BEST WAYS TO DEVELOPING RESILIENCE

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

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

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.

PERSONA 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

10 WAYS TO BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE

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

THE ROAD TO RESILIENCE

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!!

THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST – THE ROAD TO BAND 5+

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

There are two types of IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic (suitable for students who want to pursue higher studies abroad).
  • IELTS General training (suitable for people who wish to migrate to English speaking countries).

NB: The Listening Test and Speaking Test sections are the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General, whereas Reading and Writing sections vary slightly.. It is structured in such a way that does not allow test takers to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The IELTS SPEAKING Test lasts between11–14 minutes in a face-to-face interview with the IELTS Examiner. The Test includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion

My advice to my students is to:

  • Feel confident and remind them to relax and enjoy the conversation with the examiner.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Use fillers and hesitation devices if they need ‘thinking time’ before answering.
  • Realise, it is their language level not their opinions which are being evaluated.

The Speaking Test is divided into three parts: .

Part 1[Introduction and interview] Test takers answer general questions about themselves and a range of familiar topics, such as their home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2[Individual long turn] Test takers are given a booklet which asks them to talk about a particular topic. They have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3[Two-way discussion] Test takers are asked further questions which are connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give the test taker an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

There are four evaluation criteria on the Speaking Test:

  1. Fluency and Coherence               = how clear and structured is your speech.
  2. Lexical Resource                           = how good is your vocabulary.
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy  = how good is your grammar.
  4. Pronunciation                                 = how naturally you sound.
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The 18 Don’ts For The IELTS Speaking Test

1. Don’t Ever Think That The Speaking Test Is The Easiest part of the exam.

Because the examiners are friendly, this section may appear to be simple. You are on your own for the rest of the exam, so it may appear that you have someone to assist you in this section.

However, in order to ensure fairness, the examiner must adhere to extremely strict rules. They evaluate all candidates using the same set of criteria.

Remember that all the four sub-tests have the same level of difficulty, but you may find one part of the exam easier than others depending on your language skills.

2. Don’t Memorise Answers

Many people believe that the best way to perform well on the Speaking Test is to memorise scripted answers and simply use them during the test. This is a bad idea because memorised answers are obvious, and examiners are trained to detect them. Not only will you lose marks, but the examiners may also ask you more difficult questions in order to test your English competency and determine your true level.

3. Don’t Worry About The Examiner’s Opinion

According to some students, you can only do well on the Speaking Test if the examiner agrees with your point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Examiners aren’t interested in your thoughts; they simply want you to demonstrate your ability to speak. Concentrate on responding to the question in a fluent, grammatically correct manner.

The truth is that only your pronunciation is evaluated, not your accent.

4. Don’t Insert Lots Of ‘Big’ Words

A common misconception is that in order to get a high score on the test, you must use very long, ‘complicated’ words in every sentence. This is not true. However, you should try to demonstrate to the examiner that you have a diverse vocabulary, so avoid using words you don’t fully understand. If you try to use ‘complicated’ words that you don’t fully understand, you will almost certainly make mistakes and lose marks.

My 100% rule is that if you aren’t certain about the meaning and form of a word, don’t use it.

Here are some connectors you can use to structure your speech in an organized manner:

  • Firstly, secondly, last but not least
  • Moreover, furthermore, in addition
  • Consequently, therefore, as a result
  • In order to, so as to, so that

5. Don’t Take Notes While Preparing For Part 2.

You may want to take notes, but sometimes it is better to simply think about the subject. You have one minute to prepare. If you spend that time writing, you may be wasting valuable thinking time.

Every topic card contains a few ideas that you should incorporate into your speech; therefore, organise your speech around these ideas. Spend one minute thinking about brief responses to each sub-question.

Once you have a brief response in mind, you will be able to expand on it while speaking by providing examples and discussing how those answers relate to you. Most people have no qualms about talking about themselves because it is a topic they are familiar with.

The truth is that you might want to take some notes, but since you only have one minute, you might be better off just thinking about the topic in Part 2.

6. Don’t Show Off Your Grammar

Many candidates believe that in order to receive a high grade, they must show the examiner how fantastic their grammar is. Again, the risk here is attempting to use grammar that you are unfamiliar with and then losing control of the sentence. Consider the tense you’ll need to use when practising, as well as functional language for expressing opinions, contrasting points, emphasising, and so on.

It’s actually preferable to experiment with complex grammatical structures and make a few errors than to use very simple sentences.

Even if they make mistakes, a candidate who only uses short and simple sentences, for example, will receive a lower score than a candidate who attempts to use a conditional clause.

7. Don’t underestimate any of the four parts of evaluation criteria.

Grammar is only one of four evaluation criteria used to determine your score on the speaking test. The others are Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource (vocabulary range), and Pronunciation.

They are all equally significant.

As a result, if you excel at grammar, one-fourth of your final score will almost certainly be high. However, if you want to get a high overall score, you must also show a wide vocabulary range. If you can use a lot of words to correctly express what you want to say, you’ll do well here.

You must also be very good at pronouncing words. This refers to your ability to correctly pronounce individual sounds as well as use appropriate intonation and word stress.

8. Don’t Answer A Question If You Don’t Understand It

If you don’t understand a question, it’s fine to ask the examiner to repeat it or ask it differently.

You could use some of the following phrases to accomplish this:

  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Could you please repeat the question?
  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Would you mind repeating the question?

Before responding to a question, it is best to clarify it. If you do this a few times, you will not lose points; however, if you ask the examiner to repeat every single question, the examiner may believe you have a problem understanding spoken English, and you will receive a lower score.

The truth: If you don’t understand a question, you should ask for clarification.

9. If You Don’t Know The Answer To A Question, You Cannot Get A High Score.

This exam does not assess your understanding of specific topics. Examiners care more about how you say things than what you say.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t know what to say when asked, “How do teenagers have fun in your country?” you can explain why. “I’m not sure I can accurately answer the question because I’m no longer a teenager, but I could tell you about how I used to have fun when I was a teenager.” I anticipate that this will have changed significantly because…”

This shows the examiner that you can speak and develop responses even when you are not in your comfort zone.

10. Don’t Say Nothing

This may appear to be obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many students would rather say nothing than provide an answer. It is always preferable to make an attempt to respond rather than simply saying nothing. Many students believe this because their previous teacher told them not to say anything or chastised them if they didn’t know the answer.

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you are not expected to give a perfect response to a question or to be an expert in many different areas. The most important thing is to show that you can speak. If you don’t know the answer, you can always say something like ‘I don’t know much about this subject, but I believe…’ or ‘I’m not really sure, but if I had to guess….’ and then try to answer.

11. Don’t Run Out Of Ideas In Part 3.

Part 3 assesses your ability to distance yourself from the topic of Part 2 and speak more abstractly about topics of general interest. You must demonstrate your ability to describe things in detail, compare and contrast concepts, generalise, and draw conclusions.

So repeating your ideas from Part 2 is unlikely to provide an answer to the questions in Part 3.

12. Don’t Prioritise Grammar Over Fluency

You will receive separate marks in the exam for grammatical accuracy and fluency. Most students are more concerned with their grammar than their fluency, and as a result, the latter suffers. It is critical to give equal weight to all parts.

13. Don’t Worry About Your Accent

Your accent is not an evaluation criterion. Although you will be graded on your pronunciation, you will not be expected to have a native accent.

When evaluating candidates’ pronunciation, examiners pay close attention to individual sound pronunciation, word stress, and intonation.

In fact, as long as your ability to communicate is not hindered by your accent, it is irrelevant in the speaking test.

