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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Learning & Type of Learners?

Students use variety of learning methods. Suitable study skills and habits are essential for encoding information and knowledge, and retrieving the same at the right moment. Every student has his own mode of learning. Students with high visual capacities may have difficulties listening to a teacher for long hours. And, students who are high in auditory skills may not enjoy visual learning process in teh class without audio support. There are roughly three category of learners:-

  • Visual Learners: A student, who is a visual learner can learn best by looking at information through written words, actual pictures or the real scene of the learning materials. Some of the unique features of visual learning students are (a) They visually read fast and get the content by reading and viewing a presentation. (b) They love reading by themselves rather than listening to someone. (b) They learn by studying maps and figure out the location and do not depend on directions given to them. (d) They focus mainly on thoughts and may miss layout necessities such as punctuation, grammar, spelling, and language rules. (e) They sketch while listening in the class and they are better artists than orators. (f) They qualities of imagination and visualisation are higher in them. (g) Visual learners may appear to be disinterested in the class, while they actively register complicated concepts in visual file folders. (h) They may be easily frustrated with writing assignments. (i) Their problem solving capacity is superior than others.

  • Auditory Learners: The strongest learning mode for any auditory learner is hearing which is a significant aspect of the development of linguistic competence. An auditory learning student is one who best learns by listening. Such students enjoy learning when they listen to classroom lectures and group discussions. Good auditory learners tend to: (a) get distracted by noise easily (b) call someone via phone instead of any written communication. (c) remember what they hear better than what they see. (d) acquire information by listening rather than viewing. (e) express themselves by talking rather than writing. (f) follow complex sets of oral directions, and even rote information, such as multiplication tables. (g) demonstrate their work easily because they store information in a series of steps that they can retrieve easily.

  • Kinesthetic Learners: Kinesthetic student will learn by implementing the concepts physically. They benefit from experiential learning. (a) They are usually slow in writing and reading compare to the other two type of learners. (b) They use postures and gestures very often. (c) They prefer the practical part in learning rather than listening or seeing. (d) The do not enjoy sitting long hours in classroom. They benefit learning through exploration. (e) They memorise things when they are physically active. (f) They understand materials better when they are role played or acted out.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Students! Tips to Face Exams Stress-free.

For most smart students who utilise some study techniques, examinations are not a scary affair. And board examinations are easier than believed. Then how to face examinations stress-free? Explained here:

  • Learning and practising relaxation, positive thinking and panic coping techniques can help reduce your stress to a great extent.

  • To get familirised with the real examination scenario, simulating examinations at homes will be good.

  • Most of the students can follow the techniques of studying by mind maps, using linear, spider or patterned notes for each chapter.

  • While studying for the examinations, students should make sure the they learn each topic and not just selective few as the pattern / syllabus often changes.

  • While studying for the exams, revise at least the basics of all concepts if not the details. Different subject requires different methods of studying.

  • In case of Maths, students should practise lot of worked examples to understand the concepts clearly. Use color coding for formulae and some visual images like maps to recall them.

  • For Science, students should use highly visually active techniques to test oneself on visual diagrams.

  • As far as History & Geography, forcing mind to remember concepts is not a good idea. Instead, key word maps & notes should be reviewed at regular intervals.

  • The best way to remember what one has studied is to have a real understanding of a topic through constant questioning.

  • Students should follow some memory tricks like 'Associating the Information / Concepts, Revising, Using Flash Cards, Linking concepts with real world or imaginary objects to boost their confidence and feel stress-free in the exams.

  • Every student has his own ideas and methods to learn. The trick is to find what is right for each one. Cool and calm mind will help the students, perform well in the exams.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Tapping Network for a Job Referral

In today's competitive world, landing a referral for a job is very often a candidate's short cut to the top of the resume pile and that is the only reason referrals work.

Candidates who have acquired a referral is 3-4 times more likely to be hired. The hiring process is often faster for referred candidates. One of the compelling reasons why referrals are a win-win situation for both employers and employees is that referred candidates, once hired, stay on longer and perform better.

  • Looking for a change in job? You better put a word to the relevant people specifically HR professionals who you think will help. You can write an email or talk to them about the opportunity you are looking for. Using social network sites like Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or your alumini network will also help you.

  • Not all jobs are posted publicly and it helps to let your social network know that you are looking for new opportunities. But to get best out of professionals who might help you, you need to know what kind of mentorship is best for you.

  • Articulate your personal brand. This is an external view to self, what you can offer, what are your unique points. The more known and articulate it is, the easier to find a fit when one is on a job hunt. Keeping your referrals updated on your current role and any skill upgradations will be an another strategy.

  • You can ask your previous managers or stakeholders to open in a line or two on the work you have done. This not only provides comfort but also some view on your strengths and quality of work.

Tips for Building Emergency Funds

'Emergency Fund' is that fund which is used to set aside funds to be used for any emergency like loss of job, illness or a major expense. Here are some tips for having an emergency fund:

  • Everybody should have allocated emergency fund though some do not need to put away the requisite amount if they enough assets. One should never come to the conclusion that credit card will support in case of emergency. It should be kept in mind that the cushion that plastic money provides lasts only 15-30 days, till the bill arrives.

