pexels-photo-3019261.jpegThis article is a hands-on piece of work. By the end of your reading, you will be on a new trajectory where interaction with our students and children will never be the same again. Before I delve into how our students and children can do anything we ask of them, let me introduce you to:

Excellent Ways To Instill Manners And Good Behaviour Skills In High School Students

which I wrote a week ago.

Hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming expert Alicia Eaton has published a book entitled: Written Words That Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything. In her book she reveals three simple tricks that every TEACHER and PARENT should try through:

  • changing words we use to create drastic changes in behaviour
  • explaining and creating the illusion of choice and
  • creating leading questions.

These linguistic strategies that Eaton uses to influence adults can be adapted to create obedient little angels in our students and children. Hence, by understanding the power of language; parents, and teachers alike, can influence their children to do almost anything – no shouting, bribing and threatening necessary!

‘Language of Persuasion and Influence’

This is the method used commonly by advertisers and sales people to persuade us to do exactly what they want. A simple step like dropping the word ‘don’t’,  and saying ‘thank you’ before rather than after a request and structuring sentences to create the illusion of choice can all have profound effects when they fall on students and our children’s ears.


10 Rules For Getting Young People To Listen

These are RULES meant to get our students and children listen to us first time and without a fuss. Try practising them and you will be amazed by the difference you will see in how you communicate:

  1. Always say what you DO want your child to do, and not what you DON’T.

‘Too many of us get stuck in a cycle of negative talk which quickly turns into nagging,’ says Eaton. Phrases like,

  • ‘Don’t leave your room in a mess’,
  • ‘Do you have to leave your shoes lying around?’ or,
  • ‘How many times have I told you not to push your sister around?’

are counter-productive.

‘We use negative talk and then we’re surprised when our children don’t do what we want them to,’ Alicia Eaton.

 ‘But,’ says Eaton, ‘they’re not mind-readers’ and suggests turning the phrases around into a positive to get more effective results. Phrases like

  • ‘Let’s leave the room tidy and put all the Lego away’;
  • ‘Shoes belong in the cupboard under the stairs’ or
  • ‘Let’s get our skates on and see if we can be early for school today!’

are more likely to get results.

Linguistic strategies used to put adults ‘under the spell’ can be adapted to influence children in everyday life situations.

  1. Create the illusion of choice

If saying, ‘Hurry up and get dressed for school’ doesn’t spur your child on, then Eaton suggests: ‘Nudge your child in the right direction by offering the illusion of choice.’

Pose questions such as,

  • ‘Which T-shirt will you be wearing this morning, the blue one or the red?’ or,
  • ‘Which one will you put on first, the trousers or the T-shirt?’

‘This pre-supposes that the child has agreed to get dressed and overcomes the impasse,” she explains and says that creating that element of choice can work wonders in many scenarios.

If there is reluctance to doing homework, Eaton suggests giving the child a choice of when to do the work, with a question such as, ‘Do you want to work on your school project today or tomorrow?’

Or if your child is being fussy at mealtimes you could ask, ‘Would you like to taste the broccoli or the carrots first?’

If they never let go of the mobile phone Eaton suggests asking, ‘Will you be leaving your phone on the hallway table or upstairs in the bedroom when it’s time for dinner?’

  1. Talk as if it’s a given that your child will do what you ask

‘The word “when” is often referred to as the most hypnotic word in the English language. It gently implies that something will be done in the initial instance,’ says Eaton.

Give your child the subtle message that the task ahead is a fait accompli (meaning already happened or been decided) by clever use of the ‘when’ word.

Eaton suggests phrases such as:

  • ‘When you’ve tidied your room, we’ll have some lunch’,
  • ‘When you’ve finished your maths homework, we’ll be able to go out to the park’ or
  • ‘When you’ve put your uniform on, we can go downstairs for breakfast’.

As you get better at this technique, try adding two presuppositions into the sentence.

  • ‘Car sales people often use this pattern,’ says Eaton. ‘They’ll say, “When we’ve been out for a test drive, we’ll come back and you can choose a colour scheme for the interior.”

You may not have even been asked whether you would like to take a test drive. You’re being gently pushed along the sales process.

According to Eaton the technique can be just as easily applied to influencing our children. At homework time, for example, try oiling the process by using two presuppositions. For example say,

  • ‘When you’ve finished your comprehension, you’ll notice how easy it is to learn those spellings’. 
  1. Create a linguistic connection between you and your child

According to Eaton, creating a link with your child in the language you use can be a powerful tool in increasing their inclination to listen.

Eaton suggests putting yourself in your child’s place and vice versa with phrases such as:

  • ‘I, like you, realise you have lots of choices in front of you’ or
  • ‘You, like me, realise how much easier it is to do homework with a tidy desk’.

‘The “like” pattern is useful for slipping into conversations and can boost your child’s self-esteem and establish rapport,’ explains Eaton.

‘It’s particularly useful if you feel your relationship with your child has become difficult.’

  1. Say ‘thank you’ before, rather than after

‘We’re used to thanking people after they’ve done something for us, but what about thanking before it’s been done?’ asks Eaton.

‘This often works well because children naturally want to please people, especially their parents.’

So next time you ask your child to wash their hands, come to the table or switch off the TV, quickly follow it up with a ‘thank you’.

‘It’s a great way to wrong-foot a child who was going to ignore your request,’ explains Eaton. ‘Once they’ve been thanked, they feel obligated to perform the task.’

Thus, thanking children before they have carried out the desired task will drive them towards carrying out the task.

  1. Always give your reasoning

Often we expect children to jump to it without really understanding the reason behind what we are asking of them.

‘By explaining why we’re asking for something, our request is more likely to be granted,’ says Eaton, who suggest simply adding a ‘because’ to every request will do the trick.

If the music is blaring, try saying:

  • ‘Let’s turn the volume down and start being a bit quieter because we need to decide what we’re going to do next and it will be easier to think of good ideas’.

If you need help with the shopping, try:

  • ‘Can you help me carry the shopping from the car because there are just too many bags for me to do them in one trip.’

“By explaining why we’re asking for something, our request is more likely to be granted.”

  1. Front-load your sentences

‘Front-loading your sentences with phrases such as ‘think about it’ and ‘listen’ sends a powerful suggestion to your child to do just that,’ says Eaton.

Try creating motivation by saying:

  • ‘Think about it. How good will it feel once you’ve finished your homework?’

Or add weight to your request using the ‘listen’ word, for example:

  • ‘Listen, here’s what I think needs to be done next’ or
  • ‘Listen, we need to quickly put our coats on or we’ll miss the bus’.
  1. Put a positive spin on moaning

Some children get stuck in the habit of complaining, but according to Eaton:

  • ‘You can help your child get in the habit of looking for solutions by reflecting or bouncing the statement back to them with a positive spin.’

If, for example, your child complains ‘I’m too hot!’, Eaton suggests bouncing back with something positive. She suggests:

  • Ah, you’d like to feel cooler. What would make you feel better – opening a window or removing your jacket?’

If they come out with something negative like, ‘I hate sharing a bedroom’, try spin it into a positive with: ‘What is it about having your own space that appeals to you?’

‘These responses result in less moaning, less complaining and are more solution focused,’ Eaton says.

According to Eaton, creating a link with your child in the language you use can be a powerful tool in increasing their inclination to listen.

  1. Use leading questions

‘Using leading questions is a useful language pattern that can help to take your child from a problem to a desired solution,’ explains Eaton.

Eaton suggests the following sentences as examples of how to put a positive spin on a problem and at the same time help your children feel part of the solution.

  • ‘So, you’ve been feeling worried about your exams – to make yourself aware that you need to do something more about them?’
  • ‘So, you’re telling me about how much you hated this year’s maths teacher – so you can begin to look forward to the new one you’ll be having when you go back to school?’
  1. Help your child stop using the ‘can’t’ word

Eaton believes the word ‘can’t’ is used too often in conversations and shuts out the possibility of achievement.

‘To get your child out of this habit, highlight that things can and do change, says Eaton.

‘Your child is changing all the time, which means not being able to do something is merely transient,’ she adds.

When your child says, ‘I can’t do maths!’ Eaton suggests turning it around into,

  • Ah, you just haven’t yet found a way to do that particular exercise yet’.

Or you could say:

  • ‘You completed the multiplication exercises and you just haven’t yet found a way to do fractions.’

‘The idea is to switch focus to talk about what your child can do rather than what they can’t,’ Eaton explains.

Help shift your child’s mind-set to a more open one of possibilities and make your life – and theirs – a little easier.


We can all learn. We can all help our children become better citizens. We just had not thought deep about it. That time is now. Let us help one another. Thank you.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Please leave your comment below. Thanks.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!



Road to Commitment

“We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.” ― Henry Miller

No matter how committed one is to a particular course of action or set of values, often our own behaviours get in the way. In effect, we might want something but actually do the very things that stop us achieving it. A good example from daily life is the commitment we make to go on a diet after the excesses of the festive season, only to have our ambition thwarted as we reach for one of our favourite eats.

Leaders can behave in a similar fashion in their professional roles. For instance, a school leader might be committed to the principle that each child should be treated with respect. Yet, when he or she sees colleagues treating pupils without due respect, the school leader ignores the behaviours, even though they run counter to his or her belief system. According to Kegan and Laskow Lahey – in their book The Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work – these situations can arise because there is a competing commitment working in opposition to the original one. In this case, it might be that the leader wants to :

  • be seen as a supporter of colleagues.
  • avoid confrontation.

In a sense, the competing commitment trumps the original one. And of course, behind this competing commitment is usually an assumption. For instance, in this case, it is that if the school leader challenges colleagues over their disrespectful treatment of children then some or all of the following might happen:

  • Colleagues’ goodwill will be lost.
  • Colleagues’ respect for the leader will go.