14. Don’t Get Too Nervous

Nervousness is a natural reaction to a test, but it can lower a person’s score in a number of ways. People who are nervous tend to speak at a very low volume, making it difficult for the examiner to understand them. When people are nervous, they mumble, which is obviously inappropriate in a speaking test. The key is to properly prepare, and as a result, you will feel more confident.

15. Don’t Be Late

Allow plenty of time to get to the testing centre and find out where your speaking test will be held. Arriving early allows you to become acquainted with your surroundings and focus solely on the exam. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff any questions you have; they are there to help.

16. Don’t Cover All The Parts Of The Task In Part 2

In Part 2, your topic card will have a main topic and four questions on it. You must actually speak about all of the questions and devote roughly equal time to each of them.

If you have four questions on the topic card, you should spend about 30 seconds on each of them, for a total of two minutes speaking.

After giving several such brief presentations, through practice, you’ll get a sense of how long 30 seconds are and when you should move on to the next point.

The truth is that you must answer all of the questions in Part 2 in an equal amount of time.

17. If You Don’t Hesitate When Speaking, You’ll Make A Good Impression.

The importance of coherence is equal to that of fluency (being logical, and making sense). Avoiding hesitation is a good idea, but you also need to keep your response logical and organised.

If you keep talking and talking without making much sense, you are fluent but not coherent. The overall impression will be one of dissatisfaction.

Keep in mind, however, that some hesitancy is normal. It is unacceptable to speak without first taking a breath or thinking.

Try using some of these filler phrases to make your hesitations sound more natural:

  • To put it differently…
  • What do you call it…wait a second…I have it right there.
  • Well…
  • You see…

The truth is that fluency (speaking smoothly and without hesitation) will not make a good impression on its own. You must also be able to speak clearly (logically, organized).

FINALLY . . .

18. Don’t Rely On The Examiner

Some students believe that the speaking examiner will prompt you if you are talking too much or too little, not speaking loudly enough, or not staying on topic. In reality, the examiner is under no obligation to do any of these things, and she or he will let you make mistakes without notifying you.

Take control of your own speaking and don’t look to the examiner for cues or assistance.

Dear Candidate,

By word of mouth, this appears to be simple and doable. That is not the case! Only after enrolling in the course and completing the IELTS General Course will you appreciate the work I do and carry out with you.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

IELTS LISTENING TEST – THE ROAD TO SUCCESS (Band 5+)

The IELTS Listening Test will take about 30 minutes, and you will have an extra 10 minutes to transfer your answers to the answer sheet.

IELTS LISTENING – 4 sections, 40 questions, 30 minutes

Test takers listen to four recorded texts, monologues and conversations by a range of native speakers, and write their answers to a series of questions.

I always make sure students:

• Think about the context before they listen and identify the type of information they will need to listen for

• Read the questions before they hear the text and use the time between each section to prepare for the following section

A few more of the best IELTS Listening Tips that you can keep trying include:

  • Work on Your Vocabulary
  • Practice! Be a regular at IELTS Listening Practice Test.
  • Use a Pencil (Neatness Matters!)
  • Answer in CAPITAL LETTERS (Highly Recommended)

LISTENING’s 4 sections, [40 questions, 30 minutes]

IELTS Listening syllabus 2022 has four sections that last for 30 minutes. There are 40 questions in total, and each question carries one mark. The questions get gradually tricky as the test goes on. Timing is critical while attempting this part.

The applicant gets only 10 minutes to transfer answers to the answer sheet provided at the end of the test.

LISTENING Test’s 4 sections are divided into:

Section 1: A conversation between two people set in an everyday social context. This section consists of a conversation you need to listen to where two people talk on everyday social topics. The conversation can be related to anything such as arranging a trip, organizing an event etc. include social needs and conversation between two speakers. Example- travel planning, booking accommodation, unknown city, etc.

Section 2: A monologue set in an everyday social context, e.g. a speech about local facilities. In this section you will listen to a talk by one speaker on a general topic. The topic might be about a person giving information on a public event, a service provided etc. described social needs, and it is a monologue. Example- student services on campus, interviews, shopping, etc.

Section 3: A conversation between up to four people set in an educational or training context, e.g. a university tutor and a student discussing an assignment. education and training context. The third section is a conversion between 4 people. Example- academic assignment, professor’s speech, research project, etc. In this section you will hear a conversation between two or four people about an educational or training context. Aspirants have to listen to the conversation given by four people talking to each other about an assignment for a course or anything related to it.

Section 4: A monologue on an academic subject, e.g. a university lecture global warming, talk about endangered species, children grow up, forest reserve,

Each section is heard once only. They include a range of accents, including British, Australian, New Zealand, American and Canadian. This section consists of monologues on an academic or study related topic. You will listen to a talk by a person which is focused academically.

The different types of questions used in IELTS Listening Test include:

  • Multiple choice
  • Matching
  • plan/map/diagram labeling
  • Form completion
  • Note completion
  • Table completion
  • Flow-chart completion
  • Summary completion
  • Sentence completion
  • Short answer completion

Common Reasons Why IELTS Listening Is Problematic

The Listening aspect is yet another aspect to be covered in the IELTS Listening test. This could be a tough and critical aspect but if observation and good listening powers are developed, then it is easy to interpret and score. The Recording is done only once. So it is a huge task on the aspirant to understand, remember and reproduce it correctly.

Some common mistakes that candidates make are:

1. Lack Of Knowledge About The Exam Format

The IELTS academic listening test taker should know the IELTS test format. If you have no proper knowledge of the structure, you can’t take good preparation. For this reason, the IELTS listening exam will be so hard for you. My recommendation is first to know about the test format and then start practice.

2. Less Concentration on the Audio

We as human beings end up with a pre-conceived notion. Most people are bad at listening. The biggest mistake that the IELTS test aspirants make is that they casually listen to the video clip without absorbing all the information given in it. The problematic situation arises when they are unable to remember the correct answer. The foremost important thing is that the aspirant must read the instructions properly, then look for ideas on the given topic and lastly listen carefully to the context of the topic followed by the location. If possible and depending upon the intelligence of the IELTS aspirant, read up all the questions before hand and recollect the answers after listening to the video clip.

3. Avoid Prediction Skills

After having numerous practice sessions, try to predict the kind of audio clip that would be given in the test. Also, be on the watch for the ‘type’ of question that would be asked. From the given transcript of the question paper, underline the phrases which would make for probable questions to be asked. Listen carefully to the key words and other phrases. This may help you determine the nature of the questions.

4. Not Using The Listening Answer Sheet During Practice

If you are using an official listening answer sheet during the practice period, it will be familiar in the exam hall. You can easily use this sheet in the exam hall because you already know the answer sheet format. Another benefit of practicing on the sheet is how to fill up all essential information. Example- Full name, center name, code name, etc.

Many beginner IELTS exam candidates don’t use listening answer sheets, and they are unfamiliar with it in the exam hall. For this reason, the listening section is so difficult for them.

5. The Test Taker Doesn’t Understand The British Accent

In IELTS Listening Test, the British accent is used for conversion. For this reason, the candidate doesn’t understand the recording, and they get a low score. The beginners face more problems answering the question, especially the multiple-choice questions. To overcome accent problems, always practice using British accent audio. Try to listen to the guardian news podcast. Watch English movies with subtitles first and then without subtitles.

6. Lack Of Concentration

If you want a high band score on the IELTS exam, you must concentrate on listening to recordings. If you have a lack of concentration in listening, you can’t find the correct answer. In my experience, it will be so frustrating in the exam hall if you don’t understand the recording. To improve concentration, listen to podcasts with audio transcripts, and watch late-night shows.

