaces

No meeting is worthwhile unless it is both compelling and educational. In order for students to attain greater success—and in many other matters of importance—schools need adults to learn with each other and with others. The one practise most effective in improving organisational learning is the regular use of excellent meetings. However, this issue arises: what makes a gathering truly exceptional?

A meeting isn’t necessary if the relationship between the meeting and learning is not evident. Because of the rapid access to information, can the business be addressed in a different way? Besides, there are some things that don’t need to be discussed in a meeting!

Either way, if this information is so vital, why not make sure that the meeting time is used to educate everyone of it and ensure that no one is left in the dark? How about having polling clickers that are paired with a quiz? Involving meeting participants in peer-to-peer instruction? Do you think we should provide small groups the chance to apply their knowledge to their daily work?

When participants endure a meeting in which they’re lectured for more than thirty minutes without raising any objections, that’s an indication that the meeting culture values endurance over learning. If you cannot explain why a meeting that includes adults and will eventually serve teaching and learning is necessary, do not meet. You may also alter the nature of the meetings you have.

15 Tips For Making Meetings Matter

Regardless of the nature of your meeting, here are five useful guidelines to follow that will help you hold productive meetings that will advance your shared goals.

  1. Select the Appropriate Area: Whether it’s a classroom, a conference room, the library, or the cafeteria, we must work within the confines of the available space. Being conscious of our choices—adult-size seats, please!—can go a long way toward ensuring that the staff is comfortable during a meeting. The conference area should, of course, be clean and easily accessible to all attendees. Furthermore, arrange the furniture in such a way that everyone can see everyone else without twisting around in their chairs. Finally, try giving food and beverages, even if they are simply modest snacks—eating together fosters goodwill and camaraderie.
  2. Be Specific About Your Goals: Determine what you want to accomplish in the meeting—don’t just hold a meeting because you always have one on Thursday afternoons. What exactly do you need to accomplish? How do you solve a problem? Make a choice? Is it possible to talk about a new idea? What are your pedagogical triumphs and challenges? Determine your meeting’s purpose and arrange accordingly. When you have a clear aim in mind, you may more readily select the appropriate method, protocol, or structure for the meeting. Once you’ve determined what you want to accomplish, create an agenda that is solely focused on that goal.
  3. Always Keep A Schedule: An agenda with clearly defined tasks and times is essential for keeping the meeting on track and ensuring that attendees understand the goal and focus of the time. A meeting should also always begin and end on time! You will begin to think and act differently as you plan the meeting if you populate the agenda with questions rather than issues. You’ll become more strategic, questioning the meaning of a topic and determining your ultimate goal – the underlying reason for bringing the group together.
  4. Collaborate to Identify Questions That Truly Matter: There is no magic amount of questions that should be addressed in a meeting. What matters is that you ask the appropriate questions. To find them, the meeting’s facilitator should first develop potential questions from their viewpoint point. Then, when the agenda is being developed, attendees should be asked for their thoughts. This is significant for two reasons. For starters, because meetings are ultimately collective experiences, allowing for diverse perspectives is only natural. Second, when employees are encouraged to openly share their thoughts and ideas – and the leader genuinely listens to those ideas – they are more likely to feel committed to the team and the organisation. As a result, meeting attendees are more engaged.
  5. Privilege The Most Important Questions First: The implication is clear: put your most compelling questions at the start of the meeting. This will not only assure coverage of key issues; it is also a way of quickly grabbing attendee attention and conveying the value of the meeting. And while it is fine to start a meeting with 5 minutes or so of news and notes, after that concludes, go all in addressing the most challenging, important, and vexing questions. If the questions are all of equal importance, consider privileging questions provided by attendees themselves. By doing so, you are living into a strong set of inclusion and shared-ownership values.
  6. Begin With Objectives: Begin the meeting by deciding on the meeting’s outcome(s) with the rest of the attendees. If there is a large group, you can prepare the outcomes ahead of time and receive team approval. Check the outcomes at the end to ensure they are tangible.
  7. Assign Roles: Adopt a defined set of responsibilities, such as a facilitator, one or more note-takers, a timekeeper, and someone in charge of assigning action items. Other responsibilities are vital, but without these in place, the meeting will be ineffective. Rotating jobs is one approach to keep employees growing in the organisation.
  8. Create Fair and Productive Processes: Just as effective schools are founded on dependable systems and structures, a great meeting should employ procedures and processes that ensure all opinions are heard, no single voice dominates, and debate remains focused and productive. Make it clear what you expect from one another, and then use those expectations to reflect on and improve your communication and collaboration abilities.
  9. Review Action Items: Allow at least 5 minutes at the conclusion of the meeting to go over the action items. When you do that, you will discover that something important is constantly left out. If you do not leave the meeting with action items in place, why did you convene in the first place? Unless you assign and everyone is clear on the next actions, you’ve just wasted time talking to each other.
  10. Be Present: Regardless of whether your own or your company’s commitments are pressing, make a commitment to be on time, because your time with your colleagues is irreplaceable. Consider who has the most influence and who is excluded, and utilise approaches that include equality and inclusivity.
  11. Be With The People You’re With. Leave your phone in your office, and encourage your faculty to do the same. We know that just putting phones away doesn’t keep students from getting distracted, and you can apply that idea to your time with your colleagues. You’ll all need your collective mental energy if you’re going to be fully present and responsive. Try to set aside your hoped-for outcomes and pay attention to what’s being said. You all might be surprised by what you notice.
  12. The Parking Lot: This is a place to capture comments, topics, or questions that are not related to the agenda. It keeps the focus on the immediate discussion while deferring (i.e., “parking”) other topics for later. It means we are saving the questions for a later meeting or for resolution by a smaller group, or respond to them on your own via email or handout.
  13. Have Courage: The status quo has a powerful gravitational pull, and change—even well-intentioned and seemingly small-scale—calls for courage. As a leader, choosing to be intentional about how you use your meetings, to limit your time to only the important issues, and to insist that everyone engage respectfully and fully requires courage. Just remember that facilitating—rather than leading—requires a shift in the way we think about staff meetings. If done well, it raises the level of discourse, builds professional culture and community, and models the pedagogical philosophies we want to see in classrooms. How would your meetings be different if you made the shift?
  14. Action Items: Meetings that are truly actionable end with action items. These are action items, which are specific activities or actions that must be completed, and they are often what you would put on a to-do list or a calendar to keep track of what needs to be done. The action items must explain what it takes to attain a goal or complete a project; make it simple to track project progress; and, make up the stages that get a project completed.

