5 Ways to Learn New Skills Effectively

Learning a new skill can be one of the most satisfying things you can do to grow. Learning a new skill is not just a financially smart decision, but it is also good for your mental health. When you learn new skills, you feel more powerful. New neural connections are formed in your brain when you learn something new. The best way to change your life is to change your mind. And learning new skills is the best way to change your mind, literally.

When the normal routine of life makes your life dull, having entertainment alone is not enough to recharge yourself. Entertainment can be good for a weekend — but if you do not learn anything new for years, you will start hating your work.

The traditional system of education expects us to finish school and college and then work for the rest of our lives. That strategy might have worked 30 years back as the world was slowly moving towards the information age. It is not going to work anymore. To thrive in this day and age, learning has to become a habit and continuous up-gradation of skills is required to stay relevant and competitive.

One of the biggest challenges in learning after school and college is that the learning journey becomes lonely. If you are trying to learn from a book or an online course with a set of video tutorials, your learning can become quite stressful. Students learn best when they are energetic and happy. And the only way to feel energetic and happy during your learning journey is to be part of a community that has the same learning goals as yours.

1. Sign up for a cohort-based online course

Many online courses nowadays are cohort-based, and cohort-based online courses usually have a community around them. Being part of a community can impact your learning journey in very subtle ways that are not obvious. Remember, you are the average of the five people around you.

If you are part of a learning community where you see other students have similar goals such as yours and if you see that they are making progress with their professional journey, you are highly likely to grow along with them. You will have a positive pressure to achieve results.

Related: Why Remote Learning is an Avenue That is Worth Exploring

2. Sign up for a mastermind program

After the completion of the online course, you can think about becoming part of a mastermind community where the learning journey continues beyond the course duration. A mastermind community is usually led by a mentor, and you will have the best of the best students as part of the community.

Mastermind community memberships usually come at a premium, but it is worth the premium because the ideas that you get from the community for your career and business will be well worth the price.

3. Start blogging about what you’ve learned

To make sure that you do not forget what you learn, take notes and write about what you have learned in your blog. Writing organizes your thought process and it is one of the best ways to remember.

If you write in a public blog, you can also build your brand at the same time and may even start having some subscribers who want to copy your notes. A lot of digital mentors have built their following because they started taking their notes in public.

Related: 4 Tips for Finding Your Profitable Blogging Niche

4. Implement your learning

You also have to make sure that you implement what you learn. Implementation is very important because when you implement your leaningsconcepts

perspectives

onlinecourses

and get results, you are going to have validated learning. Validating what you have learned will make sure that the concepts you are trying to learn will go from information to understanding.

Once you understand something new, you will feel powerful and your perspective will expand. Once your perspective has expanded to new horizons, you will never be able to get back to your original state of thinking.

Also, implementing what you have learned gives you a project in hand. You get hired for what you can do, not what you know. Online course certificates usually prove that the student knows something, but not that they can do something. When you do a project, the project proves that you can do something. And who knows — the project can become a side hustle and may even become a business someday.

5. Become a digital mentor and teach

And finally, start teaching what you have learned to your followers. If you are already blogging and blogging about what you know, you will have an audience. Create a smaller mastermind group where you are the mentor and help your students. This will mostly happen online. You are effectively becoming a digital mentor for your students. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn, because it forces you to simplify the concepts you already have in your mind.

Related: How VR Will Accelerate Talent Learning and Development

Deepak Kanakaraju

By: Deepak Kanakaraju / Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Source: 5 Ways to Learn New Skills Effectively

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Empathy & Perspective Taking: How Social Skills Are Built

Understanding what other people want, how they feel, and how they see the world is becoming increasingly important in our complex, globalized society. Social skills enable us to make friends and create a network of people who support us. But not everyone finds it easy to interact with other people. One of the main reasons is that two of the most important social skills — empathy, i.e. being able to empathize with the other person’s emotions, and the ability to take a perspective, i.e. being able to gain an information by adopting another person’s point of view — are developed to different degrees.