Thus, the team spirit that the leader has so carefully built up will be damaged.

This paradox of the leader’s competing behaviour can be seen in a four-part Competing Commitments grid chart identifying four key scenarios:

1. Commitment

I am committed to the value or the importance of . . . the principle that each child should be treated with respect.

Now consider these scenarios  . . .

  • What I’m doing or not doing that prevents my commitment from being fully realized.
  • When I see colleagues treating pupils without due respect, I ignore the behaviours, even though they run counter to my belief system.

2. Competing Commitments

I may also be committed to . . . being seen as a supporter of colleagues avoiding confrontation at all costs.

3. Big Assumption

I assume that if . . . I challenge colleagues over their disrespectful treatment of children, then some or all of the following might happen:

  • colleagues’ goodwill will be lost.
  • colleagues’ respect for me as a leader will go.
  • the team spirit that I have so carefully built up will be damaged.

The authors recommend a four-step process to overcome our BIG ASSUMPTIONS:

  1. Observe ourselves in relation to the big assumption.
  2. Actively look for experiences that cast doubt on the big assumption.
  3. Explore the history of the big assumption; and
  4. Design and run a safe, modest test of the big assumption.

In essence, our actions can run counter to our original commitment. Indeed, our actions themselves can be based on a counter-commitment behind which is a big assumption. Only by first addressing our big assumptions can we start changing our behaviours in order to align them with our original number 1 beliefs and commitments.

red-outside-grass-sport.jpgFrom Kegan and Laskow Lahey’s work, it is clear that we have to attack both our assumptions and our competing commitments in order to stop sabotaging our own principles and beliefs. In the example teased out above, this might be about questioning the big assumption and/or developing different strategies.

For instance:

  • Is it really true that colleagues’ goodwill will be lost or respect will go or the team spirit will be damaged?

Or it might be about:

  • Can I come up with strategies that will keep colleagues on board with me and still allow me to remain true to my principles?

Or it could be:

  • I must remain true to my principles and not let my behaviours impede what is important.

This process does not necessarily lead to easy answers. However, it does let us reflect deeply on our own behaviours and actions and how they can get in the way of what is important for an individual, colleagues and the organization as a whole.

Challenging Oneself


The Challenge

Molly Cain, writing for Forbes, has identified six Ways To Achieve Any Goal 

LOOK AT IT: A goal that you can actually see is massively more powerful than a goal you write down on a checklist.

TELL PEOPLE: Making yourself accountable to your friends and family is one of the best ways to reach your goals. Sure, it’s uncomfortable to share your setbacks. But when you do, you’re going to get emails from friends who have experienced the same and they’ll get your mind back on track. And when you tell them about the milestones you reach, you’re going to get applause from people wishing they were you and reaching those same goals too.

When you tell people your goals, they will jump in the boat with you and help you get there. You will be shocked by the support you’ll get from your network. You’ll be even more surprised by the people who come out of the woodwork to join you in your journey or privately cheer you on, knowing what you’re going through.

BREAK IT UP: Many people abandon goals because they’re just too dang big. If you’ve done this to yourself, stop now. Change your game plan. The best way is to break it up into bite-sized chunks.

Select milestones to get there and make each of those a tiny goal. Breaking your big goal into small ones will make it a more feasible option for you.

SET A DATE: One of the best ways to knock out a goal is to put it on your calendar. If you put a stake in the ground and impose a date on yourself, you’re much more likely to reach it.

BE REALISTIC: I’m sure if I asked everyone here, you’d all be just as interested in magically obtaining a bazillion dollars or finding the cure for cancer as I would. But there are some goals that are just too out of this world.. Simple but true…you’re more likely to reach goals that you realistically set for yourself. Don’t set yourself up for failure by letting your dreams get bigger than your abilities. That’s not to say don’t set high goals for yourself, just make sure they’re attainable.

COMMIT TO YOURSELF: Hey folks, there’s only one person in this goal-setting process that matters. You! You’re the one who has to put the hours in the work.

  • You’re the one who needs to stay late at the office to finish that task for your boss so you can score the promotion.
  • You’re the only one receiving the paycheck that will eventually pay you out of credit card debt. It’s all on you, my dear friend.


Committing Yourself

There’s a great quote out there that says: “It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.”

It is really a paradox that one year from now, you’ll be one year older, no matter what. What can you do with your goals today that will make looking back to today feel really different and really satisfying?

Commit to yourself and then re-commit yourself each time you fall because that definitely happens along the way.

Our commitment to change is often canceled by another commitment we hold that has the effect of preventing the change.

pexels-photo-943747.jpegHowever, when all is said and done, the only person with that commitment is YOU. This is the only way you can challenge your own behaviours. Hence, CHALLENGE YOURSELF first!

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL.


You can be given responsibility, but you have to take accountability.

BEING RESPONSIBLE for decisions, and for the actions of others, can carry a significant amount of pressure. For that reason, some people would rather leave the decision-making to others. In truth, responsibility doesn’t have to be such a burden. Those who reject it could be missing the chance to progress in their career.

group hand fist bump

Being Responsible

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” ― Sigmund Freud

It is sometimes tempting to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want to do it. This is an ineffective and inconsiderate way to work because it doesn’t consider the implications for others. A responsible person will always think about the consequences of their actions before they do anything.

RESPONSIBILITY is an admirable trait and leads to further gains. Responsibility isn’t just doing your homework or feeding the dog; it is making proper choices and doing the right thing because you were asked to and you said you would. But you can’t show responsibility without having it! “When life gives you lemons…” what do you do? The answer is different for everyone, but showing and having responsibility can, and will, pay off.

Being responsible also means making decisions for the overall good of anything you’re working on. It’s about considering the benefits to long-term goals, not your own short-term gratification.

Responsibility In The Workplace

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” ― Winston S. Churchill

First you need to understand what responsibility in the workplace means. Without showing responsibility in the position you hold now, you won’t likely be granted additional responsibilities until you are able to demonstrate the ability to do so. There are basic responsibilities like:

  • showing up for work on time and putting in expected hours.
  • making appropriate choices – such as how you dress and how you interact with others.
  • being reliable – your boss, the people you work with, and clients should be able to rely on you on a daily basis, especially during peak or urgent periods.

In addition, to show you truly fulfill the responsibilities of your position you should be able to:

  • meet deadlines (or complete work prior to deadline).
  • meet or exceed each of your current job goals.
  • quantify and present your successful results.

If you regularly demonstrate success in all the responsibilities above, you can be assured that you will be a valued employee and success will definitely come your way if you plan and aim higher.

Why Is Responsibility Thought Of As A Burden?

“To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.” ― Patrick Ness

There are a number of reasons some people avoid responsibility:

  • If you’re in a position of responsibility, you’ll make decisions –some of these may be unpopular. As a result, decision-makers often have to develop a thick skin. You should always give reasons why you’ve taken the steps you took – this is to illustrate you’ve taken them for the right reasons. Being open about everything means it will be much easier to deal with any negativity that may come your way as a result.
  • Some people just don’t like to delegate. They feel they have to trust others for things they’re responsible for, and don’t like handing over that trust. But you’re only delegating actions to others. You’re still the one who is ultimately accountable.
  • Despite the best efforts and preparation things can still go wrong, and people will look for someone to blame. Being the one who is accountable means you’re the easiest target. However, if mistakes happen the first time, they’re much less likely to occur when you try the same thing again. Lessons will be learned, and these can be put into practice in the future.

While this all sounds rather daunting, bear in mind that those who welcome responsibility find they have tremendous job satisfaction, and enjoy interesting and varied work experiences.

Also remember that you will have been given responsibility for a reason – you’ve clearly displayed the skills and attributes that mean you cope well.

pexels-photo.jpgRelish The Roles Of Responsibility

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” ― Adrienne Rich

When next faced with responsibility for a role or task, these top tips will help you perform well and enjoy the challenges that come with it:

Identify your daily routine. Think of your day to day life, and make a list of things considered to be responsibilities. Then, write next to each item little notes such as “crucial” and “important” for tasks that must be completed, or “minor” for tasks that could be put off, if needed. Some things may be important or non-important according to your personal views, but don’t put off events you can’t escape. Making this list will help you become more organized and help you use your time wisely to get what needs to be done out of the way (thus showing more responsibility).

Work Ethic and Character. Some people could care less about their work product. However, people with solid work ethic and character take responsibility for the work they do. They demonstrate a willingness to not only ensure the job is done, but also accept responsibility for the results — good or bad. They take their assigned duties seriously and go the extra mile to make sure the work is the best that it can be. When you have character and are accountable, you recognize that the quality of your work is also a representation of you.

Plan. When you have your list made, go though all the events marked “important” and think about where they’ll fit into your day. Determine how long each task will take and what materials you may need to help complete it. Organize a chain of events in the order of importance, and go for it!

Accept! It may not always be easy to complete your goals, or turn past mistakes around. The reality that you might have to accept is that you can’t do it all alone. So find someone you trust and ask for help! Anyone who tries to hold you back or bring you down is not helping, and simply ignoring them and sticking with your goals is the most responsible thing that you could do.

Use your resources. If you don’t have the tools you need, you might not be able to reach some goals. But don’t give up right then and there; be a problem solver! Invest in certain things you want. A little brain power may save you some stress and time.

Be truthful. If you’ve made promises, keep them! Don’t make promises you know you may not be able to keep: this is very irresponsible. Even if it’s not a promise, if you said you’d do something, then just do it. That’s just being a good friend.

Is Responsibility and Accountability Part Of You?

“Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done.” ― Hubert Selby Jr.

When you were hired for a job, you were provided with a list of your duties, also known as responsibilities. You were also made aware that it is your job to ensure the tasks on the list are completed when due. While you can be assigned a variety of responsibilities, whether or not you are accountable depends on your character. A person who demonstrates accountability takes the hit if s/he doesn’t complete the task on schedule. When you refuse to be accountable, you’ll place the blame on someone else for the project’s failure.