JUST REMEMBER that . . . Converting all of that lost time into productive time that advances your goal is one of the keys to creating an organisational culture of involvement and ownership. A high-performance culture does not happen by chance. Protocols that recognise who individuals are and what they can give motivate people.

Ending The Meeting

How do we wrap up the meeting when everything is said and done? Here are five strategies to accomplish that:

  1. Always Finish On A High Tone: While there may have been some disagreement and discord, do your best to leave the meeting on a positive note. Having a pleasant conclusion will help the attendees’ morale, and not leave them dissatisfied with the meeting’s time investment.
  2. Wind Down Before The Time Of The Meeting’s Scheduled Conclusion: Accurate time management is essential to successful meeting facilitation. To allow for some final remarks, debate final points a few minutes before the end of the session. Nothing is more damaging to a meeting than ending late.
  3. Say It Again, But In More Detail: Both opening and closing remarks should contain information about the aim of the meeting. The article weaves together all the topics discussed and brings back to memory the goal that was achieved at the meeting.
  4. Connect with the Participants One Last Time to bring the session to a close. Meeting facilitators should conclude meetings by briefly commending the participants who offered the most helpful suggestions. Take a moment to thank everyone after a meeting or work session, and then sign off the computer or leave the room last. A brief few moments of personal attention is typically met with a good response from most people.
  5. Schedule Appointments For Check-Ups: To wrap up the meeting, take some time to set up the next step. In addition to measurement meetings and email follow-ups, make sure that each participant knows when to expect the next contact.

A valuable skill for meeting facilitation is knowing how to close a meeting in a positive way. The five tricks will make meetings feel more valuable to meeting participants, as well as make them more aware of the meting’s milestones and progress.

Let me hope that our Department meetings are going to be done with the Six Ps of Planning: – Prior Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES TO COACHING INDIVIDUALS & TEAMS

Coaching and mentoring are two options for people looking for guidance, and the most frequent question I am asked is about their difference. Both coaching and mentoring have similar talents and are both utilised for professional growth, but the way they are structured and what happens after they are used are extremely different.

Definition Of Coaching and Mentoring

Ideally, coaching can be characterised as: collaborating with clients through a thought-provoking and creative process that motivates them towards the achievement of their personal and professional goals.

A COACH is someone who advises a client on their goals and assists them in reaching their full potential. Coaching is frequently shorter-term and might be as brief as a 10 – 15 minutes conversation. Coaching is a performance-driven process that helps the individual or individuals being coached to excel in their day-to-day tasks.

Mentoring, on the other hand starts with the mentor. A mentor is a knowledgeable, experienced, and trusted advisor, and mentoring is an “employee training system in which a more senior or more experienced individual (the mentor) is assigned and acts as an advisor, counsellor, or guide to a junior or trainee.” As a mentor, you have the responsibility of offering support to and feedback on the individual under your supervision.”

A MENTOR is someone who contributes their knowledge, skills, and/or experience to assist others in developing and growing. Mentoring is frequently longer-term, with some mentoring relationships lasting 6 months or more, and mentoring can span years or even decades in some circumstances.

One of the most distinguishing features is that mentoring is directed, whereas coaching is non-directive. In practise, what does this mean? In mentoring meetings, the mentor is likely to do the majority of the talking, whereas in coaching, the coach is likely to pose questions and give the person they are coaching space to reflect and do the majority of the talking. Finally, both coaching and mentoring are about allowing people to go to where they want to go by utilising the coach’s or mentor’s experience.

Selection: Coaching OR Mentoring?

Coaches and mentors can be chosen for their industry expertise (banking, health care, manufacturing), position expertise (marketing, finance, human resources), skill set (spokesperson, committee chair, conference presenter), or other valuable expertise that can enhance any person’s life, such as community service or board service.

The best way to understand how coaching and mentoring relationships are structured is to do a side-by-side comparison:

https://www.pushfar.com/article/mentoring-vs-coaching-the-key-differences-and-benefits/

TopicCoachingMentoring
TimeframeRelationship is more likely to be short-term (up to 6 months or 1 year) with a specific outcome in mind. However, some coaching relationships can last longer, depending on goals achieved.Relationship tends to be more long-term, lasting a year or two, and even longer.
FocusCoaching is more performance driven, designed to improve the professional’s on-the-job performance.Mentoring is more development driven, looking not just at the professional’s current job function but beyond, taking a more holistic approach to career development.
StructureTraditionally more structured, with regularly scheduled meetings, like weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.Generally meetings tend to be more informal, on an as need basis required by the mentee.
ExpertiseCoaches are hired for their expertise in a given area, one in which the coachee desires improvement. Examples: Presentation skills, leadership, interpersonal communication, sales.Within organization mentoring programs, mentors have more seniority and expertise in a specific area than mentees. The mentee learns from and is inspired by the mentor’s experience.
AgendaThe coaching agenda is co-created by the coach and the coachee in order to meet the specific needs of the coachee.The mentoring agenda is set by the mentee. The mentor supports that agenda.
QuestioningAsking thought-provoking questions is a top tool of the coach, which helps the coachee make important decisions, recognize behavioral changes and take action.In the mentoring relationship, the mentee is more likely to ask more questions, tapping into the mentor’s expertise.
OutcomeOutcome from a coaching agreement is specific and measurable, showing signs of improvement or positive change in the desired performance area.Outcome from a mentoring relationship can shift and change over time. There is less interest in specific, measurable results or changed behavior and more interest in the overall development of the mentee.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the difference between coaching and mentoring, how will you know which is best…

……….. working with a coach or working with a mentor?

When to Use a Coach

  1. Develop raw talent with a specific new skill
  2. Enhance the experienced professional with a new or refreshed skill
  3. Help individuals who are not meeting expectations or goals
  4. Assist leaders in coping with large-scale change through a merger or acquisition, like managing new “blended” work teams and adapting to the merging of company cultures
  5. Prepare a professional for advancement in the organization
  6. Improve behavior in a short period of time, like coaching an executive to address the media on a specific topic
  7. Work one-on-one with leaders who prefer working with a coach rather than attending “public” training programs

When to Use a Mentor

  1. Motivate talented professionals to focus on their career/life development
  2. Inspire individuals to see what is possible in their career/life
  3. Enhance the professional’s leadership development
  4. Transfer knowledge from senior to junior professionals
  5. Broaden intercultural or cross-cultural ties within the organization
  6. Use the mentoring process as an entrée to succession planning

REMEMBER . . . When deciding whether to use a coach or a mentor, consider the goal you wish to achieve. The coach and the mentor will help professionals in different ways to accomplish their goals. In fact, some professionals use multiple coaches or multiple mentors throughout their careers, depending on their desired goals. In both coaching and mentoring, trust, respect and confidentiality are at the forefront of the relationship.