Researchers have long been trying to find out what helps one to understand others. The more you know about these two social skills, the better you can help people to form social relationships. However, it still not exactly clear what empathy and perspective taking are (the latter is also known as “theory of mind”).

Being able to read a person’s emotions through their eyes, understand a funny story, or interpret the action of another person — in everyday life there are always social situations that require these two important abilities. However, they each require a combination of different individual subordinate skills. If it is necessary to interpret looks and facial expressions in one situation, in another it may be necessary to think along with the cultural background of the narrator or to know his or her current needs.

To date, countless studies have been conducted that examine empathy and perspective taking as a whole. However, it has not yet been clarified what constitutes the core of both competencies and where in the brain their bases lie. Philipp Kanske, former MPI CBS research group leader and currently professor at the TU Dresden, together with Matthias Schurz from the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and an international team of researchers, have now developed a comprehensive explanatory model.

“Both of these abilities are processed in the brain by a ‘main network’ specialised in empathy or changing perspective, which is activated in every social situation. But, depending on the situation, it also involves additional networks,” Kanske explains, referring to the results of the study, which has just been published in the journal Psychological Bulletin. If we read the thoughts and feelings of others, for example, from their eyes, other additional regions are involved than if we deduce them from their actions or from a narrative. “The brain is thus able to react very flexibly to individual requirements.”

For empathy, a main network that can recognise acutely significant situations, for example, by processing fear, works together with additional specialised regions, for example, for face or speech recognition. When changing perspective, in turn, the regions that are also used for remembering the past or fantasising about the future, i.e., for thoughts that deal with things that cannot be observed at the moment, are active as the core network. Here too, additional brain regions are switched on in each concrete situation.

Through their analyses, the researchers have also found out that particularly complex social problems require a combination of empathy and a change of perspective. People who are particularly competent socially seem to view the other person in both ways — on the basis of feelings and on the basis of thoughts. In their judgement, they then find the right balance between the two.

“Our analysis also shows, however, that a lack of one of the two social skills can also mean that not this skill as a whole is limited. It may be that only a certain factor is affected, such as understanding facial expressions or speech melody,” adds Kanske. A single test is therefore not sufficient to certify a person’s lack of social skills. Rather, there must be a series of tests to actually assess them as having little empathy, or as being unable to take the other person’s point of view.

The scientists have investigated these relationships by means of a large-scale meta-analysis. They identified, on the one hand, commonalities in the MRI pattern of the 188 individual studies examined when the participants used empathy or perspective taking. This allowed the localisation of the core regions in the brain for each of the two social skills. However, results also indicated how the MRI patterns differed depending on the specific task and, therefore, which additional brain regions were used.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthias Schurz, Joaquim Radua, Matthias G. Tholen, Lara Maliske, Daniel S. Margulies, Rogier B. Mars, Jerome Sallet, Philipp Kanske. Toward a hierarchical model of social cognition: A neuroimaging meta-analysis and integrative review of empathy and theory of mind.. Psychological Bulletin, 2020; DOI: 10.1037/bul0000303

Cite This Page:

Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences. “Empathy and perspective taking: How social skills are built.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201110090427.htm>.

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4 Dirty Little Secrets You Need To Know About Successful People

There is no shortage of disappointment and pain in the world. No shortage of helplessness. No shortage of regret. No shortage of failure.

If you’re feeling down because you got fired yesterday. So what? You didn’t get the promotion. So what? You hate your boss, and your business failed. So what? You never got to graduate from high school. Maybe you didn’t graduate college. So what? You graduated college but aren’t happy in your career? You made it all the way to the C-suite but don’t feel fulfilled. So what? If this is your reality, what are you going to do about it?

You can fall into despair and complain about how miserable life is. I have been there and done that. You can go to work every day and whine about your job, your colleagues or your boss. You can settle for a life and career of mediocrity and spend 40+ hours a week on a job you hate. Lots of people do this.

You can continue to gripe about Mondays and wish your life away rushing to Friday, or you can put in the work – and make the sacrifice – that success demands. That’s the rub though – sacrifice. People don’t just wake up successful. They work for it. They trade for it. They sacrifice for it. Are you willing to do the work and go through the pain necessary to achieve and sustain success?