Always aspire to be responsible and accountable?

Lest we forget: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL



Human nature has got certain attributes which are just hard to erase. These traits are wired in us so much that they are part of who we are. But, if you want to make the most of your career and life in general, JUST WEAVE these two words into the fabric of your approach to LIFE in 2023: “CHALLENGE YOURSELF!”

There is nobody who can doubt that setting goals is one of the most important life-changing scenarios. Regardless of whether the life-changing scenario is big, with audacious goals or just a small adjustment, it takes a lot of courage to get committed.

Whilst we seem to have no problems identifying goals we want to accomplish, putting these plans into action is frequently much more difficult than we think. Why?

This is essentially because of two issues:

  • There is lack of self-discipline and motivation contributing to this behavior.
  • It could also be because of low self-efficacy as deep down one doesn’t believe that one can achieve their plans.

SELF-EFFICACY is an individual’s belief that he or she will be able to accomplish a specific task. It is believed that an essential component to accomplishing something is our confidence that we can. Thus, self-efficacy drives one’s motivation – Albert Bandura.

Dear Reader, try to ponder on these questions, as honestly as you can:

  • What are the factors affecting your self-efficacy?
  • How can you develop more confidence in your abilities?
  • What are the most important things you need to know about the influence of your mind on your achievements?

There are some ways of challenging oneself that are better than others. Research seems to agree on three fundamental conditions on changing oneself:

  1. They take you out of your comfort zone without putting you in serious danger.
  2. They provide you with an intense, accelerated learning experience.
  3. They help you develop skills and attitudes that are highly valuable to you in life.

 12 Ways To Challenge Yourself

“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do” – Leonardo da Vinci.

Introducing your own challenges at work or at home will not only improve your career performance, but also provide the perfect opportunity to enhance your skills and future career prospects.  By adopting this approach in your current role, you will gain invaluable skills and experience in 2023 that will seamlessly transfer into your next position when you’re ready to move on.

  1. Push Yourself Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I have stepped outside my comfort zone enough to know that, yes, the world does fall apart, but not in the way that you fear – Tan Le

Every job or task has certain tasks that involve a bit more thought and time investment, which many of us tend to shy away from during our day-to-day work life.  In order to challenge yourself, you have to take these tasks head on; embrace the challenge and learn something new from it.

If you feel like you’ve exhausted your own role and the responsibilities within it, try to take on new projects and opportunities that are not normally expected of you.  Specifically consider projects that push you out of your comfort zone, challenge your strengths and address your weaknesses.

But it’s not being out of your comfort zone that gives the results, it’s the length of the stretch you are about to make when out of it.

I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you that you probably don’t know anything about – Joel Osteen

2. Be Competitive

I am competitive and I feel bad when we lose. You can see it in me when we’ve lost. I’m in a bad way. I don’t like to talk to anyone – Lionel Messi

A little competition can go a long way at work.  This doesn’t necessarily mean trying to beat other employees as this can generate conflict and make you unpopular in the office or staffroom.  What you need to do is to simply try to be the best that you can be. Try to consider your past achievements and use them as a basis to define new goals to work towards.  Always try to push yourself that little bit further.

It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. Your book is going to impress, but in the end it is people that are going to hire you – Mike Davidson

Most of our engagement at work may only be within our teams so what about learning from others. It really plays a vital part in our overall career success.  Make sure you stay connected not only with your own team members, but also with the wider corporate network. It is an excellent way of selling yourself. You just never know what is around the corner but colleagues whom you have known for years may just be the antidote for a career change.

By communicating with other departments and colleagues in different positions, you will gain a different perspective, which you can then apply to your own processes and make your job better or safer.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate

Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill – Christopher Parker

Everyone is guilty of procrastination at work from time to time.  We put off tasks that we don’t want to do in favour of more mundane tasks, which quickly makes us feel bored at work. In order to combat procrastination, a shift in attitude and the way you approach work is necessary.  Don’t wait for the perfect time to do something.  Seize the moment and try hard to do things as they occur rather than putting them off and waiting for the perfect time to occur.

  1. Be Independent

We all need assistance from colleagues from time to time, but try to fulfill your job responsibilities with minimum help.  Completing a task on your own from start to finish, will not only make you feel more challenged, but will provide a greater sense of achievement and accomplishment.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” – Albert Einstein

Remember that your success and devotion not only benefit the company, but also advances your own skill set and increases your employability.  In this instance, it’s important that you don’t always wait for your boss to delegate tasks to you.  Take initiative and look for new tasks that you can take on.  Be open to change and always give 100% at work to make the most of every opportunity.

  1. Evaluate And Re-evaluate Your Skills and Flaws

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions” – Stephen Covey

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan

Don’t wait for a work review to evaluate your performance, instead you should constantly evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to your position.  By fully understanding your competencies, you are better able to overcome the negative aspects of your performance and utilize the positive ones.

Pay particular attention to your flaws and try to take on different roles that can help you to improve upon them.  Always be open to learning new skills and building upon your existing skill set in order to enhance your current position as well as future career prospects.

  1. Figure Out What You’re Scared Of – And Do It For One Week Consistently.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill

If you’re in sales, and you’re scared of talking to people personally or over the phone, then you have a problem. You can’t just relate with your clients online, can you? Now, instead of crippling in fear and automatically thinking you’ll fail, spend at least five minutes a day to pick up the phone and make a call to a prospect. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you may embarrass yourself. And yes, someone may hang up on you. But don’t stop on the first try, just yet! You’ll get the hang of it eventually. After a while, you can look at fear in the eyes and say, “Go on, I’m not scared!”

  1. Aim High in Your Career

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears” – Les Brown

Big, bold career goals can really challenge you and help you grow as a person. But I’m not talking about theoretical goals though, that you dream of achieving, all the while spending most of your time watching TV. I’m talking about well-defined career goals that you work to achieve.

These goals can relate to the amount of money you make, the number of people you impact through your work, the role you play in a company, or the magnitude of the projects you manage. Whatever floats your boat!

The main point is that by setting and pursuing such goals, you will be forced to develop as a person. You’ll need to study, to develop your expertise in your field, to innovate and to take calculated risks. All of this implies unbelievable self-growth.

  1. Have A Positive Attitude

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

Having a positive attitude is one of the most attractive assets in an employee. Always approach tasks – even difficult ones – with a positive attitude and a belief that you can do it.  Don’t underestimate yourself or your abilities, and carry out your position with dedication and enthusiasm.

By making these simple changes to your position, you will not only feel more challenged at work through the tasks that you take on, but you will also improve your own skill set and future career prospects.

  1. Physical Exercise

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

Physical exercise is often talked about as a way to be healthy and stay in shape. I see another side to it, though. I see it as a good way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Ever since August 2015 when I challenged myself to walk 30-35 kilometres a week, I have never faltered. I walk everyday and the benefits have been astounding!

This is because when you exercise, you put in some degree of effort. Whether you’re running, or lifting weights, or jumping rope, some sort of physical and mental exertion is involved. And this exertion has many benefits in terms of self-growth.

Through regular exercise, not only that you train your body and you develop your strength, speed, endurance and so on, but you also train your mind. You develop willpower, vigilance and confidence. And there are now studies that show regular physical exercise is associated with a higher level of perseverance and determination, which you know, are important in life.

Aside from the obvious reason that exercise can help you maintain your regular weight or shed those unnecessary pounds, it can also aid in making you feel better about yourself, by releasing endorphins.

  1. Make Failure A Learning Process

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

Regardless of how smart or hardworking one is, failure is inevitable. Everyone makes mistakes or fails to meet expectations at some point in their professional lives, and it’s important to frame those situations correctly or a career can be sidetracked. Again, the leader has much power here.

Employees will go further for a leader who they know has their back. It’s important to build your employee back up after a failure and get them back on their feet again as soon as possible. Discuss the failure as a learning opportunity, and avoid being overly critical or berating them about the issue. Make sure they know that you view failure as a necessary part of growth and innovation, and that you see great things for the person ahead.

  1. Push Yourself Out Of Complacency

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” -Jimmy Dean

There’s a natural tendency for us to gravitate towards what we’re good at doing. Then we get stuck there because we’ve gotten comfortable.

This kind of stasis can be too much of a good thing and inhibit growth. Try pushing yourself to try things you have potential for and give yourself the opportunity to take a risk.

Remind yourself that it’s about the effort, not just innate skills.

 “Our society worships talent, and many people assume that possessing superior intelligence or ability—along with confidence in that ability—is a recipe for success. In fact, however, more than 35 years of scientific investigation suggests that an over-emphasis on intellect or talent leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings” – Stanford Psychology Professor, Carol S. Deck

  1. Travel And Allow Yourself To Be Interested In New People

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

We’re not talking about the expensive kind of travelling here. Something cost-effective like going to your local museum or visiting the resort in the next city can all count as travelling! Here, don’t just limit yourself to your fellow travelers – try to connect with the service staff, like the lifeguard, or the receptionist, or the tour guide. You never know what kind of people they’re going to be. Get out of your house or go online right now to book your class – ONCE things get back to normality.

Start now and learn to challenge yourself from time to time. We all need a little push once in a while.

Surely, our challenges are way out there, seemingly unrealistic at the time being. It is only when we step out of our comfort zone in a resolute manner, reaching further than we were used to, that we begin in earnest to yearn for more.

I don’t know about you, but I find the strategies above are like the pieces of a puzzle. Putting them all together and what you have is a lifestyle that entails constantly challenging yourself and growing in all the relevant directions: you grow socially, you stimulate your mind and body, you develop your expertise and you get wiser each day.