7. Guard Yourself Against Distractions

IELTS Examiners use distractor questions in order to confuse the candidates. Pay more attention to minute details. For instance, in one video clip the speaker will speak something wrong and then correct himself. The Multiple Choice Questions also have four confusing options for which you would be required to choose only one correct answer.

8. Lack Of Multitasking Skills

Multitasking is another skill that you have to need in the IELTS listening test. You have to listen to the recording, find out the correct answer, and write the solution simultaneously. Practice on the listening answer sheet for improving your multitasking skill.

9. Knowing Less Range Of Vocabulary

Sometimes you will listen to rich vocabulary within the conversation. If you don’t know the meaning of a vocabulary, it will be hard to find the correct answer. To improve vocabulary, learn topic-specific vocabulary.

10. Concentration Block

 Do not answer all your questions in the same order of the transcript. First of all, answer the questions that you know well, then move on to the lesser known ones. Try hard to answer all the questions but do them correctly. Do not just lean on to one question.

11. Spelling Errors and Grammar Mistakes

 Incorrect spelling would lead to losing marks. Especially, names of countries and places need to be written correctly. In certain cases, names of individuals too need to have the correct spelling. Correct Functional Grammar needs to be used in order to make meaningful sentences.

12. Unanswered Questions

The IELTS Listening test does not deduct marks for wrong answers. But try hard not to leave answers as, if there is an unanswered question then the IELTS aspirant can end up writing the answer in the wrong place.

13. Writing and Listening At the Same Time

Since the Audio clip is played only once, avoid writing important points on the paper simultaneously. This would distract attention from the main audio being played. After the audio clip is played, utilize those extra 10 minutes given for writing the responses on the answer script from memory.

14. Lack of Time Management Knowledge

Time management is another crucial factor in the IELTS exam. If you can’t handle time management properly, it will be so hard to answer the 40 questions at the right time.

15. Less Practice

Less practice is another reason why IELTS Listening Test is so hard. If you don’t have enough practice, it will be hard to get a high band score; for this reason, practice a minimum complete listening test everyday.

16. Not To Keep A Daily Report And Analyze It

Keep a record of your correct and wrong answers during the practice period. Then analyze how much you improve. This method is so powerful. So, you should keep a report and analyze it.

17. Ignoring The Given Instructions

IELTS Listening Test always starts with a set of instructions that candidates need to follow. You must not ignore the instructions in the IELTS Listening Test. Just remember to read the instructions carefully, then the questions, and write answers accordingly.

LASTLY, remember that . . . .

IELTS Listening Test is not very difficult but it can be tricky. Try to avoid these common mistakes in the IELTS Listening Test by practicing as much as you can. These IELTS Listening tips given above will help you in better preparation of IELTS Listening Test and attain a great score.

Just get familiar with different question types, learn different strategies to solve them, and ace the actual test with your desired score. If there are any doubts, do reach out to me!

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST – THE ROAD TO BAND 5+

IELTS, the International English Language Testing System, is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who need to study or work where English is used as the language of communication.

There are two types of IELTS test:

  • IELTS Academic (suitable for students who want to pursue higher studies abroad).
  • IELTS General training (suitable for people who wish to migrate to English speaking countries).

NB: The Listening Test and Speaking Test sections are the same for both the IELTS Academic and IELTS General, whereas Reading and Writing sections vary slightly.. It is structured in such a way that does not allow test takers to rehearse set responses beforehand.

The IELTS SPEAKING Test lasts between11–14 minutes in a face-to-face interview with the IELTS Examiner. The Test includes short questions, speaking at length about a familiar topic and a structured discussion

My advice to my students is to:

  • Feel confident and remind them to relax and enjoy the conversation with the examiner.
  • Listen carefully to the questions.
  • Use fillers and hesitation devices if they need ‘thinking time’ before answering.
  • Realise, it is their language level not their opinions which are being evaluated.

The Speaking Test is divided into three parts: .

Part 1[Introduction and interview] Test takers answer general questions about themselves and a range of familiar topics, such as their home, family, work, studies and interests. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

Part 2[Individual long turn] Test takers are given a booklet which asks them to talk about a particular topic. They have one minute to prepare before speaking for up to two minutes. The examiner may ask one or two questions on the same topic to finish this part of the test.

Part 3[Two-way discussion] Test takers are asked further questions which are connected to the topic in Part 2. These questions give the test taker an opportunity to discuss more abstract issues and ideas. This part lasts between four and five minutes.

There are four evaluation criteria on the Speaking Test:

  1. Fluency and Coherence               = how clear and structured is your speech.
  2. Lexical Resource                           = how good is your vocabulary.
  3. Grammatical Range and Accuracy  = how good is your grammar.
  4. Pronunciation                                 = how naturally you sound.
What are you waiting for? Kindly JOIN my classes and ace it!!

The 18 Don’ts For The IELTS Speaking Test

1. Don’t Ever Think That The Speaking Test Is The Easiest part of the exam.

Because the examiners are friendly, this section may appear to be simple. You are on your own for the rest of the exam, so it may appear that you have someone to assist you in this section.

However, in order to ensure fairness, the examiner must adhere to extremely strict rules. They evaluate all candidates using the same set of criteria.

Remember that all the four sub-tests have the same level of difficulty, but you may find one part of the exam easier than others depending on your language skills.

2. Don’t Memorise Answers

Many people believe that the best way to perform well on the Speaking Test is to memorise scripted answers and simply use them during the test. This is a bad idea because memorised answers are obvious, and examiners are trained to detect them. Not only will you lose marks, but the examiners may also ask you more difficult questions in order to test your English competency and determine your true level.

3. Don’t Worry About The Examiner’s Opinion

According to some students, you can only do well on the Speaking Test if the examiner agrees with your point of view. Nothing could be further from the truth. Examiners aren’t interested in your thoughts; they simply want you to demonstrate your ability to speak. Concentrate on responding to the question in a fluent, grammatically correct manner.

The truth is that only your pronunciation is evaluated, not your accent.

4. Don’t Insert Lots Of ‘Big’ Words

A common misconception is that in order to get a high score on the test, you must use very long, ‘complicated’ words in every sentence. This is not true. However, you should try to demonstrate to the examiner that you have a diverse vocabulary, so avoid using words you don’t fully understand. If you try to use ‘complicated’ words that you don’t fully understand, you will almost certainly make mistakes and lose marks.

My 100% rule is that if you aren’t certain about the meaning and form of a word, don’t use it.

Here are some connectors you can use to structure your speech in an organized manner:

  • Firstly, secondly, last but not least
  • Moreover, furthermore, in addition
  • Consequently, therefore, as a result
  • In order to, so as to, so that

5. Don’t Take Notes While Preparing For Part 2.

You may want to take notes, but sometimes it is better to simply think about the subject. You have one minute to prepare. If you spend that time writing, you may be wasting valuable thinking time.

Every topic card contains a few ideas that you should incorporate into your speech; therefore, organise your speech around these ideas. Spend one minute thinking about brief responses to each sub-question.

Once you have a brief response in mind, you will be able to expand on it while speaking by providing examples and discussing how those answers relate to you. Most people have no qualms about talking about themselves because it is a topic they are familiar with.

The truth is that you might want to take some notes, but since you only have one minute, you might be better off just thinking about the topic in Part 2.

6. Don’t Show Off Your Grammar

Many candidates believe that in order to receive a high grade, they must show the examiner how fantastic their grammar is. Again, the risk here is attempting to use grammar that you are unfamiliar with and then losing control of the sentence. Consider the tense you’ll need to use when practising, as well as functional language for expressing opinions, contrasting points, emphasising, and so on.

