Monday, March 1, 2010

Why Learn Thinking Skills

Because your brain will thank you and so will your employer. Learning thinking skills lets you be more creative in solving the challenges that confront you. When you learn skills to think better, it promotes personal and career development. Companies pay big returns for people who can think better.

You can’t talk about thinking skills and not talk about creativity. Thinking skills are not one dimensional. Creativity plays an almost equal role when it comes to great thinking. A person really should have a thinking skill set that includes creativity, because learning creativity skills really goes hands and hand with great thinking. More on creativity later, this storyline will focus exclusively on why we want to learn new thinking skills.

Before we start, it’s important to understand what is covered in a really good thinking skill set. The components to a comprehensive thinking skill set include: tools for thinking and understanding, tools for problem solving, tools for decision making, tools for creativity, tools for generating great ideas, and tools for innovation, change & improvement. This is what makes up a body of knowledge for an ideal thinking skill set. Now back some of the more popular reasons people want to learn thinking skills.

When you know how to think, you develop peak mental performance and that helps you to realize their true potential. Creative thinking also lets you expand on your existing abilities, further developing your full potential! Best of all, when you improve thinking skills, it lets you our pace your competition, and lets you get ahead in life.

Becoming a better thinker lets you discover new and better ways to solve problems, make better decisions and to understand more clearly. Increasingly, the problems we face everyday are more complex and open-ended. Knowledge alone isn't enough to reach innovative solutions. Using thinking skills coupled with being creative is typically required.

Thinking skills contribute to effective leadership. It is using creative thinking skills that distinguish a manager who maintains the status quo from a leader who casts a compelling vision or supplies a new direction for the future. By internalizing principles, you learn in being creative and thinking skills, an individual can be transformed into a great leader.

Thinking enhances the process of learning other new skills. The nature of learning requires the use of thinking skills and lets you develop a higher order of learning. The more you learn, the more you know and your knowledge base increases.

Great thinking generates great ideas. Great ideas improve an organization and keep it moving forward. Companies pay top dollar for great thinkers and great ideas.

Thinking skills are an important aspect of maintaining good mental health. Individuals, who are capable of incorporating better thinking into their lives, can enjoy the experience of discovering, developing, and utilizing their many inherent skills and talents. Thinking skills are also useful in coping with life's challenges. Improved thinking is a critical life skill.

Rapid growth of competition in business and industry demands thinking skills to be quicker, sharper and more creative in finding solutions. In a world of increasing complexity, change, and competition, generating new ideas and bringing them to the table is now essential for corporate management. Successful businesses are the ones that embrace learning and pay dearly for thinking skills.
When it comes to personal growth and career development, thinking skills are at the top of the list of skills employees, managers and business owners want in an employee and prospective candidates. Employers are looking for candidates who know how to think.

You have to check out the new reference E-Book we feature on our website: “Burning Brighter Than The Rest Of The Stars©”. This body of knowledge is a modern day thinking skill set that includes everything you need in, all in one place. Read the storyline for our E-Book Burning Brighter to learn more.
Resource Box:

George Napoli a self proclaimed [e]volutionary, thrives in an environment of change and creativity, and has a passion for entrepreneurs. He re-tooled his skill sets and core competencies and holds Masters Certificates in: Strategic Organizational Leadership (SLD), Human Resource Development (HRD), Business Analyst (BA) and Master Black Belt Six Sigma (CMBBSS), all from Villanova University. He's trained hundreds of entrepreneurs and managers on a wide range of skill sets to improve performance, thinking and creativity in generating great ideas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Top Skills To Learn For Top Paying Jobs!

What skills are employers willing to pay for?

Most candidates would love to know the inside secret to a great job and career. Are there specific skills sets employers pay top dollar for, besides the basic technical skills required?

There are specific skills that all employers are looking for. You can learn skills if you do not have them, or improved, to enhance the ones you do have.

Numerous studies have identified these critical skills for employment, sometimes referred to as "soft skills.