Good luck in all your endeavours. Any comments of yours on ways you are challenging yourself in 2018 would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



“A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.” ― Veronica Roth

“Beware of those who criticize you when you deserve some praise for an achievement, for it is they who secretly desire to be worshiped.” ― Suzy Kassem,

“You can always tell when someone deserves the praise and recognition they receive, because it humbles them rather than inflating their ego.”Ashly Lorenzana

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen R. Covey

“In the arena of human life, the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”– Aristotle

The above quotes are illustrative of how we realise the power and influence of praise and recognition in our day to day living. Through motivating others, be it individuals or team members, offering praise and recognition for a job well done can be an extremely powerful tool in changing dynamics at work, school or home.

Network Monitoring AccountFIRST, here’s a fun exercise:

  • Think of your current line manager – On a scale of one to ten (one being the worst) rate their skills of recognizing, praising and rewarding hard work and achievement.
  • Now rate yourself: How well do you recognize and praise your students; employees, colleagues or your own children?

Certainly, that exercise might not have been quite as fun.

Why do we need praise?

There is no secret on how being praised often makes people feel good. Human aspects of pride, pleasure and increased feelings of self-esteem are all common reactions to being paid a compliment or receiving positive feedback, be it from colleagues, senior management OR even from our students!

It seems praise aims at fulfilling two important functions:

  1. Praise is the number one tool available to you to release energy and motivation in your people.
  2. Praise educates the people around you regarding what you like about their approach and encourages them to do more of it.

This is because being praised triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that mediates pleasure in the brain. It is released during pleasurable situations and stimulates one to seek out the pleasurable activity or occupation. It helps in controlling the reward and pleasure centres of the brain. As well as making us feel good, dopamine can also contribute to innovative thinking and creative problem-solving at work.

Time To Grow UpThese positive effects, however, are relatively short-lived, and for praise to have an enduring impact on employees, students or children’s engagement, it needs to be offered regularly. A senior employee at famous performance management consultancy, the Gallup Organisation hinted that “recognition is a short-term need that has to be satisfied on an ongoing basis”. Furthermore, in another Gallup research, it reported that employees who report that they are not adequately recognised at work are three times more likely to say they will leave in the following year.

The impact of praise

Psychologists and researchers have long been fascinated by the effects of praise on workplace performance and behaviour, and what this means for organisations. In a survey of more than four million employees about the importance of praise and recognition conducted by Gallup Organisation the results were fascinating:

  • employees who receive regular praise are more productive, engaged and more likely to stay with their organisation than those who do not.
  • employees who are praised receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers.
  • employees who are recognized for their efforts even enjoy better health than employees who are not.

 Delivering praise

There is a great deal of empirical evidence suggesting how praising employees at work can be beneficial. However, the most important aspect in which the praise is delivered has a significant bearing on its effectiveness. Research points out that only genuine achievements should be praised, and that empty words have little or no value.

Indeed, it is alleged that ‘unearned praise can do more harm to an individual and a workgroup than none at all’. It not only prevents employees from knowing when they need to improve, but it can diminish the impact of the genuine praise that is offered at other times.

Similarly, students or children who are praised for being inherently ‘good’ at something are less likely to take on new challenges than those who are praised for their approach to the task. When it comes to praising students or children, Carol Dweck, a psycholgist’s advice is to ‘focus on the processes they used – their strategies, effort or choices’.

cropped-learning.pngResearch highlights the value of constructive feedback; where managers should be specific about which aspects of their team members’ performance have particularly impressed them and why.

There’s little doubt that praising and recognising the efforts and achievements of others can bring about some very positive results in the workplace. Being praised makes the recipient

  • feel good about themselves
  • help to boost their performance
  • experience an ‘uplift’ that can increase employee’s morale, motivation and engagement
  • renew their commitment to their manager and the organisation.

For praise to have this kind of impact, however, it needs to be delivered effectively.

Only genuine achievements should be praised, and managers should ensure their feedback is constructive and specific.

Seeking Recognition

Recognition is being seen to be good or bad in some act. It can be either positive or negative. Effective recognition has the following characteristics:

  • It is positive in nature
  • It is immediately connected to performance
  • It is specific about what is being praised
  • It is close to the action

We want and cherish praise and recognition in determining the values of our school or organization. Thus, in today’s world, praise and recognition are communication vehicles for that which is deemed important. The top tips below are tried and tested techniques to praise and recognition.


  1. Never WAIT!

The more time that passes between great performance and recognition, the lower the impact of that recognition. Immediately is never too soon.

  1. Credit where credit’s due

It’s no secret that both giving and receiving praise makes us feel good: we’re psychologically wired to function in a receive-give and give-receive kind of environment. When we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction in what we’ve achieved, our brain releases the hormone dopamine, immediately awakening the reward and pleasure areas of our brain

  1. Be specific

Generic praise is nice but specific praise is wonderful. Don’t just tell an employee you did a good job; tell them how they did a good job. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but will also know you pay attention to what they do.

The added impetus is that they will know exactly what to do the next time in a similar situation.Never Stop

4. Be genuine

Never praise for the sake of praising. It will become obvious to everyone if it is “forced” and will lessen the impact when you really do mean what you say: the real praise and recognition.

5. Save constructive feedback for later

Many of our bosses, albeit inherently, toss in a little feedback while praising a colleague or employee. They will say “how great you did . . . but next time you might want to consider . . .” Oh! No! It just leaves a sour taste to the praise as “. . . all I hear is what I should do next time.”

Advice: Praise and recognize now! It is better to save performance improvement opportunities later.

6. Go hunting

Are you one of those bosses who are conditioned to spending time looking for issues or problems to correct and resolve? If so, it will do you a lot of good by just spending a little time trying to catch colleagues or employees doing good things, too.

7. Be surprising at some point

Birthday presents are nice, but unexpected gifts make an even bigger impact. Unexpected recognition is always more powerful, too. Winning “Employee of the Week” is nice, but receiving a surprise visit from the owner because you won back a lost client is awesome.


8. Strike a balance

It is much easier to recognize some of your best employees because they are consistently doing great things. However, finding ways to spread the positive vibe around is golden.

Whilst it is going to be hard to find reasons to recognize some of the less than stellar employees, the fact that they are there means they are part of the team. By giving just a little encouragement may be all a poor or average performer needs to turn the productivity corner.

9. Create a CULTURE

By making praise and recognition something you measure, may at first sound cheesy and forced, but the more it is done, the quicker it will be embraced.

The ripple effect to it is that peer pressure and natural competitiveness are promoted. Employees become happy to assist and accomplish things worthy of praise so as to report great stuff to the boss or fellow colleagues.

10. Treat employees like snowflakes

We all respond differently to praise and recognition. There are many of us who may appreciate public praise but, then equally so, there are those among us, who just want a quiet word. Some of us cringe when made the centre of attraction.

Surely, knowing your employees, students or children and tailoring your recognition so it produces the greatest impact for each individual is a bonus.

Exper ExperienceAnd remember:

Dear Boss, just remember that:

Recognizing our effort and achievement is self-reinforcing. When you do a better job of recognizing us, we tend to perform better. We will come to work happy, ready and eager to perform because we know we are a TEAM as Together Everyone Achieves More.

So dear folks, praise and recognition are essential building blocks of a great workplace. We all possess the need to be recognized as individuals and to feel a sense of accomplishment. There is nothing complicated about recognition, but it is one of the items that consistently receives the lowest ratings from our bosses.

Let me hope that, that room for improvement, is now. Let us start with our little ones and build it up from there.


Good luck in all your endeavours.



The Excellent Ways To Instill Life-Long Lessons In Our Children & Students

ONE of my three books Good Manners Will Make You . . . A Lady/Gentleman & Other Life Lessons – The Excellent Ways To Instill Life-Long Lessons In Our Children & Students – is a culmination of lived experiences, lessons learned and many dozens in-service training and career development courses spanning over twenty years. I have had a very eventful life teaching in diverse classrooms in three cosmopolitan cities in three continents: Africa, Europe and Asia. I have worked in Harare, Zimbabwe (January 1994- January 2001); London and Kent (February 2001-August 2011); and Cairo, Egypt (September 2011 to present) with a term’s stint in Baku, Azerbaijan. I have also worked for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)and Edexcel (Pearson) as an English Examiner rising to Team Leader position.

MY BOOK calls upon an array of individuals – parents and guardians, teachers, and all administrators – who have contact with children and students, to do more, learn more, and help the young men and ladies to excel. It is a clarion call for help from the society to do more to have responsible citizens!

The Excellent Ways To Instill Life-long Lessons In Our Children & Students

The many topics addressed in Good Manners Will Make You A . . .  Lady/Gentleman & Other Life Lessons reflect on the different issues our children, and students alike, face as they grow up into adulthood. Thus, helping, instilling, and teaching them to master the simple rules of etiquette will get them noticed, for all the right reasons.

Students and children, who demonstrate basic etiquette and social skills as well as show respect and consideration for others, create a more positive impression in the eyes of their peers and the adults in their lives. As a result, they are more likely to be presented with opportunities that allow them to grow and thrive. This has a major impact on their ability to excel both academically and socially, and also plays a role in determining which colleges or universities will accept them as students.

Good Manners Will Make You A . . .  Lady/ A Gentleman & Other Life Lessons can be used for individual work or for building a thoughtful and receptive community that is never shy of work, commitments, being considerate, and, ultimately, becoming law-abiding citizens.

In How To Make Our Students & Children Do Anything We Ask Of Them, I have developed a hands-on piece of work for parents, guardians, and teachers, which will project a new way of thinking by applying the language of persuasion and influence to our students and children. By the end of the book, parents, guardians and teachers – and any custodians of our children – will be on a new trajectory, where interaction with our students and children will never be the same again. It is about how these young ones can do anything we ask of them through:

  • CHANGING the words we use, making it easy to create drastic changes in behavior.
  • EXPLAINING and CREATING the illusion of choice and
  • CREATING leading questions.