It’s actually preferable to experiment with complex grammatical structures and make a few errors than to use very simple sentences.

Even if they make mistakes, a candidate who only uses short and simple sentences, for example, will receive a lower score than a candidate who attempts to use a conditional clause.

7. Don’t underestimate any of the four parts of evaluation criteria.

Grammar is only one of four evaluation criteria used to determine your score on the speaking test. The others are Fluency and Coherence, Lexical Resource (vocabulary range), and Pronunciation.

They are all equally significant.

As a result, if you excel at grammar, one-fourth of your final score will almost certainly be high. However, if you want to get a high overall score, you must also show a wide vocabulary range. If you can use a lot of words to correctly express what you want to say, you’ll do well here.

You must also be very good at pronouncing words. This refers to your ability to correctly pronounce individual sounds as well as use appropriate intonation and word stress.

8. Don’t Answer A Question If You Don’t Understand It

If you don’t understand a question, it’s fine to ask the examiner to repeat it or ask it differently.

You could use some of the following phrases to accomplish this:

  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Could you please repeat the question?
  • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Would you mind repeating the question?

Before responding to a question, it is best to clarify it. If you do this a few times, you will not lose points; however, if you ask the examiner to repeat every single question, the examiner may believe you have a problem understanding spoken English, and you will receive a lower score.

The truth: If you don’t understand a question, you should ask for clarification.

9. If You Don’t Know The Answer To A Question, You Cannot Get A High Score.

This exam does not assess your understanding of specific topics. Examiners care more about how you say things than what you say.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers. If you don’t know what to say when asked, “How do teenagers have fun in your country?” you can explain why. “I’m not sure I can accurately answer the question because I’m no longer a teenager, but I could tell you about how I used to have fun when I was a teenager.” I anticipate that this will have changed significantly because…”

This shows the examiner that you can speak and develop responses even when you are not in your comfort zone.

10. Don’t Say Nothing

This may appear to be obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many students would rather say nothing than provide an answer. It is always preferable to make an attempt to respond rather than simply saying nothing. Many students believe this because their previous teacher told them not to say anything or chastised them if they didn’t know the answer.

In the IELTS Speaking Test, you are not expected to give a perfect response to a question or to be an expert in many different areas. The most important thing is to show that you can speak. If you don’t know the answer, you can always say something like ‘I don’t know much about this subject, but I believe…’ or ‘I’m not really sure, but if I had to guess….’ and then try to answer.

11. Don’t Run Out Of Ideas In Part 3.

Part 3 assesses your ability to distance yourself from the topic of Part 2 and speak more abstractly about topics of general interest. You must demonstrate your ability to describe things in detail, compare and contrast concepts, generalise, and draw conclusions.

So repeating your ideas from Part 2 is unlikely to provide an answer to the questions in Part 3.

12. Don’t Prioritise Grammar Over Fluency

You will receive separate marks in the exam for grammatical accuracy and fluency. Most students are more concerned with their grammar than their fluency, and as a result, the latter suffers. It is critical to give equal weight to all parts.

13. Don’t Worry About Your Accent

Your accent is not an evaluation criterion. Although you will be graded on your pronunciation, you will not be expected to have a native accent.

When evaluating candidates’ pronunciation, examiners pay close attention to individual sound pronunciation, word stress, and intonation.

In fact, as long as your ability to communicate is not hindered by your accent, it is irrelevant in the speaking test.

14. Don’t Get Too Nervous

Nervousness is a natural reaction to a test, but it can lower a person’s score in a number of ways. People who are nervous tend to speak at a very low volume, making it difficult for the examiner to understand them. When people are nervous, they mumble, which is obviously inappropriate in a speaking test. The key is to properly prepare, and as a result, you will feel more confident.

15. Don’t Be Late

Allow plenty of time to get to the testing centre and find out where your speaking test will be held. Arriving early allows you to become acquainted with your surroundings and focus solely on the exam. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff any questions you have; they are there to help.

16. Don’t Cover All The Parts Of The Task In Part 2

In Part 2, your topic card will have a main topic and four questions on it. You must actually speak about all of the questions and devote roughly equal time to each of them.

If you have four questions on the topic card, you should spend about 30 seconds on each of them, for a total of two minutes speaking.

After giving several such brief presentations, through practice, you’ll get a sense of how long 30 seconds are and when you should move on to the next point.

The truth is that you must answer all of the questions in Part 2 in an equal amount of time.

17. If You Don’t Hesitate When Speaking, You’ll Make A Good Impression.

The importance of coherence is equal to that of fluency (being logical, and making sense). Avoiding hesitation is a good idea, but you also need to keep your response logical and organised.

If you keep talking and talking without making much sense, you are fluent but not coherent. The overall impression will be one of dissatisfaction.

Keep in mind, however, that some hesitancy is normal. It is unacceptable to speak without first taking a breath or thinking.

Try using some of these filler phrases to make your hesitations sound more natural:

  • To put it differently…
  • What do you call it…wait a second…I have it right there.
  • Well…
  • You see…

The truth is that fluency (speaking smoothly and without hesitation) will not make a good impression on its own. You must also be able to speak clearly (logically, organized).

FINALLY . . .

18. Don’t Rely On The Examiner

Some students believe that the speaking examiner will prompt you if you are talking too much or too little, not speaking loudly enough, or not staying on topic. In reality, the examiner is under no obligation to do any of these things, and she or he will let you make mistakes without notifying you.

Take control of your own speaking and don’t look to the examiner for cues or assistance.

Dear Candidate,

By word of mouth, this appears to be simple and doable. That is not the case! Only after enrolling in the course and completing the IELTS General Course will you appreciate the work I do and carry out with you.

Good luck in all your endeavours.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

ACE IT! ESSENTIAL INFORMATION TO ACHIEVE THE BEST FROM YOUR ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHER

If you really want to take your English acquisition and competence to the next level and are serious about cutting back on mistakes, and improving naturalness and efficiency, as well as passing your IELTS, English Language or English Literature exams, then I am your English Teacher! I have vast experience as an IELTS, English Teacher and Examiner. My blog here is one testimony of what I can do as well being a Writer – and Freelance Journalist – having written TWO books: Writing Elements@High School and Good Manners & Other Life Lessons.You can also buy my ebooks here in the Shop or listen to my podcast episodes on Spotify – English@HighSchool

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My work as an ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHER has got FIVE key areas aimed at EXAM PREPARATION in: GCSE and IGCSE; IELTS; SAT; AP English and ACT English

This is essentially students at High School although, I have engaged a few high-flying students from Middle School and five at undergraduate first year university.

GCSE & IGCSE: Are IGCSEs equivalent to GCSEs?

GCSE stands for General Certificate in Secondary Education, We have two sets of exams: GCSE, which is UK-based’s National Curriculum, although some schools abroad are taking it and IGCSE, which is the international component taken by thousands of students outside the UK.

Cambridge IGCSE was created as a GCSE examination for international use and the academic demands (‘standards’) of Cambridge IGCSE are equivalent to those of GCSE. This means students can be confident that their Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK’s GCSEs by leading universities worldwide.

The IGCSE is the world’s most popular exam qualification for 14 to 16 year olds, and the Cambridge IGCSE is recognised by universities and employers everywhere.

Cambridge IGCSE exams are held in May/June and in October/November each year. The May/June sitting is the more widely available.

There is a general belief in some quarters that the new 9-1 GCSE grading system is more challenging than the IGCSE. However, this is controversial and there is not, at present, a conclusive proof that this is generally the case.