The Key Benefits to Mentoring and Coaching

Both mentoring and coaching have a range of benefits, which, when conducted correctly can benefit both the individual receiving mentoring and coaching, along with the mentor or coach and the organisation too.

Here are some benefits to mentoring and coaching:

  • Both mentoring and coaching are extremely effective learning techniques.
  • Both mentoring and coaching can be formal and informal, with mentoring often seen more informally and coaching often see more formally.
  • Both can increase employee engagement and retention when applied.
  • Both mentoring and coaching are easy to implement into any organisation or business structure and increasingly we’re seeing organisations running both.
  • Both mentoring and coaching can increase confidence and the interpersonal skills of the person providing the mentoring or coaching, and the person receiving it.
  • Both can dramatically improve individual performance.

As you delve deeper into working with a coach or a mentor, consider these final tips:

  • Decide what assistance you need. Are you trying to figure out how to climb the corporate ladder? Do you want to be considered for more high-powered job assignments? Do you have an interest in working on more internal committees? Would you like to improve your presentation skills so you can deliver more presentations at national conferences? Are you interested in managing a community project for your company? When you decide what your need is, find an appropriate coach or mentor.
  • Trust and respect your coach or mentor. Every meaningful relationship is built on the foundation of trust and respect. You must trust your coach or mentor to provide you with expert guidance, feedback and support, based on his/her life experiences. Respect his/her opinions and ideas for the same reason because your coach or mentor has lived through challenges that you may not have yet experienced.
  • Establish ground rules. Determine how often you will meet, how long your relationship will last, outline of roles, importance of confidentiality and preferred methods of communication and feedback.
  • Determine your outcome. What do you want to have happen to you at the end of the relationship? Discuss this with your coach or mentor.
  • Open your mind and heart. Learning from someone who has more experience than you do and who can share successes and failures openly is a tremendous gift. The key to getting the most out of the relationship is your ability to enter into the relationship with as open a mind and heart as possible. Don’t be judgmental or too hasty in your decisions. Expect the unexpected.

Coaching employees is the key to building and maintaining a self-motivated staff. Initially, it will take extra time – the whole teach-a-man-to-fish process versus just catch-a-man-a-fish. But the results are worth the investment.

The better you coach, the more prepared your team will be to achieve their goals. Successful coaching guides employees in the right direction but promotes independent thinking and team collaboration to overcome obstacles. This in turn fosters a relationship of trust and empowers the team to act dynamically.

Coaching Culture …imagine an organisation where all leaders and managers have conversations with teams and individuals which show empathy, build trust and support continuous development. It’s somewhere that ongoing coaching develops a growth mindset in every employee, so behaviour change is embraced, real and sustainable. And it’s a place where the best people want to work, where employees are highly engaged and where everyone is striving to perform at their peak.

Essential Coaching Skills for Managers and Leaders

Coaching is similar to a self-development journey, for any growth requires effort. A coaching course is always a great idea, but you can start improving these skills today, whatever your budget constraints might be. If you’re a manager or leader looking to bring a coaching mentality to your leadership, here are some tips to help get you started.

1. In a team context, just stop the group motivational speeches and replace them with celebrations of individuals’ hard work and accomplishments. By recognizing a hardworking employee’s efforts, that employee will get the opportunity to feel valued and appreciated. This goes hand in hand with the self-determination theory which demonstrate that positive feedback motivates intentions to continue pursuing goals and fosters vitality

2. A manager with effective coaching skills does not bark orders. Instead, they will work together with employees to develop ideas and implement plans collaboratively. Once individuals take cognizance that the process through which leaders arrive at decisions is fair and well communicated, people will be more committed to a final course of action. Better yet, including employees in decision-making, goal-setting, and strategy development will lead to feelings of ownership over processes that will drive motivation even further.

3. Please don’t punish failure as it is part of the process toward success. Coaching an employee through a mistake is a much better approach. An effective leader helps their team to learn from their errors to avoid them in the future. As such it builds trust between leaders and subordinates. That is, it will create the sense of psychological safety required to admit openly one’s mistakes and ask for help and mitigate the temptation to sweep errors under the rug .

4. Try to employ a strengths-based approach to developing your staff. When employees know their strengths and can consistently build on their work from those strengths, managers and their teams can forge better-functioning workplaces. In some circles, this is often referred to as appreciative inquiry. Its benefit is that it cultivates commitment to improving the organization without imposing a problem orientation or sense of doom and gloom on employees. Rather, employees are celebrated for what they already do well and encouraged to apply these strengths in such a way that facilitates growth.

5. Essentially, effective coaches are aware of the effect that their emotions have on their coachees. Therefore, when things get ‘hot,’ they get ‘cool.’ And when things are ‘cool,’ they ramp things up. Effective leaders implicitly understand the transferability of emotions. Therefore, good leaders are careful to manage their reactions to stressful situations and will look for opportunities to generate energy and excitement when a boost is needed within a team.

6. Effective leaders demonstrate genuine concern for employees’ wellbeing and life outside of work; they take care not to overtax people’s resources or push people beyond their limits. Indeed, to earn respect, a good manager and coach leads by example and is willing to shoulder the same burdens and stressors they expect their staff to handle.

7. Exercise compassionate leadership. The act of showing compassion involves being with someone in their pain. It’s understanding another’s feelings and demonstrating a willingness to act in response to those feelings. Therefore, in the realm of coaching, compassionate leaders feel genuine pain for their employees when they’re struggling and show commitment to helping them reach their goals and find greater meaning in their work.

8. Managers with effective coaching skills employ many of the same communication and active listening techniques as professional coaches.

9. Managers Give feedback – Feedback is a two-way process. Employees must communicate any issues. You, as a coach, must respond with constructive feedback on their progress and how they can improve.

Reassure your employees, and try to keep the message positive, but don’t sugar coat it.  Feedback can be hard when the outcome isn’t going great, but you need to be straightforward and honest. You’re not doing the employee any favors if you’re not. Always remember to be encouraging and to help them through the training. Your goal is to help them grow and learn. Sometimes people need a little optimism to keep them going.