This, in short, is a summary of hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming expert Alicia Eaton’s book: Written Words That Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything. In her book, she reveals the above three simple tricks that every Teacher and Parent should try.

In yet another thought-provoking article: Ways To Develop Critical Thinking Skills Among Our Children & Adults Alike, the issue of our students and children is handled through a differentdimension, which is teaching them to be critical thinkers by addressing FIVE key components: i) What is Critical Thinking? ii) What Do You Want To Achieve? iii) The Benefit of Foresight; iv) Critical Thinking Skills, and v) 10 Common Critical Thinking Skills. Below, I will address…

RESPONSIBILITY to yourself, which means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work ― Adrienne Rich

In a step-by-step approach to acquiring critical thinking skills, another article, Training Reasoning Skills To Our Students & Children, will help them acquire more reasoned arguments and draw out the inferences that they need to use in their assignments, projects and examination questions as well as in their general day to day living. Thus, once the parameters have been set up for developing critical thinking among students, it is equally important to instill the reasoning behind certain assumptions.

Furthermore, in another more interesting article: Amazing Ways To Challenging Our behaviors, the onus is on YOU, the adult. I urge you to be more proactive, considerate, and assertive. Simply put, this article is the road to commitment as . . .

 “We create our fate every day . . . most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our behavior.” ― Henry Miller

No matter how committed one is to a particular course of action or set of values, often our behaviors get in the way. In effect, we might want something but do the very things that stop us from achieving them. A good example from daily life is the commitment we make to go on a diet after the excesses of the festive season, only to have our ambition thwarted as we reach for one of our favorite foods. In essence, our actions can counter our original commitment. Indeed, our actions themselves can be based on a counter-commitment, behind which is a big assumption. Only by first addressing our big assumptions can we start changing our behaviors to align them with one’s original beliefs and commitments.

It is quite clear that we have to ‘attack’ both our assumptions and our competing commitments to stop sabotaging our principles and beliefs.

Similarly, in another closely related topic: Effortless Ways To Resolving Conflict: Be It At Home, School Or Work, will arm our students and children with new ways to handle conflict resolution. The article offers practical suggestions that will help diffuse escalating situations from getting worse.Here, conflict is seen as more than just a disagreement. It is a situation in which one or both parties perceive a threat (whether or not the threat is real). The key fact derived from the article is quite simple:when a conflict is mismanaged, it can cause great harm to a relationship, but when handled in a respectful, positive way, conflict provides an opportunity to strengthen the bond between two people or groups of people.

Ultimately, by learning skills for conflict resolution, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and growing.

Still, in line with creating young ladies and young gentlemen in our children and students alike, praise and recognition should be at the core. In the article: How Praise And Recognition Can Change Attitude @ Home, Work And School, a plethora of issues is explored. At its core, the article addresses the many facets of these three quotes:

  1. “A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.” ― Veronica Roth
  2. “Beware of those who criticize you when you deserve some praise for an achievement, for it is they who secretly desire to be worshipped.” ― Suzy Kassem.
  3. “In the arena of human life, the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”– Aristotle.

The above quotes are illustrative of how we realize the power and influence of praise and recognition in our day to day living. Through motivating others, be it individuals or team members, offering praise and recognition for a job well done can be an extremely powerful tool in changing dynamics at work, school or home.

In our hectic lives, there are moments where certain attitudes need to be taught and others need to be observed and then internalized. In the part, Awesome Habits To Observe On Being A Considerate Colleague, I am looking atRobert Bolt’s masterpiece, A Man For All Seasons, where the Common Man, gives a summation of how we ought to live in this world of ours. He says:

Friends, just don’t – make trouble – or if you must make trouble, make the sort of trouble that’s expected.

Whether you are part of a team or have infrequent contact with others, it is important to ensure that you always behave appropriately or make “the expected trouble” to create harmonious and profitable working relationships.

Vigilantly observe the corporate culture in which you work, and be aware that change will happen. Your eyes and ears are your best resource in this learning process!

Intimately related to being a considerate colleague is the issue of working well with others. As our children and students grow into adulthood, and good citizens, there are certain attitudes we need to instill in them. It is the impetus driven by Essential Ideas On Working Well With Others. Certainly,most workplaces include an element of collaborative working, so it’s important to be aware of how your feelings and behaviors affect others.

We must develop the right habits when it comes to working with others as it will result in leadership opportunities, higher pay, and more rewarding work. These are the essence of why we go to work – right?

Photo by on

In today’s hurly-burly way of living, it is important to develop certain tenets in our lives. In developing and acquiring positive thinking, beliefs, and values that matter, you drive your behaviors in a certain direction. In Awesome Ways To Creating A Positive Mindset, it is quite clear thatmost successful individuals are those who hold positive beliefs and values about themselves and the people around them. This further brings brightness to the eyes, as well as gives more energy, and happiness. Thus, your whole being broadcasts goodwill, happiness, and success.

Closely related to a positive mindset is the 5 Steps To Mental Wellbeing, which will take you to improve your mental health and wellbeing. The UK’s NHS provides a blueprint that can help you feel more positive and get the most out of life, be it, an adult or a child or a student.

Indeed, there are many achievable things one can get from thinking positively.

From addressing our mental wellbeing, I went on to have two articles on SPEAKING. Yes, I am talking about SPEAKING – how do you communicate with your children, students or colleagues? In Simple Tips To Improving Your Verbal Skills, I provide some useful top tips and suggestions on how to develop your skills in this key area.  By relaxing your voice when you communicate, conversation will always feel less forced, indicating that you must remain calm. If you get nervous when you speak in public, take some deep breaths before you start. Always remember to think carefully about what you are going to say before you say it and try to use clear, positive, straightforward language to avoid any misunderstandings.

In the last of many articles, the A-Z Guide To Getting The Best From Your Voice, you will learn how your voice greatly influences other people’s perceptions of you. However, most of us have no idea what we sound like until we hear a recording of our voice. Here, I provide some practical guidance and techniques to help you speak positively and with impact in any situation.

LASTLY, my last four tasks are Self-Help Assessment Tests for you, our children or students. After having completed all/most of the articles in this book, kindly try one or two of these assessments tests. They are not the alpha and omega of good living, but they offer a semblance of what you are. These topics range from ‘How Confident Am I? Low Self-Esteem Assessment Test’, to ‘Responses To Poor Behavior’, and lastly, ‘Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence Assessment Test’. You will enjoy the fun . . . and the outcomes.

DEAR READER, the articles pursued in this book will open up our students and children to new, inspiring horizons. It will also create among them, a community of enquiry together with philosophical enquiries they have never experienced before.

As old:



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


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.


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!!!


CONSIDER these questions first . . .

  • Do you know that your mood and behavior affect performance?
  • How do you work on attaining the consistent, emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors that breed success in yourself and others?
  • How often do you look for good in others?

Many people would agree with me that the way their boss behaves affects the way they do their job.

Whether irritable or unpredictable, upbeat or encouraging, the range of moods to which leaders expose their followers, is generally viewed as having the potential to encourage or inhibit performance.

In a well written research on moods by Goleman et al entitled ‘Primal Leadership: The Hidden Driver of Great Performance’ in the Harvard Business Review of December 2001, the writers demonstrate that this generally accepted truth has empirical support too. In the research spanning over a two-year study, it suggests that a leader’s mood can actually impact directly on organisational performance; to the extent that an organization’s success may actually depend upon its leader having the right kind of moods.

birthday-cake-cake-birthday-cupcakes-40183.jpegResearch On Mood Management

The notion that a leader’s mood affects their staff and, consequently, their organization’s performance, is not new. A number of studies establish a causal link between a leader’s mood and a follower’s performance. Alice Isen of Cornell University, for instance, established that a positive working atmosphere contributes to enhanced mental efficiency, higher information intake and comprehension, and more flexible thinking.

Mood management is defined by our ability to keep powerful emotions in check so that we can make rational decisions that are in our and others’ best interests. The better we are able to stay calm under pressure, the less likely we will overreact and make poor decisions in the workplace.

MOODS are typically described as having either a positive or negative valence. In other words, people usually talk about being in a good mood or a bad mood. People seem to experience a positive mood when they have a clean slate, have had a good night sleep, and feel no sense of stress in their life. Those experiencing negative moods may have important implications for mental and physical well-being. Thus, negative mood has no specific start and stop date. It can last for hours, days, weeks, or longer. Negative moods can also manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior.

Mood also differs from temperament or personality traits which are even longer-lasting.

The Impact Of A Leader’s Mood

Leaders’ moods are important because of their prominent position within the company or organization. The effect is most apparent in open-plan offices shared by the leader; but the bad mood can also spread throughout the organization by first infecting those with whom the leader deals directly, and then moving downwards as the various subordinates interact.

Goleman et tal’s research demonstrates that when leaders are in a happy mood they galvanize good performance and the rest of the office smiles with them. When a leader is in a happy mood:

  • They think more positively about their own goals.
  • They are more creative.
  • They make better decisions
  • They are instinctively more helpful to those around them.

On the negative side, when a leader is often in a negative mood:

  • They are rarely successful.
  • They have a negative influence on their followers, who seldom reach their potential.
  • They will often end up being blamed for poor results.

However, the research points out that in a negative situation, if the leader can recognise the effect they are having early enough, the impact may not be irreversible.

Understanding The Human Brain

A mood is an emotional state and lies with the human brain. The region of the brain which manages emotions, termed the limbic area, is commonly described as operating on an ‘open-loop’ system. Unlike the self-regulating nature of a ‘closed-loop’ system, the limbic area requires external stimulation to operate. Moods are created based on these external influences. The open-loop system explains why, for instance, a sustained period of severe stress affects isolated individuals far more than socially active ones, or why intensive care patients with a loved one constantly nearby are more likely to recover than those without.