Top Skills Most Sought After by Employers

* Communications Skills is the most popular
* Thinking Skills to help move an organization forward
* Analytical/Research Skills to assess an issue
* Computer-Literate
* Flexibility/Adaptability
* Managing Multiple Priorities
* Team Player working in groups
* Interpersonal Skills
* Leadership
* Presentation Skills
* Management Skills
* Diversity Skills
* Problem-Solving/Reasoning
* Creativity
* Project Management Skills

Think about the skill sets you are good at, and focus on them to improve your overall performance. Take one of the skills you are weak at and work on strengthening that skill. Learning new skill sets will improve your performance, make you more successful overall, and help you realize your true income potential.

Build your resume and work experience around these skills to improve your chances to secure employment and to find the best job out there for you.

Visit our website for thinking and creativity skills and to help you generate great ideas. Employers pay top dollars for great thinking and great ideas.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Essence of Learning New SKills

How we learn new skills, or about new things can be very complicated. To simplify the topic, I've included the essence of how we actually learn about new subjects of interest. Here is the essence of how we learn new skills. How we learn new skils is actually pretty simple and the process is very enlightening.

How We Learn

* 10% of what we READ
* 20% of what we HEAR
* 30% of what we SEE
* 50% of what we SEE AND HEAR
* 70% of what is DISCUSSED WITH OTHERS
* 95% of what we TEACH TO SOMEONE ELSE

Now that you know "how to learn", it's time to bring our attention to the essence of knowing and knowledge. You can't be a great thinker without or learn new skills without understanding the three levels of knowing and the three levels of knowledge.

This model identifies the three levels of knowing.

This model shows the three levels of knowledge. Basic recall is the lowest level in the hierarchy of knowledge. The rest of this article will focus on basic memory, and we will address the higher levels of knowledge in the next two postings.

In simple terms, memory is the mental activity of recalling information that you have learned or experienced. That simple definition, covers a sophisticated process that involves many different parts of the brain and serves us in different and unique ways.

Just like muscular strength, your ability to remember increases when you exercise your memory and support it a proper diet and other healthy habits. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your memory and retrieval capacity. First, however, it's helpful to understand how we remember.

Memory can be either short-term or long-term. In short-term memory, your mind stores information for a few seconds or a few minutes: that's about the time it takes you to meet look up a friends telephone number. Short term memory is fragile, and it’s meant to be. If not, your brain would quickly be faced with “sensory overload” if you retained every phone number you called, every person you met. Your brain is also meant to hold an average of seven items: called the magic of 7 +-2, which is why you can usually remember a new phone number for a few minutes. Anything more than 7 and you have difficultly recalling.

Long-term memory on the other hand, involves the information you make an effort (conscious or unconscious) to retain, because it has some significance or is important to you. For example: information on colleagues, and friends). Some information that you store in long-term memory requires a conscious effort to recall: episodic memories, which are personal memories about experiences you’ve had at specific times; and semantic memories (factual data not bound to time or place), which can be everything from the names of the planets to the color of your child’s hair. Another type of long-term memory is procedural memory, which involves skills and routines you perform so often that they don’t require conscious recall.

So now that we know about basic recall and memory, here are some tips and guidelines to improve your memory and basic recall.

Pay attention. You can only remember what you have learned and you can;t recall it if you have not paid attention to it or made a strong effort to encode it into your brain. It takes about eight seconds of intent focus to process a piece of information through your hippocampus and into the appropriate memory center. That means you can;t do more than one thing when you need to concentrate! If you distract easily, try to absorb the information in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted.

Tailor information you want to retain to your learning style. Most people are visual learners; they learn best by reading or seeing what it is they have to know. But some are auditory learners who learn better by listening. They might benefit by recording information they need and listening to it until they remember it.

Involve all your senses. Even if you’re a visual learner, read out loud what you want to remember. If you can recite it rhythmically, even better. Try to relate information to colors, textures, smells and tastes. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, whether it’s new material that builds on previous knowledge, or something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone.