Here are the four dirty little secrets that you need to know about successful people if you want to become one.

1. Successful people trade one pain for another.

“We must all suffer one of two things in life: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”

Years ago I read this quote by Jim Rohn, and it hit me. I realized that I’d have to struggle and go through some hard stuff in my life and to build my career. I realized that there was no such thing as a pain-free life. Since there would be no way to avoid struggles, I decided to buckle down and stop looking for one. I decided I’d rather suffer the pain of discipline and began my success journey. I suggest you do too.

Contrary to popular belief, successful people don’t get to escape life’s pains. They just trade one pain for another whenever and wherever possible. Successful people trade the pain of regret with the pain of discipline. They trade the pain of stopping with the pain of starting. They trade the pain of failure for the pain of consistency, and they trade the pain of saying yes too often with the pain of saying no in an effort to protect and focus the most limited resource they have – time.

Successful people fear failure just like everyone else, but they don’t let it stop them because they know that regret causes more pain than failure ever will. If you want to be successful, you really can be afraid to fail, but you can‘t be afraid to try.

2. Successful people take risks and lose.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

This quote by Michael Jordan revealed a lot to me about risk and losing. When you run from failure, you inevitably run from success. Successful people put it all on the line. They risk humiliation and embarrassment. They risk disappointing others. They risk it all – including their careers – to achieve their goals.

If you want your career to soar, you must be willing to see it plummet. And though this may cause extreme discomfort and anxiety, success goes hand-in-hand with risk so you need to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. Successful people lean into ambiguity and uncertainty because they know that in order to achieve the greatest heights of success they have to be willing to experience despair.

If you want to be successful, realize that nothing ventured really does mean nothing gained. Successful people have to take risks – financial and career risks and personal and professional ones as well.

3. Successful people want to give up.

“You have to fight for what you want because what you want won’t fight for you!”

Demarjay Smith, Ellen DeGeneres’ favorite kid trainer, hit it on the nose with this quote. It may seem like it will never happen for you. You may feel like you are sinking when you aren’t. The difference between losing and being a loser is giving up. Successful people want to give up sometimes just like everyone else, but they don’t, and you shouldn’t either.

Take it from 12-year-old Demarjay, and fight for what you want. While his goal is to get an education and develop physical strength, that is not the point. Your goal is your goal. Maybe you want to start a business, get a promotion, change careers, become a manager, be a teacher, make it to the C-suite, write a book, become a famous singer, actor, director, etc. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish? The message is the same regardless. Successful people get up each and every day and fight for what they want.

If you want to be successful, learn to reach deep for the power that’s within you so you don’t give up. Successful people have breakdowns sometimes, but they muster up everything they have within themselves to ultimately reach a breakthrough. And the breakthrough is amazing! I know from personal experience.

When you get back up after falling, when you fail but still push to succeed, when you cry, but still find a reason to laugh and when you thought you had nothing else to give but you still manage to get up and put one foot in front of the other. That is you showing that you have the power within yourself to make it across the line and not give up.

4. Successful people get rejected.

“Most fears of rejection rest on the desire for approval from other people. Don’t base your self-esteem on their opinions.” – Harvey Mackay

The first thing I think about when I hear the word rejection is that every single syllable hurts. I hate it. I’ve been rejected for so many things that I now just consider it a normal part of the success journey. Still, I hate it. But if the choice is between being rejected or never going for what we want; never asking for what we want; never reaching for our dreams, then rejection it is.

Successful people get rejected, but they don’t let it stop them. They take steps to limit the power that rejection has over them by doing these three things.

  1. expect to be rejected
  2. stay true to yourself and
  3. get away from small-minded people

If you want to be successful, you need to expect rejection. Sometimes people can’t see your value. Sometimes they can’t appreciate your brilliance. They can’t understand your goals. They don’t dream like you do, and this is okay. Surround yourself with people who will support you. Instead of trying to persuade small-minded people, I recommend you build a different support system and connect with new friends who will believe in you and cheer you on.

Get up and own your power.