The new GCSEs, with their new grading system, were introduced, to identify the most academically able, as fewer students will now be awarded the top grade of 9. Grades 8 and 9 in the new system are equivalent to A* in the old system, with Grade 9 being reserved for the crème de la crème of young people.

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My Experience

I have experience as a Teacher and I/GCSE Examiner for . . .

  • Cambridge IGCSE First Language
  • Cambridge IGCSE English Literature

Currently, my remit is with Pearson Edexcel as an Examiner in the following subjects:

  • Pearson Edexcel GCSE
  • Edexcel International GCSEs in English Language A and English Literature
  • Pearson Test Of English (PTE) General

Although not an Examiner, I also have experience teaching IGCSE English as a Second Language.

For assessment purposes all GCSE questions encourage an informed personal response and test all FOUR assessment objectives (AO). Candidates will have to demonstrate the following:

    • knowledge of the content of the text – through reference to detail and use of quotations from the text (AO1).
    • understanding of characters, relationships, situations and themes (AO2).
    • understanding of writer’s intentions and methods – response to the writer’s use of language; personal response – sometimes directly (answering questions such as ‘What do you think?’, (AO3).
    • ‘What are your feelings about…?’) and sometimes by implication (answering questions such as ‘Explore the ways in which…’) (AO4).

Rest assured, Dear Reader, that my tutoring and exam preparation will develop YOU into a successful reader, listener, writer, thinker and speaker hence I have a 14-day money back guarantee.

My emphasis is on language skills, encouraging students to use relevant vocabulary, correct grammar, spelling and punctuation as well as exhibiting a sense of style and consciousness of audience.

The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

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IELTS Crash-Course Preparation

The IELTS Academic is the most popular English-Language test that’s used for work, study, and migration, recognized by over 10,000 organizations in 140 countries around the world. It is taken by those planning to study for higher education, such as in a university or college. For these candidates, their admission to an undergraduate or postgraduate programme or courses may be based on the results of the IELTS Academic.

My IELTS Preparation course is a one to one basis course to cater for IELTS applicants according to their own level and schedule. Conducting a small group of friends is another option where their level in English is identical.

I prepare students through all FOUR SKILLS in IELTS Academic and General modules with concentration on the skills students have difficulties with.

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IELTS Modules

1- The Academic Module: It is for students who wish to study at a college or university abroad.

2- The General Training Module: It is suitable for people who wish to complete their secondary education in an English-speaking country, for participants of work experience / training programmes, and those who need it for immigration purposes.

IELTS Options

Option 1  – 20 hours one to one IELTS Preparation + 5 Free Mock Exams

Option 2 – You can decide about the number of hours and pay your tuition fee accordingly in advance.

Option 3 – Do you prefer to join the course with your friends? A massive deposit will apply starting with two students: each one will receive 10% discount; 3 students: each one will receive 20% discount; and 4 students: each one will receive 30% discount.

Schedule: According to student’s time and availability (Flexible for students)

IELTS Test Sections – The total test time is 2 hours and 45 minutes.

The test has four parts covering all four language skills:

  • Listening (30 minutes)
  • Reading (60 minutes)
  • Writing (60 minutes)
  • Speaking (11 – 14 minutes)

IELTS Preparation Course Description

LISTENING: My concentration is listening tactics, predicting the answer and understanding the conversation.

READING: My concentration is Scan and Skim skills, Gist, Clue & Keywords, Main idea finding, Topic Sentence, answering methods for all types of IELTS questions and Reading and Answer boosting.

WRITING: My concentration is Grammatical lessons, Correct structure and templates, brainstorming, analysis of graphs, diagrams, etc.

The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

 

 

 

 

 

SAT (English), ACT Test & AP English Preparation Courses

These are US-based courses recognised by many universities around the world.These courses have steadily gained popularity with many international and national schools. 

SAT Preparation –

I offer one to one SAT Preparation course as well as small groups for you and your friends packaged at 10 SAT ENGLISH sessions.

AP English –

I also have experience teaching and preparing students for AP English Language and Composition & AP English Composition and Literature

The ACT Test – 

Just like the SAT and AP English courses, the ACT is an admissions exam used by universities to evaluate undergraduate applicants. More than 200 universities outside of the US, including many in Europe, Asia and Africa, accept and value the ACT.

 The schedule and commencement of the course is something we agree on from the onset once all terms and conditions are met.

Payment Methods

All my payments are in US$ (United States dollar) regardless of where my students live. In addition, I only accept payments from debit and credit cards as well as from reputable third parties who process payments for me. These are:

  • PayPal (www.paypal.com) – It is one of the best choice for receiving payments and has been around for a long time. It has the added advantage of being widely known and used.
  • Western Union (www.westernunion.com) – I also receive payment via Western Union from students who don’t have a credit or debit card.
  • Bank Transfers – Depending on where you are and whether a bank transfer is permissible, one can engage a bank transfers and takes a few days for funds to reach my bank account. One incurs bank charges along the way.

Cancellation Policy

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I respect that your time is valuable and I appreciate that you understand mine is too.

I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. Any cancellation that occurs 24 hours or more before the scheduled time start of OUR lesson can be re-booked at no additional cost to you. Without that, you forfeit any payment made.

Other Courses Available For You

Besides teaching the standardized subjects – IELTS, IGCSE and GCSE, ACT and SAT as well AP English – I also offer tailor-made courses for struggling and high flying pupils. With customised learning pathways linked to your own unique goals, you can benefit from tailored lessons that give you the hands-on English skills you need for academic purposes or for improving your communication in the workplace.

 I run through email and home-learning courses (or on your desktop or tablet) at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels for students at High School. These courses cover FOUR levels at:

  1. Standard Course for High School pupils – eg: preparatory SAT, Revision Techniques
  2. Most Popular courses for Year 11 and 12 students – eg: Course work/Research report
  3. Tailor-Made Course for specific needs – eg: Analysing Poetry, Short Stories;
  4. Course-Through Assessment First for those who just want to meet a particular need and then move on – eg: English Literature Essay Writing, Composition Writing (specific genres: discursive, narrative, argumentative, persuasive, etc)

Hence, my motto: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!

Dear Reader, please note that you will receive feedback from me every step of the way to help and support your continued improvement.

Monthly Subscriptions Plans

I have got flexible monthly subscriptions plans – 5, 10, and 15 lessons – per month that suits your budget and lifestyle. Kindly email me and we will engage each other. You can change or cancel your subscription at any time.

Certificate Of Achievement

You will receive English@HighSchool certificate of achievement to celebrate your learning, as well as a new-found confidence in using the English language effectively and proficiently. I also provide comprehensive report on your performance and any references whenever needed.

Proofreading And Editing

I carry out all SPaG [Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar] related cases for your assignment, dissertation, university application, research paper, literature review,etc. This means . . .

  • Editing, proofreading and formatting – all included in a single fee!
  • Your document is proofread to correct all English Language errors.
  • Your edited work has an improved style, clarity, and sentence structure.

Do you want to find out more?

Please fill in the form below and engage me in a conversation that will change your WRITING, READING and ANALYTICAL style. I truly believe IN YOU and would be happy to engage you.

Good luck in all your endeavours. 

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

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

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

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

Can you spot the homophones in the sentence below?

I herd the reign ruined there picnic.

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

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

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

 I heard the rain ruined their picnic.

pexels-photo-256417.jpegIncluded below are sets of commonly used and sometimes confused sets of homophones.

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

  • what part of speech it is (sometimes).
  • a very brief definition.
  • a sentence to test your understanding of the homophone word/s.
  • answers to the sentences given at the end.

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

1. affect/effect

  • Affect means to change or make a difference to . . .
  • Effect means a result; to bring about a result; used as a verb meaning to cause/achieve or to bring about . . .