Organize information. Write things down in note pads and datebooks and on calendars; take notes on more complex material and reorganize the notes into categories later. Use both words and pictures in learning information. Understand and be able to interpret complex material. For more complex material, focus on understanding basic ideas rather than memorizing isolated details. Be able to explain it to someone else in your own words. If you can;t summarize it our loud, that means you really have not absorbed or understand it completely.

Rehearse information frequently and “over-learn”. Review what you’ve learned the same day you learn it, and at intervals thereafter for the next 7-10 days. What researchers call “spaced rehearsal” is more effective than “cramming.” If you’re able to “over-learn” information so that recalling it becomes second nature, so much the better.

Be interested and motivated, and keep a positive mental perspective. Tell yourself that you want to learn what you need to remember, and that you can learn and remember it. Telling yourself you have a bad memory actually hampers the ability of your brain to remember, while positive mental feedback sets up an expectation of success.

Mnemonic devices to improve memory. Mnemonics (the initial “m” is silent) are helpful tips of any kind that help us remember something, usually by causing us to associate the information we want to remember with a visual image, a sentence, or a word. Sometimes they are also called moronic systems. Whatever you pay attention too, you will be better able to recall it so these systems put you on the right track to recall.

Common types of mnemonic devices include:

Visual images - a microphone to remember the name “Mike,” a rose for “Rosie.” Use positive, pleasant images, because the brain often blocks out unpleasant ones, and make them vivid, colorful, and three-dimensional — they’ll be easier to remember. Made up acronyms about the subject matter are great moronic memory tools to help you recall.

Sentences in which the first letter of each word is part of or represents the initial of what you want to remember. Millions of musicians, for example, first memorized the lines of the treble staff with the sentence “Every good boy does fine” (or “deserves favor”), representing the notes E, G, B, D, and F. Medical students often learn groups of nerves, bones, and other anatomical features using nonsense sentences.

Acronyms, which are initials that creates pronounceable words. The spaces between the lines on the treble staff, for example, are F, A, C, and E: FACE.
Rhymes and alliteration: remember learning “30 days hath September, April, June, and November”? A hefty guy named Robert can be remembered as “Big Bob” and a smiley co-worker as “Perky Pat” (though it might be best to keep such names to yourself).
Jokes or even off-color associations using facts, figures, and names you need to recall, because funny or peculiar things are easier to remember than mundane images.
“Chunking” information; that is, arranging a long list in smaller units or categories that are easier to remember. If you can reel off your Social Security number without looking at it, that’s probably because it’s arranged in groups of 3, 2, and 4 digits, not a string of 9. “Method of loci”: This is an ancient and effective way of remembering a lot of material, such as a speech. You associate each part of what you have to remember with a landmark in a route you know well, such as your commute to work.

Sources for posting:
1- emind tools- has great tips on memory techniques
2- has plenty of information and isnisgh on memory and recall.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Reflective Thinking-Learning New Thinking Skills From The Inside Out

When it comes to learning skills and learning skill sets, Confuscius said it best...

"By three methods we may learn wisdom First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

They say history repeats itself. Lessons from the past are one of the smartest thinking tools you can use. Embracing the lessons from the past is what reflective thinking is all about. When you reflect, you draw on past experiences. Drawing on past experiences puts things in perspective and sheds a new light on the teachings.
“Reflective thinking turns experience into insight”

Having been through something once, gives you a sense of confidence that experience teaches. Reflecting is a sure fire way to start any thinking process. When you reflect on something you get to see the entire picture. The good and the bad. You can learn something from both perspectives, so don’t turn your back to the negatives side of the lesson.

“Those that forget the past are condemned to relive it”

When you look at both the positive and negative using reflective thinking, it takes a bad experience and turns it into a valuable one. Do not miss the opportunity to get something of value from it.

It’s easy and fun to pull the wisdom from a positive experience. A good experience is the most valuable. Having done it once successfully, you should be able to repeat the positive experience. To ensure that you get the same results with the next new experience, ask yourself these questions:

What was the biggest factor in the experience and what role did it play?
What was the one negative thing about the experience, how could I have prevented, but more importantly, what lesson did I learn?
What steps did I take?
What questions would I have asked if I had another expereince similar to it?
What was my biggest surprise?
What could I have done differently to improve the results?
What did I learn?
What could I have done to improve the past experience?