10. They Review and recalibrate – Meet a final time with your employees to look back on the project as a whole. Discuss what worked, what didn’t and what could be done differently next time. Make time to celebrate success and reward their accomplishments.

11. they know the team dynamics – As a coach you certainly don’t want to put people on a project who don’t work well together. If it’s unavoidable, help them find common ground. Ultimately, your goal is to achieve the best possible result for the company.

It all comes back to good coaching. If you’re not ready to invest your time, resources and skills to coach an individual, success is unlikely.

ON A FINAL NOTE . . . .

Coaching is there to help everyone succeed. Effective coaches inspire and listen. They build strong relationships of trust based on knowing their people and have good communication skills.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (6)

Please note the difference between HOMOPHONES and HOMOGRAPHS:

HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings. Fo example, . . .

  • wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)
  • they’re (they are) and their (belonging to them) and there (adverb of place)

HOMOGRAPHS are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently.

Examples of HOMOGRAPHS include:

  • to wind a clock but blowing wind.
  • rose, the flower and rose, past tense of the verb to rise.
  • book – something we read and book – to schedule something.

Included here are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones. To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to further your understanding of the homophone word/s.

pexels-photo.jpgPlease note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. write/right/rite

  • right (adj.) means correct: The student gave the right answer to the math question.
  • write (v.) is to make letters: Please write you name at the top of the page.
  • rite (n) means a religious social custom or solemn ceremony or act: The religious rites were strictly followed.

2. road/rode/rod

  • road (n.) is a driving surface: She had difficulties keeping her car on the slippery road.
  • rode (v.) is past tense of ride: We rode the bus for thirty minutes to get across town.
  • rod (n) is a thin straight bar of wood or metal: The walls were reinforced with steel rods.

 3. sail/sale

  • sail (v.) is to travel in a boat: We plan to sail across the bay.
  • sale (n.) is a deal or transaction: The store had a special sale on blue jeans.

 4. scene/seen

  • scene (n.) is the place where an event occurs: A criminal sometimes returns to the scene of the crime.
  • seen (v.) is past participle of see: I’ve never seen so many flowers!

 5. soar/sore

  • soar (v.) is to fly: An eagle can soar higher than many other birds.
  • sore (adj.) means painful: My sprained knee is very sore.

 6. sole/soul

  • sole (adj.) means only: My dad was the sole survivor of the crash.
  • sole (n.) is the bottom part of a foot or shoe: There’s a hole in the sole of my old boot.
  • soul (n.) is the spiritual part, or character, of a person: Those old hymns always comfort my soul.

7. tail/tale

  • tail (n.) is the rear part of an animal’s body: My dog wags its tail when he’s happy.
  • tale (n.) is a story: One popular fairy tale is about a giant, a beanstalk and a boy named Jack.

8. threw/through

  • threw (v.) is the past tense of throw: The kids threw the stones into the stream.
  • through (prep.) means movement from one side to, or past, the other side: Let’s walk all the way through the dark tunnel together.

9. to/too/two

  • to (prep.) means toward: We drove to the theatre.
  • too (adv.) means also: Jimmy likes pizza, too.
  • two (n.) is a symbol for 1 plus 1: Susan spun a two in the board game.

10. waist/waste

  • waist (n.) is the middle of the body: The belt was too large for her small waist.
  • waste (n.) is the discarded material: The factory’s waste products were dumped in the landfill.

11. weak/week/wick

  • weak (adj.) means not strong: The young boy was too weak to lift the box of books.
  • week (n.) is a seven-day period: The worker went on vacation for one week.
  • wick (n) is a piece of string in the centre of a candle.

 12. who’s/whose

  • who’s (contr.) is short for who is or who has: Who’s been drinking my soda?
  • whose (pron.) is the possessive form of who: Does anyone know whose coat is this one?

13. your/your’re

  • your (pron.) is the possessive form of you: It’s your turn to go first.
  • you’re (contr.) is the short form of you are: You’re the person I want to hire.

14. faint/feint

  • faint means temporarily losing consciousness and the adjective . . .
  • faint (adj) means lacking in brightness: Tad’s writing is too faint.
  • A feint is a false attack made to distract the opponent from an even more fatal blow: It was just a brief feint on the opponent’s face.

15. hole/whole/hall

  • A hole is an empty place or opening: A hole opened up in the backyard.
  • Whole means complete or entire: I ate the whole pie.
  • hall (n) is the room or space used for meetings, concerts or other events.

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the HOMOPHONES mistakes.

writing-notes-idea-conference.jpgGood luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (5)

Please note the difference between HOMOPHONES and HOMONYMS:

HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings.

  • wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)
  • they’re (they are) and their (belonging to them) and there (adverb of place)

HOMONYMS are a kind of homophone, words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings.

Examples of HOMONYMS are:

  • book           – something we read and . . .
  • book           – to schedule something.
  • Spring        – the season and . . .
  • spring         – to jump up.

pexels-photo-416322.jpegTo help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. than/then

  • Use than for comparisons; eg: Tad is much taller than his brother.
  • Use then to indicate passage of time, or when; eg: We went to the park in the morning, and then we left to pick up lunch.

2. to/too/two

  • To can be a preposition; eg: We are going to the park.
  • Too is an adverb that can mean excessively (too much) when it precedes an adjective or adverb; eg: I ate too much ice cream for dessert.
  • Too is a synonym for also; eg: I ate too much ice cream for dessert, too.
  • Two is a number; eg: Shona ate two pieces of pie.

3. you’re/ your

  • You’re is a contraction for you are; eg: You’re going to absolutely love this new recipe.
  • Your is a pronoun; eg: Please bring your books to class with you tomorrow.

4. fair/fare

  • fair (adj.) means just, proper under the rules, or ample; eg: The judge made a fair decision.
  • fare (n.) means money paid to ride in a bus, taxi or other vehicle; eg: He paid his fare when he got on the bus. OR
  • Used as a verb, fare means to get by, perform; eg: She fared well on the job interview.

5. flew/flu/flue

  • flew (v.) past tense of fly; eg: The bird flew past my window.
  • flu (n.) short for influenza; eg: Sam missed three days of work because he had the flu.
  • flue (n.) passage for smoke in a chimney; eg: The chimney flue needs to be cleaned regularly.

6. heal/heel/he’ll

  • heal means to make healthy; eg: Extra rest and fluids will help to heal your sickness.
  • heel is the back part of the foot; eg. Place your heel firmly into the boot.
  • he’ll (contr.) he will; eg: He’ll be happy when he comes.