Using the correct use of affect/effect, fill in the sentences:

  • The medicine did not . . . . the way the doctor had hoped.
  • The magician . . . (ed) his escape with a false door
  • The new medicine had negative side . . . .

2. accept/except

  • To accept is to agree to receive or do . . .
  • except means not including . . .

Using the correct use of accept/except, fill in the sentences:

  1. The organization will . . . donations from well-wishers.
  2. You may donate all items . . . car seats and cribs.

3. altogether/all together

  • Altogether means “completely” or “entirely,”eg: He denied all knowledge of it’
  • All together refers to a group of people or things that act collectively or at the same time, eg: “Let’s raise our glasses all together!” 

4. aloud/allowed

  • Use aloud when referring to something said out loud.
  • Use allowed when referring to something permitted.

Using the correct use of aloud/allowed, fill in the sentences:

  1. Reading . . . – and doing it well– is a skill that requires much practice.
  2. Dogs are not . . . to be on school property between 2:45-4pm.

5. advice/advise

  • Advice is a recommendations about what to do.
  • Advise is a verb meaning to recommend something.

Using the correct use of advice/advise, fill in the sentences:

  1. Shona . . . Holy to avoid the questionable chicken salad.
  2. Charles gave Paul good . . . .

6. assure/ensure/insure

  • Assure means to tell someone that something will definitely happen or is definitely true.
  • Ensure means to guarantee or make sure of something.
  • Insure means to take out an insurance policy.

Using the correct use of assure/ensure/insure, fill in the sentences:

  1. Lennie took steps to . . . that no one cheated at Bingo.
  2. The car was . . . against damage caused by flooding.
  3. Tad assured Pearl that no one would cheat at Bingo.

7. addition/edition

  • An addition is something that is added.
  • An edition is one in a series of printed material.

Using the correct use of addition/edition, fill in the sentences:

  1. Did you see the latest . . . of the paper?
  2. We built an . . . . onto the house.

8. adverse/averse

  • Adverse – unfavourable, harmful
  • Averse – strongly disliking; opposed

Using the correct use of adverse/averse, fill in the sentences:

  1. Taxes are having an . . . effect on production.
  2. He was a man known to be extremely controlling and . . . to intrusions.

9. aisle/isle

  • Aisle a passage between rows of seats
  • Isle is an island

Using the correct use of aisle/isle, fill in the sentences:

  1. He lives in the British . . . .
  2. The musical had the audience dancing in the . . . .

10. along/a long

  • Along is moving or extending horizontally on
  • A long refers to something of great length

Using the correct use of along/a long, fill in the sentences:

  1. We just continued to plod . . . the tasks.
  2. I went for . . . . walk.

11. altar/alter

  • Altar is a sacred table in a church
  • Alter is to change

Using the correct use of altar/alter, fill in the sentences:

  1. Andrew was persuaded to . . . the passage.
  2. I spent time in the cathedral admiring the . . . and ceiling.

12. amoral/immoral

  •  Amoral is not concerned with right or wrong
  • Immoral means not following accepted moral standards

Using the correct use of amoral/immoral, fill in the sentences:

  1. The client pays for the . . . expertise of the lawyer.
  2. The council judged the film to be . . . and obscene.

13. appraise/apprise

  • To appraise is to assess
  • To apprise is to inform someone

Using the correct use of appraise/apprise, fill in the sentences:

  1. There is a need to . . . existing techniques in the Department.
  2. I thought it right to . . . Chris of what had happened.

14. assent/ascent/accent

  • Assent is an agreement, approval
  • Ascent is the action of rising or climbing up

Using the correct use of assent/ascent, fill in the sentences:

  1. There was a loud murmur of . . . to the new proposal.
  2. The . . . grew steeper as we climbed the mountain.

15. aural/oral

  •  Aural is relating to the ears or hearing ‘
  • Oral is relating to the mouth; spoken

Using the correct use of aural/oral, fill in the sentences:

  1. The information was held in written,  . . . , or visual form.
  2. The class had an . . . discussion of the topic.

ANSWERS: #1. a) affect   b) effected   c) effects; #2. a) accept   b) except; #4. a) aloud    b) allowed; #5 a) advised   b) advice; #6. a) ensure   b) insured c) assured; #7. a) edition   b) addition; #8. a) adverse   b) averse; #9. a) Isles    b) aisles; #10. a) along    b) a long; #11. a) alter   b) altar; #12. a) amoral   b) immoral; #13. a) appraise   b) apprise; #14. a) assent   b) ascent; #15. a) aural   b) oral

How did you fair?

HOMOPHONES are quite tricky and need a lot of care and attention. It is always advisable to EDIT your work if you are someone who tends to get confused with them. In the end you will get the hang of it!

AGAIN, PRACTICE makes it perfect. Good luck in all your endeavours

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL

 

BEST NETWORKING IDEAS IN THIS DAY AND AGE

Networking lets you put your best face forward. Just put yourself out there and good things happen.

What is Networking?

It is the action or process of interacting with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.

It is creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question “How can I help?” and not with “What can I get?”

Networking involves building and maintaining contacts and relationships with other people. The personal networks which you accumulate over time, both socially and professionally can be an invaluable resource. This applies whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start and grow your own new venture, whether you are looking for a job, or working on a project where external ideas and input can help. For entrepreneurs, a contact made at a purely social event may ultimately help to provide you with one of the key ingredients for the start of the business.

What Does Networking Mean In Business?

Networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which businesspeople and entrepreneurs meet to form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.

It is important to be good at networking if you really want to move ahead in today’s competitive business world

Different Types Of Networks

There are a range of different types of networks from which you can draw:

The social network – Your own personal network of contacts made informally through social or non-business activities. These contacts may comprise family, friends, former work colleagues, contacts made through university, etc.

The professional network – Contacts made through business activities including accountants, lawyers and so on.

Artificial networks – The networks set up within business communities which are open to new members, trade associations, professional institutions, etc. Here some examples of general sites where you can network with other people: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

Top Networking Skills You Should Have (And How to Improve Them)

Networking skills—like communication, active listening and social skills—are extremely valuable to have in both professional and personal environments and are particularly coveted by employers, as all successful businesses depend on networking. This said, it is not enough to simply have great networking skills. You also need to know how to market them in a resume.

In this article, we discuss what networking skills are, share examples of networking skills and offer advice for how you can improve your networking skills. We also offer recommendations for how you can highlight these skills during the interviewing process.

Is Networking A Skill?

Networking is possibly one of the most important skills for entrepreneurs and is one which you have the opportunity to practice on.

Networking involves building and maintaining contacts and relationships with other people.

What Are Networking Skills?

Networking skills are the competencies you need to have to maintain professional or social contacts. Networking is a critical skill in sales, business development and a number of other industries. Networking skills are necessary to make and develop relationships with new contacts and promote something of value.

Important Networking Skills To Have

No matter what profession you’re in, networking is the fuel that accelerates success. Not only is it useful for learning directly from individuals you meet, but the benefits of association and growing your own authority are just as powerful. Whilst many of us aren’t sure where to start, what to say when we connect with someone or how to maintain that relationship; what is important is .

There are different skills that you can practice to become more effective at networking. They include:

Communication, Active Listening, Social Skills, Public Speaking Skills, Nonverbal Communication, Interpersonal Skills, Empathy, Positivity, Humor, and Focus.

COMMUNICATION is the act of exchanging information from one person to another. It involves speaking and empathizing with others to correctly receive the message that the other person is sending and responding accordingly. When networking, communication is essential in order to develop and maintain relationships with others.