Are you willing to do the dirty work required to achieve and sustain success?

If you want a different job, a different boss or a different career, what are you going to do about it? If you want to change your life, you have to get up. Get up and put one foot in front of the other. Get up and believe in yourself. Get up and do something to create the life you want. And don’t ever let anyone – including yourself – cause you to be defeated. You have the power to create a better life, a better career, a better you. You have what it takes to achieve success.

Never forget this. There is pain in everything. To get different, you will have to be different; to accomplish more, you will have to do more. And the dirty little secret is that successful people don’t get to escape life’s pains, risks, failures and rejections. Quite the contrary. Successful people actually embrace them, and this is how they achieve success in the first place.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders in 43 states and 6 countries across 3 continents. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change.

Source: 4 Dirty Little Secrets You Need To Know About Successful People

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The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

This skill is so underrated that you can get pretty far in your career without anyone really noticing that you don’t have it or can’t apply it well. I’m talking about effective decision making. All sorts of people get through years of working; they even make it all the way to the C-suite without anyone ever even discussing this. But lose half a million in a quarter, cause a $50 million disaster, create a major service quality deficit or hire the wrong people for the wrong jobs too many times and people surely start to take notice.

The powers that be will surely notice that decision making – a skill you were likely never evaluated for – is suddenly getting in the way of your success and causing the organization to suffer.

Education Can’t Outrun Poor Decisions.

No amount of education or experience can outrun or outweigh poor decision making in the long run. The costs of bad decisions always surface and find a way to make you and the entire organization look bad. Observe the top ranks in any organization, and you will likely find highly qualified, educated and experienced executives and directors, but you’d be well advised not to assume that they can or will apply effective decision making when the moment requires it or the situation demands it. By the time leaders are exposed as deficient in this area, the organization has already taken huge hits and the culture and employees surely feel it.

Let’s look at what effective decision making is and what it isn’t as well as why it’s a necessary component of career and organizational success.

Effective decision making is a necessary but most underrated skill.

The higher up the career ladder you go, the more responsible you are for decision making. You become responsible for your own ability to make good decisions and accountable for the decision making – or lack thereof – of others on your team. If you find your career progression has struggled or stalled or that you are not getting the respect you seek, consider whether or not your decision-making methods could be hindering your success and how.

Decision making is underrated because people tend to credit others as competent in it without making any meaningful observations or assessments. Yet, a skill deficit in this area can create disastrous results for employees and organizations. Its importance is most appreciated after organizational leaders try to reactively remedy a catastrophe rather than when they should have been proactively trying to prevent one in the first place.

Today In: Leadership

Very smart people can (and do) make very bad decisions.

Some of the smartest – and most accomplished – people in the world have been in rooms when some of the worst decisions have been made (think Enron, the 2008 financial crisis, the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the 2019 Boeing 737 Max FAA disasters). Then there are the decisions that organizational leaders make every day which lead to staggering operational inefficiencies, unnecessary redundancies, poor quality output, ineffective and contradictory policies, bad customer service and flawed hiring. How can this be?

There are myriad reasons for bad, unethical or grossly negligent decisions including poor leadership, the lack of decision-making processes, ego, peer pressure, etc. But the top reasons would be resistance to critical thinking and analysis as well as the lack of an established decision-making process that accounts for human biases and ethical gaps.

Effective decision making is not synonymous with decisiveness.

Organizations go to great pains to recruit and reward decisive leaders when they should, instead, be working harder to secure effective ones. Certainly, decisive leadership has a proper time and place, but decisiveness is not synonymous with effectiveness. Further, when applied improperly or excessively, it can be a detriment to effective leadership and an impediment to effective decision making.

Sometimes being decisive can work against you.

These four perils to decisive leadership can create long-lasting harm to organizational and career success. You’ll want to avoid this kind of decision making whenever possible.