 7. lone/loan

  • A loan is money lent; eg: The car loan was for $5,000.
  • Used as a verb, loan means to lend something; eg: Can you please loan me enough money for lunch?
  • lone means single, only; eg: The truck driver was the lone customer at the all-night diner.

8. male/mail

  • mail are items sent in the postal system; eg: I received six letters today in the mail.

Used as a verb, mail means to send something by mail or e-mail; eg: She will mail her car payment today.

  • male (n.) a boy or man; eg: There were ten male passengers on the train.

Used as an adjective, male means related to a man or boy; eg: I heard a male voice on the telephone.

 9. main/mane

  • main (adj.) means most important; eg:The speaker’s main point was that we can all fight poverty.
  • mane (n.) is the long hair on the neck of an animal; eg: Shona hung on to the horse’s mane when it started galloping.

10. meat/meet

  • meat is edible flesh from an animal; eg: We eat meat nearly every night for dinner.
  • meet is to get together; eg: Let’s meet for coffee tomorrow morning.

Used as a noun, meet is a sports competition; eg: Athletes from ten schools will compete at the track meet.

 11. pail/pale

  • A pail is a bucket; eg: That pail holds five gallons of paint.
  • Being pale means lacking color; eg: The sick child’s face was very pale.

 12. pain/pane

  • pain is physical distress; eg: Her back pain prevented her from bending over.
  • pane is section of a window; eg: The window pane was covered with frost.

13. passed/past

  • passed is the past tense of pass; eg: The teenager finally passed his driving test.
  • past means later, or in a time gone by; eg: Her financial worries are now all in the past.

14. patience/patients

  •  patience is the ability to wait; eg: The kindergarten teacher’s patience is remarkable.
  • patients are people under the care of a doctor; eg: Five patients were waiting to see the doctor.

 15. raise/raze

  • To raise is to build up; eg: Let’s raise the sign a bit higher so it can be read more easily.
  • To raze is to tear down; eg: The city plans to raze the vacant building.

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the HOMOPHONES mistakes.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (4)

Please note the difference:

HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings, eg:

  • wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)

HOMONYMS are a kind of homophone words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings.

Examples of HOMONYMS are:

  • club            – somewhere to dance and . . .
  • club            – large, heavy object that people get hit with.
  • rock           – a type of music and . . .
  • rock            – made of stone.

HOMOGRAPHS are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently.

Examples of HOMOGRAPHS include:

  • to wind a clock but blowing wind.
  • rose, the flower and rose, past tense of the verb to rise.
  • book is something we read and book is to schedule something.

pexels-photo.jpgTo help you improve spelling skills for each word listed below, I have included the most homophone common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

  1. which/witch/wich

  • Use which as a pronoun when referring to things or animals.
  • Use witch to mean a scary or nasty person.
  • Wich is to do with minerals, salt works; a salt producing town.

Using the correct use of which/witch/wich, fill in the sentences:

  1. Tad wore his favorite brown shoes, . . . he received as a birthday gift.
  2. The Halloween . . . decorations must finally come down off of the wall!

2. principle/principal

  • Use principle as a noun meaning a basic truth or law.
  • Use principal as a noun meaning the head of a school or organization, or a sum of money.

 Using the correct use of principle/principal, fill in the sentences:

  1. Many important life . . . are learned in kindergarten.
  2. The . . . is a well-respected member of the community.

3. stationary/stationery

  • Stationary means unmoving.
  • Stationery refers to writing materials, eg: pens, books, pencils, etc

Using the correct use of stationary/stationery, fill in the sentences:

  1. The revolving door remained . . . because Shona was pushing on it the wrong way.
  2. Tad printed his résumé on his best . . . .

4. rain/reign/rein

  • rain (n.) precipitation; (v.) drizzle, shower.
  • reign (n.) time in power; (v.) to rule.
  • rein (n.) a strap to control an animal.

 Using the correct use of rain/reign/rein, fill in the sentences:

  1. The . . . poured down all day.
  2. The king’s . . . was very brief.
  3. Pull on the . . . when you want the horse to stop.

5. stair/stare

  • stair (n.) step.
  • stare (v.) to look intently in one place.

Using the correct use of stair/stare, fill in the sentences:

  1. The bottom . . . is broken, so please be careful when you go down.
  2. I couldn’t help but . . . at the man as he came down to us.

6. main/mane

  • main (adj.) most important.
  • mane (n.) long hair on the neck of an animal.

 Using the correct use of main/mane, fill in the sentences:

  1. The speaker’s . . . point was that we can all fight poverty.
  2. The little girl hung on to the horse’s . . . when it started galloping.

7. stake/steak

  • stake (n.) a thin pointed stick or post that is driven into the ground; mark off.
  • steak (n.) a piece of meat or fish.

 Using the correct use of stake/steak, fill in the sentences:

  1. Since we were missing a . . . , we couldn’t finish putting up the tent.
  2. He ordered a sirloin . . . and baked potato.

8. steal/steel

  • steal (v.) to take something without permission.
  • steel (n.) a strong metal made of iron and carbon.

 Using the correct use of steal/steel, fill in the sentences:

  1. It is not good to . . . money from anyone.
  2. Many buildings are constructed with . . . frames.

 9. imminent/eminent/immanent

  • imminent is something likely to happen.
  • Eminent can refer to a person of high rank or repute or anything that noticeably pokes out like “an eminent nose.”
  • immanent is an inherent or inborn; ingrained, built-in.

 Using the correct use of imminent/eminent/immanent, fill in the sentences:

  1. The rainy season is . . .
  2. Kofi Annan was an . . . person in resolving many conflicts.
  3. The protection of human rights is . . . to many governments around the world.

10. exercise/exorcise

  • Exercise is a physical activity; to do physical activity.
  • Exorcise is to drive out an evil spirit

 Using the correct use of exercise/exorcise, fill in the sentences:

  1. They . . . the troublesome spirit.
  2. Ted took the . . . seriously.

11. insolate/insulate

  • Insolate refers to an exposure to the sun’s rays.
  • Insulate involves using various materials to prevent the leakage of heat.
  • NOTICE: Insolate to get warm and insulate to stay warm!

Using the correct use of insolate/insulate, fill in the sentences:

  1. The . . . paper may turn red when exposed to the sun.
  2. We always . . . and draught proof our caravan before winter begins.

 12. tortuous/torturous

  • tortuous comes from the Latin tortu meaning full of twists and turns.
  • torturous pertaining to the cause or experience of extreme pain.