It also accounts for the feelings of warm affection shared between couples. Open-loop also accounts for a measurable harmonisation in physiological characteristics, such as heart-rate, between two friends deep in conversation. Finally, in social environments, such as an office or meeting room, individuals rapidly attune to each other’s physiological and emotional states.

A study by Bartel and Saavedra showed astounding results  that monitored seventy work teams in various industries and discovered that, when working closely together, the teams soon began to share moods, both positive and negative.

Negative Moods

It is quite interesting to note that negative moods are not as significant in their effect as positive ones. Put differently, positive moods improve performance more than negative moods which cause performance to deteriorate. Yet, a good mood in itself does little; it has to be the right kind of good mood. At a time of crisis, for example, a smiling, upbeat mood would simply be insensitive. Successful resonance should enable leaders to blend their mood into situations as they present themselves.

Goleman et tal attributes the problem, through leaders who have little idea or fail to notice what resonance, if any, they have with their subordinates. The study authors call this,CEO disease’; namely, a complete lack of awareness by leaders of how they are regarded within the company or organization they lead. This arises not through a lack of concern about how people perceive them – most leaders are extremely keen to find this out. Rather, they mistakenly presume both that they are themselves capable of discerning people’s perception of them; and that negative impressions of them will be communicated directly to the leader.

The CEO Disease can also lie with subordinates who hesitate to tell their boss exactly what they think for fear of being penalised. Less evident is that asking people to comment on how a leader’s emotional disposition affects their work is seen as too unconventional and vague.

The implication is that primal leadership demands more than putting on a game face every day. It requires an executive to determine, through reflective analysis, how his/her emotional leadership drives the moods and actions of the organization, and then, with equal discipline, the need to adjust his/her behavior accordingly.

The solution instead is rather more complex. The Harvard team explain that a person’s emotional skills, while having a genetic component, are significantly influenced by one’s personal life experiences. These in turn build on each other, to the extent that a set pattern of behaviour is difficult to alter. As the authors point out:

‘And therein lies the rub: The more we act a certain way – be it happy, depressed or cranky – the more the behavior becomes ingrained in our brain circuitry, and the more we will continue to feel and act that way.’

group hand fist bump

Five Steps To Managing Your Moods Effectively

The solution proposed by the Harvard team is a five-stage process designed in effect to ‘rewire the brain towards more emotionally intelligent behaviours.’

They outline it as follows:

1. Who do I want to be?

This involves imagining an ideal version of yourself. The team asked leaders to imagine themselves eight years ahead as an effective leader, taking into account how they would feel, what they would do, and who would be there. This exercise encouraged them to envisage how their working and emotional lives might change if they had a different outlook.

2. Who am I now?

This step requires leaders to begin to see themselves as others do. A small element of ‘ego-defence’ is inevitable, and indeed is a useful way of remaining enthusiastic and positive when making difficult decisions. Yet as the team suggest, ‘self-delusion should come in very small doses.’ They suggest remaining continually receptive towards criticism, even going as far as actively inviting negative feedback.

Interestingly, the team also stress that it is important not to focus simply on the leader’s perceived weaknesses. Having an accurate picture of their main strengths provides the motivation and focus for them to concentrate on counteracting their weaknesses.

3. How do I get from here to there?

The Harvard research team suggest that the learning process might take the form of the leader requesting written, anonymous feedback from every team member about their mood and its affect on the team.

Other techniques might include a weekly diary in order to compare, week by week, the leader’s self-perception with that of those around him, or the appointment of one or two carefully chosen colleagues to act as both coach and devil’s advocate.

It must be understood that any change will be gradual and will only be successful if the leader’s increased state of awareness is fairly constant. Paying more attention to new methods of behaviour in itself acts as stimulation for the breaking of former habits and the experimentation with new ones.

4. How do I make change stick?

As already suggested, altering ingrained behaviour patterns requires continual rehearsal. But modifying one’s actions in practice is not the only way that these patterns can be altered. This can actually occur merely by visualising a different method of behaviour: ‘imagining something in vivid detail can fire the same brain cells actually involved in doing that activity…So to alleviate the fears associated with trying out riskier ways of leading, we should first visualize some likely scenarios.’ This can be done anywhere when the leader has some spare time, e.g. while travelling to work, or when waiting for colleagues to arrive at a meeting.

5. Who can help me?

The final stage involves forming what the Harvard team term ‘a community of supporters.’ They cite an executive learning programme carried out by Unilever where managers came together in regular learning groups, initially to discuss career and leadership ideas. This gradually evolved as trust built up between the executives to include frank discussion about each others’ technique and performance. The advantage of such an approach is that ‘people we trust let us try out unfamiliar parts of our leadership repertoire without risk.’

Thus, it is important that once you are aware of an emotion, you can trace its cause and change it. Left unchanged, an extended period of emotion becomes your “mood.” A very extended mood can also develop into a character trait. Some people remain trapped in a chronically negative mood which then affects their state and subsequently influences others.

Surely, the ability to manage your own state is fundamental to managing yourself and to influencing the state of another person. Given the high probability of disappointment, failed expectations and loss in the world, we are vulnerable to being pushed into a negative state unless we have learned to self-manage.

THE BAD NEWS is that a leader’s mood affects corporate results.

THE GOOD NEWS is that moods, while certainly ingrained in our individual psyches, are not fixed there permanently.

THUS, with recourse to the proper techniques, unproductive mood swings and harmful fluctuations of temperament can be reduced; to the good of a leader, staff members and organisation alike.

I am sure I didn’t ruffle up a few feathers

Good luck in all your endeavours to improve your image.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL.


HIGH SCHOOL is a key point in a student’s education because of the importance it carries in terms of writing skills. Writing is a big part of every High School student’s life. In fact, students write more than ever before – from school research papers to essays on standardized tests to texting their friends. Yet, writing problems abound.

According to the latest US-based results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), only 24% of twelfth-graders are at or above the proficient level in writing and only 3% write at an advanced level.

While these results are disappointing, the overall effect on student achievement is a larger concern: writing problems can greatly hinder college and career success. The good news is that with hard work, patience, and targeted help, High School writing problems can be overcome.

It is crucial to develop competent writing skills for the future, but students often encounter challenges in terms of writing. In order to help them, parents need to understand these challenges and learn the best way to face them in order to help their children.

IMPROVING students’ writing skills help them succeed inside and outside the classroom. Effective writing is a vital component of students’ literacy achievement, and writing is a critical communication tool for students to convey thoughts and opinions, describe ideas and events, and analyze information. Indeed, writing is a life-long skill that plays a key role in post-secondary success across academic and vocational disciplines. So, firstly …

HS Teacher and StudentWhat is Proficient High School Writing?

By understanding High School writing proficiency standards, parents can be more effective in helping their children meet grade-level expectations. At the proficient level or above, High School students are able to plan, draft, and complete error-free essays.

High School students should know how to select the appropriate form of writing for various audiences and purposes, including narrative, expository, persuasive, descriptive, business, and literary forms. Any type of essay writing!

Students in all grades should exhibit an increasing facility with . . .

  • complex sentence structures,
  • more sophisticated vocabulary,
  • and an evolving individual writing style.

When revising selected drafts, students are expected to improve the development of a central theme, the logical organization of content, and the creation of meaningful relationships among ideas.

In addition, students must edit their essays for the correct use of Standard English.

What Does Your Writing Look Like?

How much do you relate to these three questions:

  1. Do you make errors in SPaG – Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar?
  2. Do you have poorly constructed sentences and unsuitable word choices?
  3. Is there a lack of organization or supporting ideas in your essays?

These three questions are relatable. Writing at High School is a complex intellectual task involving many component skills, some of which students may lack completely, or others may have only partially mastered by the time they leave High School. The few good to excellent ones do so by harnessing various skills chief among which, are overcoming certain challenges.

These certain writing mechanics which High School students need to master before moving on to paragraphs and then essays include:

  • Correctly identifying the parts of a sentence.
  • Understanding complex sentences.
  • Learning subject-verb agreement.
  • Differentiating between plural and possessive nouns.
  • Using pronouns, adjectives and adverbs in sentences.
  • Identifying and spelling words that often confuse writers.
  • Correctly using commas, semicolons, and other punctuation.
  • Proofreading their writing for errors.

Writing has now become a huge part of every student’s life, starting with the simplest content to the most complex writing pieces. At this point, students are asked to craft different types of essays, research papers and other kinds of creative writing tasks.

The reason for this increase in variety of papers lies in the importance writing carries in students’ lives during and after their education. Writing is a skill students will need for the future, which is why it is crucial to develop it to the proper level.

HS Two Girls22 Common Writing Mistakes & Overcoming Them

It’s not a secret that errors in Grammar and Punctuation are one of the main reasons why people lose their marks in academic papers. This is a great problem for many High School students who may use wrong words, confuse prepositions and conjunctions, miss auxiliary verb or simply are not familiar with punctuation rules.

A number of High School students need to master skills involving, among other things:


Reading comprehension is not an innate and largely fixed mental ability related to levels of intelligence, but a series of skills that have to be mastered for effective understanding and analysis to take place.

To improve your COMPREHENSIVE SKILLS you should:

  • Understand the author’s thoughts
  • Understand diction, mood and tone.
  • Reflect on the meaning of the words and sentences.
  • Read and reread.

Complicating matters is the fact that many students’ reading skills are also poor. For example, if they cannot recognize the main point of an argument in their reading, they obviously cannot respond to this point in their writing. In addition, students often lack the meta-cognitive skills (planning, monitoring, and assessing one’s understanding and performance) to recognize the areas in which their prior knowledge and skills are insufficient – and thus, which skills they need to work to improve on.