ACTIVE LISTENING – Another important networking skill is active listening. To get people excited about your business and what you’re sharing with them, you need to listen to and understand their needs. Active listening involves maintaining eye contact, nodding your head to show you understand what they’re saying and responding appropriately. Active listening also ensures you’re able to ask the right questions to keep a conversation moving forward.

SOCIAL SKILLS – These are the verbal and nonverbal skills that you use to interact with others. They include not only words but also gestures, body language and your personal appearance. It also includes friendliness, which conveys honesty and kindness. That, in turn, can create trust and understanding, which can build a strong foundation for a new relationship when you’re networking.

PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS – Public speaking skills can help you be more comfortable if you find yourself talking to a group of people, particularly at a networking event. Even when you’re just speaking with another person, one-on-one, public speaking skills can help you improve the way you articulate, helping the person you’re speaking with better understand you.

NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION – Nonverbal communication is extremely important when networking. It’s important to be aware of your own body language and any messages you may be sending the person with whom you’re speaking. It’s also beneficial to be able to read the body language of the person with whom you’re speaking. This can tell you if you need to change the way you’re expressing your message or alter something else in your communication style.

INTERPERSONAL SKILLS – These are often referred to as “people skills” and they impact the way you communicate and interact with others. They include a variety of skills, but particularly skills like communicating, attitude and listening.

EMPATHY – Empathy refers to the ability to feel what another person is feeling. Empathy skills are important for networking, as they make others feel that you understand and can relate to their emotions and experiences.

POSITIVITY – A positive attitude is another important networking skill, as others are drawn to those with a friendly, positive demeanor. Positivity can help you develop a strong rapport with others quickly and, in general, help you to be more instantly likable and memorable.

HUMOR – Humor is humanizing and helps people come together on common ground. When used appropriately, humor can draw people to you and eliminate tension, putting people immediately at ease. People with humor also tend to be more approachable.

FOCUS – Focus is also an important networking skill, as it enables you to give the person with whom you’re speaking your full attention. It will help you be an active listener and allow you to better establish a genuine connection.

How To Improve Your Networking Skills

Here are some steps you can take to improve your networking skills:

1. Look Inside You – Take a close look at the network and resources that you already have in place. Don’t overlook the hidden potential that is all around you. Creating new opportunities from pre-existing ones is the most elemental of networking skills.

2. Practice improving communication habits – Improve your networking skills by practicing good communication habits. Maintain eye contact when you’re speaking with someone and nod your head in understanding or agreement. Use simple, straightforward language, ask questions and invite opinions. Pay attention to the body language of the person with whom you’re speaking to ensure they understand and confirm whether they agree or disagree.

3. Ask friends for constructive feedback – Consider asking friends how you’re coming across in conversation. Understanding where you can improve can help you improve your communication style, which can have a big impact on your networking skills.

4. Attend networking events – One of the best ways you can improve your networking skills is to practice them regularly. Attend networking events and focus on building a genuine human connection with the people you meet. Ask questions that show you’re genuinely interested in getting to know the person you’re speaking with and listen closely to the answer while maintaining eye contact. Respond with relevant questions to show you were listening. Focus on the quality of the relationships you’re having rather than the quantity.

5. Communicating Your Message is a means of gaining credibility that is best accomplished through substance, not style. Listening and asking questions helps you build rapport and trust. Practice your communications until you feel confident that your message will come across as genuine and unscripted.

6. Make A Follow-Up – No matter which method you choose, follow up is crucial to your networking effort. Follow up turns a casual contact made at a meeting, party, or event into a potential long-term relationship.

In the end, networking is all about building relationships that are honest, sincere, and of value to both parties. As you work to stay in touch, try to develop relationships that benefit the other party as much as they do you. Build relationships for the long term.

7. Be Nice to Everyone You Meet – I had a boss once who used to say “the very same person that you develop conflict with may be the one you need for support later on down the line.” You never know? Don’t burn any bridges and do your best to find a happy medium when faced with a difficult situation. Look for the win-win. You may not necessarily agree with everyone but you can agree to disagree and move on.

8. Appearance and Grooming – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” How well you maintain your personal hygiene and how you dress for the occasion speaks volumes without saying one word. You don’t want to be the one that feels out of place. Inquire

9. Introducing Yourself & Your Elevator Speech – Create a working Bio of yourself and memorize it. Who knows you better than you. Be prepared to tell your story on short notice. Your introduction should include your full name. Your elevator speech should include concise information that can be shared in roughly forty-five seconds to one minute. Thank the person for their time when the discussion ends.

10. Be Nice to Everyone You Meet – I had a boss once who used to say “the very same person that you develop conflict with may be the one you need for support later on down the line.” You never know? Don’t burn any bridges and do your best to find a happy medium when faced with a difficult situation. Look for the win-win. You may not necessarily agree with everyone but you can agree to disagree and move on.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Practical Approach To Attending Business Meetings

It is important that you broaden your range to build new contacts and for this you will need to develop and hone some good networking skills. You may have attended events in the past and wondered how some individuals seem to effectively ‘work the room’ and talk to large numbers of people and swap business cards – with practice this is not so difficult to achieve!

Top tips To Broaden Your Contacts

One of the most important tip is having a one-minute ‘elevator pitch’ about your business idea or a tag line about yourself (a few words you can say after your name by way of introduction). Being able to articulate your business opportunity in a short space of time is essential and many of our programmes involve sessions on pitching your ideas.

  1. Check the delegate/attendees list beforehand and decide who you particularly want to speak to and what you want to talk to them about.
  2. Have a one-minute ‘elevator pitch’ ready to describe your distinctive competence. Practice doing this well before the event – you will avoid hiccups on the day. If you feel awkward, go with someone who is not and ask them to help you.
  3. Arrive early and check the name tags to see who else has arrived.
  4. Avoid spending too much time at the bar or in dead areas where it is hard to move onto another person you want to talk to if you get bored.
  5. If you do feel trapped, find someone else that the person you are with might enjoy speaking to.
  6. Ask others to introduce you to the people you want to meet.
  7. Get drinks for people who are having a good conversation.

REMEMBER . . . Quality Over Quantity

Many people think that networking means meeting as many people as possible. That’s not so. Making a few meaningful connections is often better than working an entire room. If you can have three or four deeper conversations, then you and the people you meet will be more likely to remember the interaction.

So, to conclude . . .

Cultivate Your “Power” Contacts

As much as many people may not like to hear it, “All contacts are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

You’re going to come across people who become power contacts as you become more connected with those in your industry. These people will be the ones who are constantly introducing you to new/interesting contacts, referring you to others for more work, and just generally pushing your business forward.

You don’t need to know the most people, just the right people.

Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!

AMAZING DO-ABLE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS & OTHERS IN 2022

Happy New Year to you and your families. Can you imagine that we are almost at the end of January and February is reckoning. Do you seem tired and exhausted of it already? Why?

MONEY SAVING PLANS

My sincere apologies on digressing – I am not a money matters expert but sitting down with my Mrs on New Year’s day, we just started talking about money saving challenges available so . . .

If saving money is high on your list of New Year’s Resolutions, there is a simple way to ensure you have a nice nest egg at the end of 2022, without it, feeling too punishing.

Is your financial situation undisciplined, unrestricted, and impulsive?

THE 365 DAY CHALLENGE 

Apartment Therapy has unveiled a foolproof money-saving approach – the 365 Day Challenge, which could net you almost £1,500 ($2 023) over the course of the year by putting aside a small sum of money each day.

Every Sunday, you put aside £1, on Monday it’s £2 and so on until Saturday when you put away £7 before starting again at one the following week. This amounts to £28 ($38) per week, and £1 456 ($1 976) a year.