 Using the correct use of tortuous/torture, fill in the sentences:

  1. Peal found the route remote and . . . .
  2. We had a . . . five days of boot camp.

13. foreword/forward

  • Foreword is an introduction to a book.
  • Forward is onwards, ahead.

 Using the correct use of foreword/forward, fill in the sentences:

  1. Dr Giddings gave a . . to my book.
  2. It’s will be raining next week, so the baseball game will be moved . . .

14. flaunt/flout

  • Flaunt is to display ostentatiously; show off.
  • Flout is to disregard a rule.

 Using the correct use of flaunt/flout, fill in the sentences:

    1. The young man constantly . . . his riches.
    2. The advertising code is being openly . . ..

15. flounder/founder

  • Flounder is to move clumsily; to have difficulty doing something.
  • Founder is to fail; a person who establishes.

Using the correct use of flounder/founder, fill in the sentences:

  1. The soldiers . . .  about in the mud.
  2. He is the . . . of a popular website.

So, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) which b) witch #2. a) principles b) principal #3. a) stationary   b) stationery #4. a) rain b) reign c) reins; #5 a) stair b) stare; #6 a) main b) mane; #7 a)stake b) steak #8 a) steal b) steel #9 a) imminent   b) eminent c) immament  #10 a) exorcise b) exercise  #11 a) insolate(d) b) insulate  #12 a) tortuous  b) torturous  #13 a) foreword b) forward   #14 a) flaunted  b) flouted  #15 a) floundered b) founder

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the HOMOPHONES mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (3)

HOMOPHONES are two or more words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings.

In the sentence below, for example, every word is spelled correctly but three words are the wrong words, and even spellchecker will not flag even one of them.

Can you spot the homophones in the sentence below?

I herd the reign ruined there picnic.

 One great way to improve spelling skills is to learn the correct spellings and meanings of common sets of homophones.

A large percentage of spelling errors at High School are actually homophone usage errors.

Written correctly, the sentence should, of course, read:

 I heard the rain ruined their picnic.

Included here are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones. To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s. 

pexels-photo-416322.jpegPlease note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. defuse/diffuse

  • Diffuse is to spread over a wide area; lacking clarity
  • Defuse is to make a situation less tense

Using the correct use of defuse/diffuse, fill in the sentences:

  1. Mr Jones . . . the prevailing tension among the villagers.
  2. The . . . community centred around the church.

2. desert/dessert

  • Desert is a waterless, empty area; to abandon someone.
  • Dessert is the sweet course of a meal.

 Using the correct use of desert/dessert, fill in the sentences:

  1. How did that car get over the Egyptian . . . .
  2. They enjoyed their . . .  after the main meal.

3. discreet/discrete

  • Discreet means being careful not to attract attention.
  • Discrete means separate and distinct.

Using the correct use of discreet/discrete, fill in the sentences:

  1. We made some . . . inquiries about the issue.
  2. Speech sounds are produced as a continuous sound signal rather than . . . units.

 4. disinterested/uninterested

  • Disinterested means impartial; unbiased, uninvolved.
  • Uninterested means bored or not wanting to be involved with something:

Using the correct use of disinterested/uninterested, fill in the sentences:

  1. A panel of . . . judges who had never met the contestants before judged the singing contest.
  2. Marwa was . . . in attending Hilda’s singing class.

5. die/dye

  • Die means to pass away; dying could also mean you are eager for something.
  • Dye (n.) coloring.

 Using the correct use of die/dye, fill in the sentences:

  1. The animal will . . . without proper nourishment.
  2. We used four kinds of . . . to color our Easter eggs.

6. does/dose

  • Does is a form of do.
  • Dose is quantity of medicine.

Using the correct use of does/dose, fill in the sentences:

  1. It . .  no good to complain.
  2. Take a . . . of aspirin for your headache.

7. here/hear

  • Use here as an adverb to indicate location.
  • Use hear as a verb to indicate listening.

 Using the correct use of hear/here, fill in the sentences:

  1. Please come back . . . and put your shoes away!
  2. Can you . . . the birds’ beautiful singing outside?

8. lie/lay

  • Use lie to indicate the act of reclining:
  • Use lay to indicate the placement of something:

Lay is a transitive verb, which means it always needs an object! Something is always being put down; lie, on the other hand, will never have an object because it is an intransitive verb.

Hint:

  • to lie: lie(s), lay, lain, lying
  • to lay: lay(s), laid, laid, laying

Using the correct use of lie/lay, fill in the sentences:

  1. I am tired just watching the dog . .  in the warm sunlight.
  2. Please . . . the paper on the table.

9. emigrate/immigrate

  • Emigrate means to move away from a city or country to live somewhere else.
  • Immigrate means to move into a country from somewhere else.

Using the correct use of emigrate/immigrate, fill in the sentences:

  1. Pearl’s grandfather . . .  from Canada sixty years ago.
  2. Tad’s sister . . . to Ireland in 2004.

 10. e.g./i.e.

These two Latin abbreviations are often mixed up, but e.g. means “for example,” while i.e. means “that is.”

11. empathy/sympathy

  • Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective or feelings.
  • Sympathy is a feeling of sorrow for someone else’s suffering.
  • A sympathizer is someone who agrees with a particular ideal or cause.

 Using the correct use of empathy/sympathy, fill in the sentences:

  1. My . . . for Liz is fairly limited.
  2. She has a higher level of . . . in helping others.

 12. loose/lose/lost

  • Loose is usually an adjective:
  • Lose is always a verb. It means to misplace something or to be unvictorious in a game or contest.
  • Lost is the past tense of lose.

Using the correct use of loose/lose/lost, fill in the sentences:

  1. Nancy was careful not to . . . her ticket.
  2. Peter discovered that the cows were . . . .

13. it’s/its

  • It’s is the contraction for it is.
  • Its is the possessive form (“possessive” means belongs to) of it.

 Using the correct use of it’s/its, fill in the sentences:

  1. The cat is licking . . . paws.
  2. . . . raining today, so the baseball game will be cancelled.

14. weather/whether

  • Use weather when referring to the state of the atmosphere:
  • Use whether as a conjunction to introduce choices:

 Using the correct use of weather/whether fill in the sentences:

  1. The constantly changing springtime . . . is driving us crazy.
  2. Please tell us . . . you would prefer steak or salmon for dinner.

NB: There is no such word as wheather!

15. there/their/they’re

  • their (pron.) belong to them;
  • there (adv.) at that place;
  • they’re is the contraction for they are.