To improve your ANALYTICAL SKILLS you should . . .

  • Identify a topic, problem or issue.
  • Gather information.
  • Play complicated brain games.
  • Join a book or debate club.
  • Think multiple sides to a problem.
  • Read extensively.

A key element to analytical thinking is the ability to quickly identify cause and effect relationships. This means understanding what might happen during the problem-solving process, for example, and examining how new ideas relate to the original topic.

Most analytical thinking requires trial and error. Students with strong analytical thinking skills are often capable of quickly analyzing a situation, topic or problem, and often work well in a team setting to accomplish goals.


There are many mistakes that students are faced with, chief among which, include:

    • Writing mechanics: grammar, sentence structure, spelling.
    • Planning a writing strategy.
    • Communicating ideas clearly and concisely.
    • Constructing a reasoned, demonstrable argument.
    • Effectively marshaling evidence and using sources appropriately.
    • Organizing ideas effectively.

When students lack skills in these areas, their writing may be unsatisfactory in multiple ways – from poor grammar and syntax to unclear organization to weak reasoning and arguments.

Unfortunately, the majority of students still fail to develop their writing skills even after finishing High School. The reasons for this are numerous, including insufficient word stock and writing mechanics. Even the most talented students need to learn how to understand complex sentences, differentiate between different nouns, use proper punctuation and proofread their writing for errors.


A sentence fragment is a sentence that’s missing a subject (the thing doing the action) or a verb (the action). Watch out for this in your writing!

  • Example: Going to the football game this afternoon.
  • Solution: I am going to the football game this afternoon.


Many languages do not use articles (a, an, the), so, some students tend to miss them in their writing. Articles (a, an, the) are determiners or noun markers that function to specify if the noun is general or specific in its reference.

  • The articles a and an are indefinite articles. They are used with a singular countable noun when the noun referred to is nonspecific or generic.
  • The article the is a definite article. It is used to show specific reference and can be used with both singular and plural nouns and with both countable and uncountable nouns.


A coordinating conjunction connects two clauses that could be sentences on their own.

You can use the acronym FANBOYS to remember the most common coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Unless the clauses are very short and closely related, you need a comma before the conjunction. If you forget to put a comma before the conjunction, it becomes a run-on sentence. What is wrong with these sentences?

  • My dog barks at the mailman but she’s too lazy to chase him.
  • I enjoy going to the movies first I have to finish my homework.

Solution: Check to see if the clauses before and after the conjunction could be sentences on their own. If so, insert a comma before the conjunction. Now, notice where the comma has been placed:

  • My dog barks at the mailman, but she’s too lazy to chase him.
  • I enjoy going to the movies, but first, I have to finish my homework.


Singular subjects take singular verbs and plural subjects take plural verbs. Identify the mistakes in these sentences:

  • Michael study at the library every day.
  • She drive every day.

Here is the correct way to write these sentences:

  • Michael studies at the library every day.
  • She drives every day.


Modifiers are words, phrases, or clauses that add description to sentences. A squinting modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that could modify the word before it or the word after it; however, making unclear which one. Identify the error below:

  • Students who study rarely get bad grades.

A squinting modifier can usually be corrected by changing its position in the sentence. The solution is to put the modifier next to the word it should modify. For example:

  • Students who rarely study get bad grades. OR: Students who study get bad grades rarely.

Other common errors within the class of modifiers include:  dangling modifiers, which describe something that is not in the sentence, and misplaced modifier which describes something in your sentence that is not what you intended it to.

Modifiers tend to be descriptive words, such as adjectives and adverbs and must clearly show the word, usually noun being modified. Always watch for their correct use!


Interrupters are little thoughts in the middle of a thought, added to show emotion, tone or emphasis providing additional detail.. Thus, when we use an interrupter in the middle of a sentence, it should be emphasized with commas. Always remember to put commas around interrupters.

  • WRONG: It was unfortunately the end of winter vacation.
  • CORRECT: It was, unfortunately, the end of winter vacation.


Many spelling mistakes occur when incorrect homophones (words with the same pronunciation, such as “right,” “rite,” and “write”) are used in a sentence. I have a whole lot of homophones here:


Correct these sentences:

  • Watch you’re words!
  • Spell-check may not sea words that are miss used because they are spelled rite!

The correct way for these sentences are:

  • Watch your words!
  • Spell check may not see words that are misused because they are spelled right!


This occurs when a writer, either intentionally or unintentionally, uses far too many words or unnecessarily complex or abstract words. Wordiness can seriously detract from the coherency and quality of your writing and will likely frustrate your readers.

Good writing is simple and direct; it uses the simplest word possible that conveys the same meaning. Wordiness takes away from this clarity.

A sentence is wordy if it uses more words than necessary to convey meaning. Wordiness often makes writing unclear.

  • Shona ended up having to walk all the way home due to the fact that she missed the last train leaving Central Station.

SOLUTION: Identify long phrases that can be replaced with a single word. Try to . . .

  • Eliminate words that have the same meaning.
  • Eliminate weak words, such as “basically” and “sort of.”
  • Eliminate nonessential information.

The above sentence, can, thus be corrected as . . .

  • Shona walked home because she missed the last train.


This is closely related to WORDINESS but here the problem is with the use of conjunctions/transitions or simply using words as sign-posts.. Proper linking words and phrases is actually not that simple for many people, but quite essential for High School students who have to write essays, reports, articles, etc. Each of these papers requires linking one idea/argument to another and developing coherence within a paragraph.

Here is a comprehensive list of transitions for you to apply to your writing:



The vast majority of nouns in the English language are made plural by adding an “s” or “es” to the end of the word. For example, book, apple, house, table, cat, and boss are just some of the many words that become plural with the simple addition of an “s” or “es” – books, apples, houses, tables, cats, and bosses, respectively.

However, certain nouns have irregular plurals that do not behave in this standard way. And, even though most irregular plural nouns follow a pattern, there are several different patterns to watch out for:

Noncount nouns (also called collective nouns) have no plural form because they are assumed to be plural. Most abstract nouns are noncount nouns. Some examples are: hair, grass , or mud.

  • There are many different styles of hair.
  • There are several varieties of grass.
  • There are three different kinds of mud.

Unchanging Nouns – Certain other nouns have the same singular and plural form. A large number of animals happen to follow this rule. These examples will be spelled the same: deer, fish, bison, moose, shrimp, or elk.


One of the core problems students have with writing is that they are not able to write a clear, understandable and strong thesis statement.


You may come across a similar problem while writing the essay. However, if you do some practice and check ideas of thesis statements on the web, then it will be easy for you to come up with a well-defined and quality thesis statement.


A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Learning to write good paragraphs will help you as a writer stay on track during your drafting and revision stages. Good paragraphing also greatly assists your readers in following a piece of writing.

You can have fantastic ideas, but if those ideas aren’t presented in an organized fashion, you will lose your readers (and fail to achieve your goals in writing).

The basic rule of thumb with paragraphing is to keep one idea to one paragraph. If you begin to transition into a new idea, it belongs in a new paragraph.


Very closely related to the thesis statement is text structure. All High School essays/compositions have a certain structure which every student must master. Typically, they all are based on three main components: introduction, main body and conclusion.

You may be surprised, but many students have problems with structuring their work for a variety of reasons, the main one   of which is the inability to draw up every single part considering the singularity of all other. The only way out is improving the knowledge, supplementing the vocabulary and practicing essay/composition writing. The second is reading how good students overcome this through peer editing/reading exemplar work.

Consequently, exemplar texts, whether published or created by teachers or peers, can clearly illustrate specific features of effective writing. As practice shows, both of them can lead to the desired result.


If you are having a hard time writing an essay, then you should write enough examples to support your arguments. Another major mistake students make is that they do not provide enough proof or evidence to clarify their viewpoints.

When in High School, students must learn how to argument their thoughts and ideas in order to be able to write important pieces of content later on, such as an admission letter or even their resume.

To overcome this, I have looked at argumentative/discursive essays and come up with the acronym: RACPpER SEE to aid High School students in their writing. The link below will help you:



It refers to the practice of varying the length and structure of sentences to avoid monotony and provide appropriate emphasis.

“Sentence variety is a means by which the writer helps the reader to understand which ideas are most important, which ideas support or explain other ideas, etc. Variety of sentence structures is also a part of style and voice.”

To add variety, mix up your sentence structure. Some ways to do this include:

Starting with an adverb:

  1. Suddenly, she jumped to her feet and ran to the door.
  2. Unfailingly, he arrives at work at 6 AM every morning.

Beginning the sentence with a prepositional phrase (a phrase that modifies a noun or verb):

  1. In the garden, she worked to clear out the weeds and deadhead the flowers.
  2. Before purchasing a new couch, it’s important to measure your doorway.

Inverting the subject and verb in the sentence:

  • Sprinting to the train, she made it just before the doors closed.
  • Using baking soda and vinegar, you can unclog your shower drain.


Writing the introduction is as important as writing the conclusion in an essay. Basically, your essay should consist of three main parts: the introduction, the body section, and the conclusion.

The conclusion is often missed or ignored by students, and it can lead them to leave a bad impression on the marker.


Quotation marks are an essential punctuation which serve to set off text (as in a quote, a phrase, or a dialogue). However, they are often appropriated for purposes the punctuation was not meant to handle.

Thus, used in the wrong place, these little punctuation marks can really “change the meaning” of a sign or words.

  • –  APOSTROPHE:  It is used in contractions and to indicate a possessive. No space before or after.  Eg.
    • That cat’s cute.
    • Mike’s cat is ugly. It’s not its fault.
  • ‘ ’INVERTED COMMAS:  It is used for short quotes, answers and media titles. Thus, wrap words at the beginning and the end of the quote, eg:
    • The answer is ‘A’
    • He said ‘OK’ and went on captioning ‘The Young and the Restless’.
  •  “ ”DOUBLE QUOTATION MARKS:  It is used for long and direct quotes.Wrap words at beginning and end of the quote. Eg:
    • She said, “Use double quotes when quoting poems, prose or conversation.”
    • Example to avoid: We offer the ‘best price in town’!
  • How to Avoid: If you’re not quoting something, don’t use single or double quotation marks. If you want to emphasize a specific part of your message, use a bold or italicized font.