Because it’s a case of saving just a few pounds, the plan should not feel like too much of a burden day-to-day.

52 WEEK CHALLENGE

Anyone who’s searched for a way to save more money has probably heard of the 52 Week Challenge. It’s a way to slowly build up your savings throughout the year—you start by putting aside $1 on week one, $2 on week 2, and so on until you reach week 52, putting aside $52 that week. In total, if you follow the 52 Week Challenge, you’ll save $1,378 (£1 000) by the end of the year. Easy enough, right?

OTHER WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

Just saving loose change has persuaded many people that they are able to save.  And when they become convinced that they can save, they find other ways to build an emergency fund or save for other goals.

Establish your budget. Are you looking for an easy way to begin? On the first day of a new month, get a receipt for everything you purchase. Stack the receipts into categories like restaurants, groceries, and personal care. At the end of the month you will be able to clearly see where your money is going.

Budget with cash and envelopes. If you have trouble with overspending, try the envelope budget system where you use a set amount of cash for most spending. And once the cash is gone, it’s gone.

Don’t just save money, SAVE. There’s a difference between saving money and saving money for your future. So don’t just spend less, put the money you save into a savings account to plan for other expenses or emergencies that can leave you financially better off.

Save automatically. Setting up automatic savings is the easiest and most effective way to save, and it puts extra cash out of sight and out of mind. This means saving automatically.  As millions of savers have learned, what you don’t see you won’t miss.

Choose something to save for. One of the best ways to save money is to set a goal: choose between a short-term and long term goals! Start by thinking of what you might want to save for—anything from buying a lap top to a vacation—then figure out how long it might take you to save for it.

Aim for short-term savings goals. Make a goal such as setting aside $20 (£15) a week or month, rather than a longer term savings goal. People save more successfully when they keep short-term goals in sight.

Save your loose change. An easy way to start to save is to collect your loose change. By being aware of the loose change around you and making a conscious effort to save it and gather it in one place, you will soon reap the rewards of your new saving habit.

Use the 24 hour rule. This rule helps to avoid purchasing expensive or unnecessary items on impulse. Think over each non-essential purchase for at least 24 hours. This is particularly easy to do while shopping online, because you can add items to your cart or wish list and come back to them a day later.

Treat yourself, but use it as an opportunity to save. Match the cost of your non-essential indulgences in savings. So, for example, if you splurge on a smoothie while out running errands, put the same amount into your savings account. And think of it this way, if you can’t afford to save the matching amount, you can’t afford the treat either.

Watch your savings grow. Check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly. These simple ways to save money may even inspire you to save more and hit your goals faster.

Everyone has the ability to save. At America Saves, they say “Start Small, Think Big.” You can start with only $10 a week or month. Over time, your deposits will add up. Even small amounts of savings can help you in the future.

WHERE CAN YOU SAVE YOUR MONEY?

Keep a Cash Jar: Some people feel more productive, savings-wise, if they use cash. If that’s you, and you’d prefer to physically put a dollar (or however many you’re supposed to put aside depending on which day of the week it is) aside every day, try keeping a money jar in a place you’ll remember to drop cash into every day, like on top of your dresser—you’ll see it when you’re getting ready, so you won’t forget. At the end of the week (or month, if you prefer), just deposit the cash into your savings account.

Use a Money App: If you’d rather keep things digital then a money app like Qapital or Acorns will be of great help. These banks are a new way to bank that makes it easy to save and invest money for stuff that matters.

Qapital, for example, lets you set up automatic transfers in the same dollar amount every day, every week, or every month, and has the traditional 52 Week Challenge transfer rule. Always make your homework before committing yourself.

If you don’t mind remembering to put aside money everyday, you can simply transfer the dollar amount for that day into your account with your preferred app—think of it like a digital cash jar, no deposits required. Or, if you’d rather set it and forget it, you can simply set up a recurring automatic weekly transfer of $28, and let your money basically save itself. Minimal effort required, and at the end of the year, your savings account will be nearly $1,500 richer.

Enough of money matters, dear folks . . .

Lastly, whilst doing some chores, one of these chain whatsApp messages popped up. It read:

Welcome to 2022, The Year of Nothing – IF you do NOTHING.

This month’s most popular text trending on phones, whatsApp, Facebook inboxes is all about ‘Happy New Year or Wish you a prosperous 2022’. Now, thank you, but that is the most useless yet popular message all around the world.  It is not about wishes, it is about action!

Pastors will be busy dishing out all types of ‘messages of hope to their respective congregants, The Year of Breakthrough, The Year of Prosperity, The Year of Victory and whatever as their God tells them, but listen, 2020 is a Year of Nothing –  IF you do NOTHING! All the sweet sound messages will not mean anything until you do something yourself.

My message to you friends and folks is: PPP – Pray, Plan and then Pursue. God will only bless what you work on according to His will. Do not be religious but be realistic! Take action and do not keep repeating the same things year in and year out, yet you expect different results. Otherwise 2022 will be like 2017, 2016, 2015 or whatever or even worse. 2022 is just a number, it is not enough to just wish each other a happy one. It will not bring happiness unless you find something that will make you happy.

God has never rewarded idleness. Look at all successful people around you, they all had to do something, they never just waited and hoped. Set up your goals and then prepare, then take up appropriate action.

Do not fear failure. When you try and fail, be happy because you have just learnt one way of not doing things.

Listen to constructive criticism but do not underrate yourself. You are not useless.

Everyone who is normal in the world can do something. It is not about your government always, it is not about God always, it is not about your friends and relatives, it is about YOU. The old say as a man thinks, so he is.

Remember God told Abraham, ‘Look North, South, East and West. As far as your eyes can see, I will give you and your children that land forever!’ Here God was giving Abraham an open cheque. He says you can do anything as long as you believe. Only you, can limit yourself.

So folks, I pray for all of you that God opens your eyes so that you will see limitlessly in 2020.

I am not wishing you a happy 2020, I am praying for you, instead.

Walk in love, believe and be diligent in all you do. Start today, set your goals and move! WALK THE TALK!

Another chain message I came across read like . . .

2022 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Do not be casual in anything you do. Put your best in everything you do. God does not bless mediocrity, average or break-even.
  2. Serve God like never before without looking at what people say. Look continuously to God who is the rewarder of your service.
  3. Sacrifice. The quickest way to turn from captivity is sacrifice. Sacrifice provokes God to act.
  4. Balance devotion and duty. Grace does not take away responsibility. Balance devotion and duty.
  5. Stay spiritually and visionary focused.

Again, I repeat: Welcome to 2022, The Year of Nothing, IF you do NOTHING.

Good luck in all your endeavours in 2022.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL

INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP – THE BEST TRIED & TESTED TECHNIQUES

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

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

Inspirational Leadership Is NOT A Style Of Leadership Per Se

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

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

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

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

COMMON TRAITS OF INSPIRATIONAL LEADERSHIP

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

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

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

What are the key traits of inspirational leaders?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Can All Be Inspirational Leaders

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

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

So, How Can You Build Leadership Skills? 

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

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

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

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

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!

EFFECTIVE TECHNIQUES TO MENTORING INDIVIDUALS @ High School

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Skills Required for Mentoring

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

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

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

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

Choices

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

REMEMBER . . . .

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

Techniques of Mentoring

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qualities Of A Good Mentor

The qualities that make a good mentor are as follows:

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

The New Opportunities 

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

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

Disadvantages Of Mentoring

The big disadvantages for mentoring include:

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

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

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

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

ON A FINAL NOTE . . . .

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

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

Good luck in all your endeavours.

As of old: Be EMPOWERED and EXCEL!!!