Exploring the past is definitely inspirational. It also provided integrity to your thinking, and most important of all it puts the past experience into true perspective. You can use this thinking tool for any challenge. You can also use it to just sit back and reflect, you will be surprised what you learn.

Here is a simple exercise. Think back in time, and then think through these subjects:
* Family
* Career
* Hobby
* Giving
* Religion
* Problems
* Work

You can also use this thinking tool to think about any scenarios to see if you experience something similar in the past you can draw on. Always keep balance and perspective in mind when you reflect. If you have a current challenge you are working on, reflect on it, give it some mental energy, give yourself a place to reflect that is quiet and a time that is most peaceful for you

Reflective thinking is the first place to start when you want to think about something and think better.

Exploring into the future is definitely inspirational. Thinking associated with new ideas, planning different objectives and also stretching your creative thoughts on how to proceed in a different way, provides you with loads of positive energy! Use the past to think ahead, set goals and cherisg the insight these thoughts give you.

Try our new E-Book Burning Brighter Than The Rest Of The Stars. A great reference E-Book for people who want to think better, be more creative and generate great ideas.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thinking Differently

When it comes to learning new skill sets, thinking ranks at the top of the pile. In a recent survey of hundreds or managers and business owners, thinking better was one of the top choices. Here' a recap of that survey:

Surveying the wants and needs of respondents that wanted to get ahead, get out of the middle of the pile and perform better.

I would like to learn new skill sets so that I can advance with my job or grow my company...36%

I want to be able to solve problems more effectively and improve my decision making skills...20%

I really want to be a better thinker...18%

I need to be more creative when
generating great ideas

Assessing the skill sets most desired be respondents

Thinking skill sets for solving problems and making decisions...22%

Skill Set for Leadership...18%

Skill set for Communication and interpersonal relationships...15%

Skill set for Project Management...12%

The skill set for Creativity, Innovation and Improvement...12%

What does this survey reveal? People do really do have a desire to learn, in particular, they hope to learn about the topics and subject matter, they are interested in or think are essential their overall performance.

Their goal and objectives are pretty simple. They have a real passion and desire to get ahead of the pack as well as pull themselves out of the pile.

Our E-book for thinking better and generating ideas is now ready to be released. Visit our website now and good luck with all your learning new skill sets.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Essence Of Learning

The Essence Of Being Teachable

The article that follows concerns itself with the critical importance of entrepreneur’s and leader’s exercising a willingness to learn new things and to explore how and why they should learn. Hopefully, the message that follows will prove interesting to everyone from the beginner to the experienced owner/leader, manager and office support staff. It covers everyone in the pack and should apply to be of interest to all personnel.

When presented with an opportunity to participate in a training session or to take a business-related course, we always hear, "Who has time to learn anyway? I'm too busy making a living." Better yet, "I'm so successful now, I don't really need to learn anything to keep abreast of the latest methodology, concepts and techniques. I'm doing just fine." These responses are the most common when it comes to learning in general, or taking action in particular to develop new skill sets, learn a new procedure, or understand a new body of knowledge.

With that as background, this begs the question, whose responsibility is it to motivate us to want to learn something new and/or to adopt an innovative way of doing things? What comes first, a passion to become a more avid student of learning to make better decisions, thinking strategically, being more effective in what we do, or a need to be smarter than we are in order to be more successful? Does the passion come after we get started and consumed by what we are learning?
An integral part of what we're discussing is finding the answer to the question: What do the terms "middle of the pack" and the "concept of average" have to do with learning?

Here's what I've come to learn in what has been a lifelong journey down the path of learning and growing personally and professionally. As a rule, companies are not willing to invest in improvement for the middle -of-the -pack or average 30 percent of their producers. As far as that goes, my experience has been that companies won't invest in the middle of the pack no matter what line or factory you want to take on. If you had a choice between working with the top-30-percent producers in their respective field, or just an average sales agent or agency, would you pick the former or the latter? To me, the choice is obvious.