You have three options for punctuating the end of a sentence: a period/full stop, an exclamation mark, or a question mark.

Each one sets a different tone for the whole sentence: that of a statement, an outcry, or a question, respectively. Always remember to end your sentences correctly – with the correct end punctuation.


This is a recurring problem among High School students where a typed project/research paper is not properly formatted. All sources used must have good organization and be cited in a way suitable for the type of paper: font type and size; referencing style; etc.

Make sure that your child has this clear and formats all papers in the way requested by their teachers. Simply checking their papers before the delivery date is enough to help them understand what they did wrong.


Plagiarism is not only frowned upon, but forbidden too. It is simply, trying to do the assignment, through borrowing passages from articles, books and even websites without identifying or acknowledging their sources.

With today’s technology advancing this rapidly, detecting plagiarism is now easier than ever. Teachers will surely try to explain this to your child, but you must make sure that they understand how important unique content is, if they want to succeed.

20190802_152616WRITING @ HIGH SCHOOL is not a walk in the park. It needs practice and by integrating writing and reading to emphasize key writing features help students learn about important text features. For example, asking students to summarize a text they just read signals that well-written texts have a set of main points, that students should understand main points while they read, and that when students write certain types of compositions they should focus on main points.

Reading exemplar texts familiarizes students with important features of writing, which they can then emulate.

Dear Student – Please identify where you see yourself falling short and work towards improving your writing repertoire.

Good luck in your endeavours 



Here is an interesting story . . . .

Legend has it that Thomas Edison – the American inventor and businessman whose inventions include the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, as well as improving the telegraph and telephone  –  experimented with tens of thousands of different designs before settling on the perfect one. With almost a thousand patents under his belt, it’s hard to envision the prolific inventor succeeding every day in his Menlo Park lab.

Despite being plagued by the fear of “failure” throughout his career, Edison never gave in. All of his alleged “failures,” which number in the tens of thousands, served as a teaching tool for him. The phonograph, telegraph, and motion picture all came about as a result of his tenacity and perseverance during the early part of the twentieth century.

It’s difficult to conceive of what our world might be like now if Edison had given up after his initial setback. Is he resilient enough to overcome his challenges?

Thomas Edison’s narrative inspires us to reflect on our own life. Alternatively, ….

  1. Do we allow our setbacks to disrupt our goals?
  2. If we had the fortitude to keep going, who knows what we could accomplish?

“No matter how much falls on us, we keep plowing ahead. That’s the only way to keep the roads clear” ― Greg Kincaid


It is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” It is our ability to adapt and bounce back when things don’t go as planned. Resilient people don’t wallow or dwell on failures; they acknowledge the situation, learn from their mistakes, and then move forward.

What Does Research Say About Resilience?

According to the research of leading psychologist, Susan Kobasa, there are three elements that are essential to resilience:

CHALLENGE – A challenging situation is viewed as a challenge by resilient people, rather than as a life-threatening occurrence. They view their mistakes and failings as opportunities for growth and lessons to be learned. They don’t see them as an indictment of their character or sense of self-importance.

COMMITMENT – Resistant individuals commit to their life and their ambitions, and they have a good purpose for getting out of bed every morning. Not only do they devote themselves fully to the job at hand, but to their personal connections as well as to the causes close to their hearts and religious or spiritual convictions which guide them.

PERSONAL CONTROL – Resilient people focus their attention and energy on things they can influence. They are empowered and self-assured as a result of focusing their efforts where they will have the greatest influence. Those who spend a lot of time thinking about things they can’t change may feel hopeless and helpless.

Martin Seligman, a well-known psychologist, believes that how we explain setbacks to ourselves is crucial. Rather than resilience, he uses the phrases optimism and pessimism, although the result is essentially the same. These three elements make up the “explanatory style”:

PERMANENCE – In other words, optimists (who are more resilient) believe that negative things will only last for a short time. Instead of saying “My boss never likes my work,” they can say “My boss didn’t like the job I performed on that project.”

•PERVASIVENESS – Being omnipresent means resilient people don’t let setbacks or unpleasant events have an impact on aspects of their lives that are unconnected to them. Instead of saying “I’m no good at anything,” they can say “I’m not very good at this.”

•PERSONALIZATION – Those that are resilient don’t place the blame on themselves when awful things happen. Instead, they attribute the problem to other individuals or external factors. Instead of saying, “I messed up that project because I can’t perform my job,” they can say, “I didn’t obtain the support I needed to finish that successfully.”

SOME more attributes that are common in resilient people include:

  • Resilient people don’t see themselves as victims. In other words, the future is bright for those who are resilient as they keep a positive view and look forward to better days.
  • Resistant people have clear goals they want to achieve.
  • Resilient people are empathetic and compassionate. They also spend less time thinking about what others think of them. But they don’t give in to peer pressure and preserve healthy relationships.
  • Resilient people never think of themselves as victims – they focus their time and energy on changing the things that they have control over.

There’s no getting around the reality that we’re all going to fail from time to time: it’s an unavoidable aspect of life that we make mistakes and fall flat on our faces every now and again. The only way to prevent this is to live a closed-off and meagre existence, never attempting anything new or taking a chance on something. A life like that is one most of us would rather avoid!

“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good” ― Elizabeth Edwards


If you’re not inherently robust, it is possible to learn to build a resilient mindset and attitude. This is great news! To do this, make the following daily changes to your routine:

1. Relaxation Is A Skill That Can Be Learned. Take care of your mind and body, and you’ll be able to better handle life’s obstacles. Make sleep a priority, try something new, or employ relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation to help you unwind.

2. Develop The Ability To Be Conscious Of One’s Thoughts. Negative thoughts aren’t allowed to disrupt the efforts of resilient people. They, on the other hand, are staunch believers in the power of positive thinking. When anything goes wrong, pay attention to how you talk to yourself. If you find yourself making assertions that are permanent, pervasive, or personalised, modify your thinking.

3. Make Changes To Your Outlook. Work on cognitive restructuring to alter the way you perceive unfavourable situations and unfortunate events.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes And Failures. To be successful, you must learn from your setbacks and mistakes. Look for the lesson in every scenario since every mistake has the capacity to teach you something. Another thing to consider is “post-traumatic growth”; many people feel that crises like losing a job or a breakup in a relationship allow them to reflect on their lives and make positive changes.

5. Choose Your Response:  Keep in mind that everyone has bad days and goes through crises from time to time. There is a choice in our response: panic and negativity are options, or we can remain cool and reasonable to come up with an answer. It’s always up to you how you react.

6. Maintain A Clear Head: Individuals with high levels of resilience recognise that while a circumstance or crisis may appear overwhelming at the time, it may not have a lasting impact. Avoid exaggerating the significance of occurrences.

7. Set Some Goals For Yourself:  Learn to develop SMART, effective personal goals that are in line with your beliefs and can help you learn from your mistakes if you haven’t previously.

8. Build Your Self-Confidence:  Resilient people, on the other hand, believe in their ability to succeed in the long run despite obstacles or pressures. Confidence and a strong sense of self allow people to take risks and keep moving forward, all of which are necessary if someone wants to succeed.

9. Build Solid Connections With Others: It’s been proven that people who have great work relationships cope better with stress and are more satisfied in their jobs. You’ll be more resilient since you’ll have a strong support network to lean on if things get tough in your personal life as well. Here, it is critical to treat individuals with compassion and sensitivity.

10. Be Open To New Ideas:  Things change, and even the most meticulously laid plans may need to be modified or cancelled at times.

“‎Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else” ― Henry Ward Beecher


According to an American Psychological Association (APA) report, The Road to Resilience, being resilient does not mean that a person is impervious to adversity or distress. People who have faced severe difficulty in their lives are more prone to suffer from emotional distress and dissatisfaction (e.g., doctors). In truth, the path to resilience is likely to be paved with a great deal of emotional suffering. Resilience is not a trait that can be gained or lost over time. Because these behaviours, attitudes, and actions can be learned and developed by anybody, they can be acquired and developed by anyone.”

Resilience is defined by psychologists as the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or severe causes of stress, such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or employment and financial stressors.

As much as resilience entails “bouncing back” from adversity, it can also entail tremendous personal growth.

The APA offers these 10 ways to build resilience:

1. Make connections. “Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience.”

2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. “Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be a little better.”

3. Accept that change is a part of living. “Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed can help you focus on circumstances that you can alter.”

4. Move toward your goals. “Do something regularly—even if it seems like a small accomplishment—that enables you to move toward your goals.”

5. Take decisive actions. “Rather than detaching completely from problems and stresses and wishing they would just go away, act on adverse situations as much as you can.”

6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery. “People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of their struggle with loss.”

7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. “Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.”

8. Keep things in perspective. “Even when facing very painful events, try to consider the stressful situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective.”

9. Maintain a hopeful outlook. “Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.”

10. Take care of yourself. “Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing.”

“Strong people alone know how to organize their suffering so as to bear only the most necessary pain” ― Emil Dorian.

Thus, . . . . .

Despite the fact that life does not come with a map, everyone will experience twists and turns, ranging from minor setbacks to devastating occurrences with long-term consequences, such as the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a life-threatening illness. Each shift has a distinct impact on people, bringing with it a unique stream of thoughts, powerful emotions, and a sense of insecurity. Despite this, people often adjust effectively over time to life-changing crises and stressful conditions—in part because to their ability to maintain their composure.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!