 Using the correct use of there/their/they’re, fill in the sentences:

  1. . . . house is always clean and tidy.
  2. Please put the groceries over . . . .
  3. . . . going to Paris for vacation.

So, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) defused b) diffuse; #2. a) desert b) dessert #3. a) discreet b) discrete #4. a) disinterested b) uninterested; #5 a) die b) dye; #6 a) does b) dose  #7 a) here b) hear   #8 a) lie b) lay   #9 a) emigrated  b) immigrated   #11 a) sympathy b) empathy  #12 a) lose   b) lose/lost  #13 a) its   b) It’s   #14 a) weather   b) whether   #15 a) Their b) there c) They’re

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the above mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (2)

Please note the difference:

HOMOPHONES are words that sound the same but have different meanings. For example,

  • wait (the verb) and weight (how heavy something is)
  • they’re (they are) and their (belonging to them) and there (adverb of place)

HOMONYMS are a kind of homophone, words that are written and said the same way but have different meanings.

Examples of HOMONYMS are:

  • book           – something we read and . . .
  • book           – to schedule something.
  • Spring        – the season and . . .
  • spring         – to jump up.
  • club            – somewhere to dance and . . .
  • club            – large, heavy object that people get hit with.
  • fine             – money you owe for bring things back late and . . .
  • fine             – feeling okay.
  • rock           – a type of music and . . .
  • rock            – made of stone.

HOMOGRAPHS are words that are written the same way, but pronounced differently.

Examples of HOMOGRAPHS include:

  • to wind a clock but blowing wind.
  • rose, the flower and rose, past tense of the verb to rise.
  • book – something we read and book – to schedule something

To help you improve spelling skills for each word listed below, I have included the most Homophone common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

pexels-photo.jpgPlease note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

1. cite/sight/site

  • Sight is one of your five senses. As a noun, it is “the ability to see.” It is also someone or something that is seen.
  • Site means “a place where something has happened.” It can also be “a place where something is, was, or will be located.”
  • Site is also short for website.
  • Cite is a verb. It can mean “to write or say the words” of a person, book or another source. It can also mean “to mention something,” usually to support an idea or opinion.

 Using the correct use of cite/sight/site, fill in the sentences:

  1. The sunset last night was a beautiful . . . .
  2. There are some important battle . . . near Washington, DC.
  3. When you write research papers in school, for example, you . . . other sources to support your argument.

2. canvas/canvass

  • Canvas is a type of strong cloth.
  • Canvass is to seek people’s votes.

 Using the correct use of canvas/canvass, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . -made trainers did not last long.
  2. The MP has tried to . . . for re-election for a third term.

3. censure/censor

  • Censure is to criticize strongly.
  • Censor is to ban parts of a book or film; a person who does this.

Using the correct use of censure/censor, fill in the sentences:

  1. He was . . . (ed) for his remarks over the incident.
  2. My book was heavily . . . (ed) before its publication.

 4. climactic/climatic

  • Climactic is forming a climax.
  • Climatic is relating to climate.

 Using the correct use of climactic/climatic, fill in the sentences:

  • The film’s . . .  scenes were traumatic for the kids.
  • Under certain . . . conditions, desert locusts increase in number.

5. complacent/complaisant

  • Complacent is proud of oneself and self-satisfied.
  • Complaisant is willing to please.

 Using the correct use of complacent/complaisant, fill in the sentences:

  1. In all of this praise, however, there is a severe danger that we might become . . . .
  2. There are too many . . .  doctors signing sick notes.

6. council/counsel

  • Council is a group of people who manage or advise.
  • Counsel is to seek advice; to advise.

 Using the correct use of council/counsel, fill in the sentences:

  1. The . . .  has unanimously endorsed the agreement with the government.
  2. He had to go for . . . (ing) after the tragic incident.

7. cue/queue

  • Cue is a signal for action.
  • Queue is a line of people or vehicles.

 Using the correct use of cue/queue, fill in the sentences:

  1. Pearl  hasn’t yet been given the . . .to come on stage.
  2. We found ourselves in a . . .  for petrol.

8. complement/compliment

  • Use complement when referring to something that enhances or completes.
  • Use compliment as an expression of praise.

 Using the correct use of complement/compliment, fill in the sentences:

  1. The cranberry sauce is a perfect . . . to the turkey dinner.
  2. I was pleased to have received so many . . . on my new dress.

9. curb/kerb

  • Curb is to keep something in check; a control or limit.
  • Kerb (in British English) is the stone edge of a pavement.

 Using the correct use of curb/kerb, fill in the sentences:

  1. The parents had to . . . his wayward behaviour.
  2. She fell of the . . . on her to ASDA market.

 10. currant/current

  • Currant is a dried grape.
  • Current is happening now; a flow of water, air, or electricity.

Using the correct use of currant/current, fill in the sentences:

  1. He .enjoys eating . . . fruits.
  2. Ted enjoys listening to . . . . news about the economy.

11.  cast, caste

  • cast – throw, toss or cause (light or shadow) to appear on a surface.
  • caste – social class (with some privileges).

Using the correct use of cast/caste, fill in the sentences:

  1. He . . . the book down onto the floor angrily.
  2. Those educated at private schools belong to a privileged . . . .

 12. capital/capitol

  • Capital has several meanings. It can refer to an uppercase letter, money, or a city where a seat of government is located.
  • Capitol means the building where lawmakers meet.

 Using the correct use of capital/capitol, fill in the sentences:

  1. Peter visited the cafe in the basement of the . . .  after watching a bill become a law.
  2. Basel visited Brasίlia, the . . . of Brazil.

13.  coarse/course

  • Coarse means rough, crude or harsh.
  • Course (n.) is a path or route to be taken.

 Using the correct use of coarse/course, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . manners were very irritating.
  2. Now that you’ve lost your job, what is the first . . . of action to be taken?

 14. choose/chose

  • Choose means to select.
  • Chose is the past tense of choose.

 Using the correct use of choose/chose, fill in the sentences:

  1. I . . . my puppy last week.
  2. I . . . that puppy in the window.

15. conscience/conscious

  • Conscience is your inner, moral guide.
  • Conscious is being aware of; alive; being alert

 Using the correct use of conscience/conscious, fill in the sentences:

  1. He had a guilty . . . about his desires.
  2. Tad became . . . . of people talking in the hall.

So, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) sight b) site   c) cite; #2. a) canvas b) canvass #3. a) censured   b) censored #4. a) climactic  b) climatic; #5. a) complacent  b) complaisant; #6. a) council   b) counseling; #7. a) cue b) queue   #8. a) complement b) compliments   #9. a) curb   b)kerb #10. a) currant b) current   #11. a) cast b) caste  #12. a) capitol   b) capital   #13. a) coarse   b) course   #14. a) chose   b) choose   #15. a) conscience b) conscious

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the above mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

HOMOPHONES: MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED WORDS @ HIGH SCHOOL (1)

HOMOPHONES are two or more words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings.