Whether you are 30 or 60 years old, whether you're marginally successful or successful beyond your wildest dreams, for all of our lives we are taught to set goals. Short-term, long-term - goals, goals, goals is what we've always been taught. Goal-setting is the process we employ after we've traveled our respective educational paths. But what happens after you've met your goals? Normally, we just set more goals. As a result, after a while your goals become blurred and actually obscure whatever purpose you thought you had when you set them in the first place. Worse yet, after you've met your goals, you just say "Amen" and rest on your laurels and ride into the proverbial successful sunset - whatever that means. And why not - aren't you entitled to relax? You just hit your goals, didn't you? But in time you will find that doesn't work. I know because I've experienced it firsthand. What you come to learn is that success is never final, just like failure is never fatal!

Individuals only become successful by employing whatever terms and conditions they apply for themselves. Success, just as a personal lifestyle, does not have to be defended. It is what it is. If it's a boat and three houses on the coasts or a small bungalow that serves you just fine for your lifestyle, then that's great! You deserve it, you've earned it! Best of all, money may not even be an integral part of your criteria for ultimate success - though we all know it has to play a pivotal part in your foundation.

In the end, goals and orientation make up only half the equation for successful personal and business lives. I would maintain that in order to be fulfilled and to grow personally and professionally, we need to change our success orientation and develop a growth orientation where we constantly establish new goals and challenges for ourselves based on learning and growing.

Once we make that transition, we can learn to develop a passion for learning and growing. I for one believe that first you take a step or two in the direction of learning something new. Then you apply what you've learned. If it works, you feel good about that. It's then that the passion for learning casts its first light. Don't wait for the passion to come first unless you're very lucky. And that's what I am. I am very lucky. Learning comes too easy for me, and I have a knack for it, a passion for it and a real talent for it.

Now my challenge is to open others' eyes and get them to consider developing a growth orientation and mentality both personally and professionally. One thing I've learned is that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. That philosophy fuels and drives my passion to learn more.

I recently created a new initiative under the learn skill sets model to train and develop emerging middle managers, entrepreneur’s and employees to ensure our corporate vision - in order to enable greatness in both managers entrepreneurs.
This initiative is branded under the learning skill sets model: Personal and Professional Career Development. The vision was crafted to deliver to managers operating at every level and entrepreneurs, the essence of the best methods, concepts, skill sets, tools and body of knowledge for thinking better and generating great ideas. The sources for the skill sets and core competencies came from the best universities and professional training companies I’ve experienced in my retooling experience.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Skill Set And Tools For Implementing Ideas

What do you do after you use the thinking model to generate ideas and solutions to the challenge at hand. Implementing them is the key to success with generating new ideas that you want to act on.

Consistently implementing new ideas requires a system. Deming is well known in the world of quality management. This is is system and quite an effective tool know as the PDCA Cycle, or Deming Cycle. Here's an image of the concept.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA)

It's root lie in the theory that something needs to be change, or is wrong or needs to be fixed. Can you be certain that what you are doing is right? and are you sure that your solution will work correctly?

A popular tool for doing this is the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle. This is often referred to as the Deming Cycle or the Deming Wheel after its proponent, W Edwards Deming. It is also sometimes called the Shewhart Cycle.

Deming is best known as a pioneer of the quality management approach and for introducing statistical process control techniques for manufacturing to the Japanese, who used them with great success. He believed that a key source of production quality lay in having clearly defined, repeatable processes. And so the PDCA Cycle as an approach to change and problem solving is very much at the heart of Deming's quality-driven philosophy.

The four phases in the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle involve:

Plan: Identifying and analyzing the problem;
Do: Developing and testing a potential solution;
Check: Measuring how effective the test solution was, and analyzing whether it could be improved in any way; and
Act: Implementing the improved solution fully.

When it comes to a simple tool for implementing ideas, this is one of the best out there.

To learn more visit