  1. Ready-shoot-aim. A decisive leader could have a shoot-first mentality whereby he will make a decision and ask questions later (if ever) with little regard for short or long-term consequences.
  2. Acting is more important than thinking. A decisive leader could believe that he’ll be rewarded for quick decisions even if those decisions may do greater harm in the long run. The goal becomes to just do something, and do it as fast as possible.
  3. Decisions aren’t connected to data. A decisive leader can become driven to achieve some predefined outcome regardless of whether the data supports the outcome or not. What is best for the outcome overrides what is best for the organization or the internal or external stakeholders.
  4. The ego can get bigger than the organization. A decisive leader may not tolerate or encourage dissent. In the worst cases, people are punished for disagreeing and rewarded for perpetual agreement. Hence, the decider creates – rather than reduces – higher levels of organizational risk.

Effective decision making requires analysis.

The best decision makers understand that regardless of which decision-making model they use, they must be strategic about it. Effective decisions are well-thought decisions with the results or consequences being weighed and considered beforehand.

Effective decision makers are often better strategic thinkers too because their processes start with better questions like these:

  1. Why do I/we need to care about this issue? Or, what prompted the need for this decision to be made?
  2. What happens if I/we don’t decide on this issue? Is the status quo acceptable? Why or why not?
  3. What outcomes are we trying to achieve? Who cares about them and why?
  4. What are my/our biases, prejudices, interests or values? Are they congruent with the defined decision options?
  5. Whom will this decision mostly affect? How?
  6. What are the positive and negative consequences of this decision? What is this based on?
  7. Who are the short-term and long-term beneficiaries? Who gets to define them?
  8. What is the worst result this decision can bring? Can I/we live with that?
  9. What are forces for or against this decision? Do I/we care? Why or why not?
  10. What is the second choice/option or fallback position? Is it viable, and how do I/we know?

Effective decision making is necessary for professional and career success.

Decision making is indeed a skill, and it is critical for personal, professional and career success. It applies to all areas of the business including hiring, operations, marketing, finance, etc. And it is most helpful when contemplating and deciding on your next career moves.

Those who are able and willing to apply effective decision making to their career will better understand which job opportunities to accept and which ones to decline and which career risks to take and which ones to pass. They are better able to gauge which extracurricular projects to accept and which ones to turn down.

Ultimately, by making better decisions, you will take more calculated risks to advance your career, and you will know where to focus your time and efforts for career building and networking so you can realize the greatest benefits over time.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here.

I am a strategist, management consultant, executive coach and international speaker and have delivered meaningful results for executives and leaders in 42 states and 6 countries across 3 continents. I serve as CEO for ARVis Institute, a strategy, change, performance and human capital consulting firm. I have committed my research, education and professional talents to transforming governments, corporations, nonprofits and educational institutions and develop leaders and managers who have the capacity to create high-performing organizations and the competence to affect positive change.

Source: The Most Underrated Skill That You Need To Be Successful

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Paula Golden philanthropist — amalgamator Broadcom Foundation, Executive Director “Successful philanthropy unites good people with the right cause and insures that the relationships are long-term, productive and gratifying.” As executive director of the Broadcom Foundation and director of Broadcom Corporation Community Affairs, Paula Golden is responsible for all aspects of the Broadcom Foundation, which includes funding education and research initiatives in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) worldwide. She also oversees the volunteer activities of 13,000 employees at Broadcom, a global Fortune 500 company and leading innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Paula earned her undergraduate degree in English and education from Wellesley College and was assistant dean and instructor of law at New England School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor, cum laude. She also served as executive director of the Engineering Center and Engineering Center Education Trust, director of development for University of California, Los Angeles Neurosciences, and vice president of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. She partners with progressive nonprofits, government entities, formal and informal learning programs, and Broadcom employee-volunteers throughout the world to develop STEM learning processes and teacher training that will assist young people from all strata of society to become scientists, engineers and innovators of the future. This work includes developing the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS International, signature programs of Society for Science and the Public. The Broadcom MASTERS® is the premier international middle school science and engineering competition designed to engage students between the ages of 11 and 14 in project-based learning and inspire them to continue studies in math and science through high school in order to achieve college and career goals. Paula also oversees Broadcom Foundation’s university research funding that reaches more than 64 renowned universities worldwide and directs the prestigious Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition. – – – – – – – – – – In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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