In the sentence below, for example, every word is spelled correctly but three words are the wrong words, and even a spellchecker will not flag one of them.

Can you spot the homophones in the sentence below?

I herd the reign ruined there picnic.

 One great way to improve spelling skills is to learn the correct spellings and meanings of common sets of homophones.

A large percentage of spelling errors at High School are actually homophone usage errors.

Written correctly, the sentence should, of course, read:

 I heard the rain ruined their picnic.

Included here are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones. To help you improve spelling skills, for each word listed, I have included the most common meanings focusing on:

  • part of speech (sometimes)
  • a very brief definition
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.

Please note that the following scenarios are the most commonly used cases; but as is quite common in our language, there are always exceptions!

blur book close up data

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. buy/by/bye

  • Use buy when purchasing an item.
  • Use by as a preposition to indicate location.

Use bye in saying “goodbye” or when an athlete moves directly to the next round of a competition without playing.

 Using the correct use of buy/by/bye, fill in the sentences:

  1. I do need to . . . new shoes for the kids.
  2. John was given a . . . after Tad had withdrawn from the competition.

 2. bear/bare

  • Use bear when referring to the large mammal or to indicate the act of holding or supporting.
  • Use bare as an adjective indicating lack of clothing; uncovered.

 Using the correct use of bear/bare, fill in the sentences:

  1. How did that brown . . . open the security gate at the campsite?
  2. The wagon can hardly . . . the weight of the load.
  3. His . . . neck burned in the direct sunlight.

3. brake/break

  • Use brake as a verb meaning to stop or as a noun when referring to a device used to stop or slow motion:
  • Use break to indicate smashing or shattering or to take a recess OR
  • Use break as a noun to indicate a rest or pause.

 Using the correct use of brake/break, fill in the sentences:

  1. We took a water . . . after our first set of drills.
  2. The bike’s . . . failed, which is why he toppled town the hill.
  3. My back will . . . if we put one more thing in this backpack.

 4. breath/breathe

  • Breath is a noun; it’s the air that goes in and out of your lungs:
  • Breathe is a verb; it means to exhale or inhale:

 Using the correct use of breath/breathe, fill in the sentences:

  1. Chad held his . . . while Larry skateboarded down the stairs.
  2. After Shona’s spectacular landing, Holy had to remind herself to . . . again.

5. balmy/barmy

  • Balmy means pleasantly warm; soothing.
  • Barmy is being foolish, crazy.

 Using the correct use of balmy/barmy, fill in the sentences:

  1. I thought I was going . . . at first.
  2. We always enjoy the . . . days of late summer in Heysham.

6. bated/baited

  • Bated means in great suspense, very anxiously or excitedly
  • A bait is food attached or inserted as a decoy to lure

Using the correct use of bated/baited, fill in the sentences:

  1. The fish let go of the . . . .
  2. He waited for a reply to his offer with . . . breath.

7. bazaar/bizarre

  • Bazzar is a Middle Eastern market; a fundraising sale of goods
  • Bizarre means strange or unusual

 Using the correct use of bazaar/bizarre, fill in the sentences:

  1. They went to the Turkish bazaar to buy items.
  2. We found ourselves in a . . . situation.

8. berth/birth

  • Berth is a bunk in a ship, train, etc.
  • Birth is the emergence of a baby from the womb.

 Using the correct use of berth/birth, fill in the sentences:

  1. I will sleep in the upper . . . .
  2. The . . . of his son was a turning point.

9. breach/breech

  • Breach is to break through, or break a rule; a gap
  • Breech is the back part of a gun barrel; in birth, feet coming out first

 Using the correct use of breach/breech, fill in the sentences:

  1. The way he acted was a . . . of confidence on Sarah’s trust.
  2. She has had a . . . birth of her first born son.

 10. broach/brooch

  • Broach to raise a difficult subject for discussion; pierce
  • Brooch is a piece of jewellery

 Using the correct use of broach/brooch, fill in the sentences:

  1. He . . . the topic he had been avoiding all evening.
  2. Ted enjoys wearing an emerald . . . .

11. beside/besides

  • Beside means next to.
  • Besides means in addition.

Using the correct use of beside/besides, fill in the sentences:

  1. He sat . . . me.
  2. I love ice cream . . . chocolate.

12. capital/capitol

  • Capital has several meanings. It can refer to an uppercase letter, money, or a city where a seat of government is located.
  • Capitol means the building where lawmakers meet.

 Using the correct use of capital/capitol, fill in the sentences:

  1. Peter visited the cafe in the basement of the . . . after watching a bill become a law.
  2. Basel visited Brasίlia, the . . . of Brazil.

13. coarse/course

  • Coarse means rough, crude or harsh;
  • Course (n.) a path or route to be taken;

 Using the correct use of coarse/course, fill in the sentences:

  1. His . . . manners were very irritating.
  2. Now that you’ve lost your job, what is the first . . . of action to be taken?

14. choose/chose

  • Choose means to select.
  • Chose is the past tense of choose.

 Using the correct use of choose/chose, fill in the sentences:

  1. I . . . my puppy last week.
  2. I . . . that puppy in the window.

15. conscience/conscious

  • Conscience is your inner, moral guide.
  • Conscious is being aware of; alive; being alert.

 Using the correct use of conscience/conscious, fill in the sentences:

  1. He had a guilty . . . about his desires.
  2. Tad became . . . . of people talking in the hall.

pexels-photo-416322.jpegSo, how did you fair?

ANSWERS: #1. a) buy   b) bye; #2. a) bear b) bear c) bare #3. a) break   b) brake c) break #4. a) breath     b) breathe; #5 a) barmy   b) balmy; #6 a) bait   b) bated; #7 a) bazaar b) bizarre   #8 a) berth b) birth   #9 a) breach   b) breech addition   #10 a) broached b) brooch   #11 a) complement b) compliments  #12 a) capitol   b) capital   #13 a) coarse   b) course   #14 a) chose   b) choose   #15 a) conscience b) conscious

ALWAYS make it a habit to edit your work to avoid committing the above mistakes.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!