  • There was a time when gold was seen as the safe investment for tiding bad times. Instead, the emergency fund should be stashed in a liquid option, such as a sweep-in bank account or an short-term debt fund.

  • Investing the emergency fund in a good equity-based option for better returns will be ideal.

  • Emergency fund should be large enough to take care of your living and other essential expenses, such as house rent, school fees, health care and insurance, for 3-4 months. At the same time, do not allocate too much money to it.

  • Do not try to build the corpus too quickly. It will be a burden on your cash flow and derail other plans, such as saving for retirement or child's education. If you have not already established in emergency fund, start putting away 10-15% of your monthly income for this purpose. This will help you build a corpus in about 2 years. Income tax refund or annual bonus should also be diverted to it.

How to Assess the Real Merit of Educational Institutions?

All parents want the best options of schools and colleges which is a hard task to check. Here are some suggestions:-

  • If academic league tables are still important to you for your children, assess the data over a longer period than one or two years. Five years is a good measure and ten years allows you to see a proper trend. If the data is based on anything less than 40 students taking the final exams, ignore the results completely as one or two students doing well or badly distort the results.

  • Check, whether school has wide range of clubs, societies, interesting trips and opportunities for students to pursue things they are really interested in? If these are barely listed on websites or in prospectus, then do not really mean to give the student a fully holistic education.

  • Check about the level of career counselling or university guidance opportunities. If there are no serious programs in place, and no arrangements to listen to the students, then forget it.

  • What about the accessibility to the top person? Is he or she is willing to engage in communication? Send an email for a brief skype conversation about the educational ethos of the place and look at the response. The top person should be passionate about the ethos and always want to talk about it.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Hair Coloring! Do's & Don'ts.

Men or Women! Hair coloring can turn into a disaster if not done right. Here are some do's & don'ts for hair coloring:-

  • Choose the right color, keeping your skin tone in mind. To find this, look at your wrist. If the shade of your skin is greenish, you have cool skin tone & a yellowish shade means you have a warmer skin tone.

  • Always keep in mind the color of your eyes and eyebrows. Many people have cool skin and warm eyes. For this, you can can pick a neutral shade to balance both.

  • Make sure that your highlights should be three shades lighter than your original hair color. Before getting colors like purple, red, blonde or gold, check if they go well with your skin tone.

  • To have a bright & sun-kissed look, consider the Brazilian blonde look in which streaks aer added only to the tips of the hair.

  • Concentrate highlights on the lower portion of hair i.e. from about your ears down, to help slim and elongate your face.

  • If hair falls past your shoulders, lighten the lowest few centimetres a little to make your face appear smaller.

  • To soften a strong, square jawline, have thin streaks spread evenly throughout your hair with a few extra-light highlights in the front section.

Parents! How to Support Your 'Children' When They Fail?

Failures are part and parcel of everybody's life. In today's competitive world, everyone is running the rat race and kids are no exception. Children are framed, tuned and pushed to succeed in everything they do.

  • Parents should make their children feel that they do not win, it does not mean they are not successful. The right attitude can make all the difference.

  • Parents have high expectations from their children. But expectations, when not met by children, should not cause problems. To excel in any field, children require parental guidance and optimum pressure.

  • Parents should never force their idea or impose their will on their child. Children should be allowed to choose the field, they are interested in.

  • Unhealthy comparisons will mar children's development and confidence in the long run. Every child has a different capability and capacity.

  • Parents should never judge their children on one day's performance. Instead, they should try to make them strong and brave. The best strategy is to attack the problem and not the person (children).

  • Parents should teach their children that failures should be considered a part of learning curve. Most parents, specially mothers, tend to panic easily and worry about failures. As such, they should equip their children with the strength to manage failures.

  • Parents should always keep their communication channel open with their children. There should be an open environment at home where the children feel comfortably to openly speak to the parents. This will have a positive impact in building confidence in doing well in the future.

  • To make them realize that winning and losing are two sides of the same coin, parents should make it a point to inculcate hobbies like reading (not just school books) and / or participating in one additional sport.

  • Most important Suggestion for the Parents: Never compare your children with yourself. Your times and struggles were different from what it is in today's world. If you wish to share your experiences, talk of your failures and how to you managed to overcome them. This will help your children to reassure and set realistic expectations from life.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Etiquettes (as a guest) before / on 'Marriage' Function Day

Weddings are a great place to socialise and use your networking skills to make a good lasting impression. The couple and their families spend months planning the wedding day, making sure that is it is an affair to remember for one and all. Here is a list of some important rules to follow when you are invited as a guest:-

  • If your partner or spouse is invited to the wedding, then the name will be written on the invitation card as 'Mr & Mrs Iyer'. But if either of spouse name appears, never go with a plus one. Also, do not take your kids, if the invitation does not say 'Iyer Family'.

  • If the invitation card includes 'RSVP' (a request for a response from the invited persons for confirmation of their presence for the function), respond immediately about your presence or persons attending instead of you.

  • Reach the marriage venue at least 15 minutes in advance. Avoid sitting in the first 2-3 rows as families of bride and groom take these spots.

  • Unless you are the groom's / bride's best friend or close relative, it is better not to enter their make-up room.

  • As far as dress-code is concerned, lighter colors are usually suitable for morning / afternoon and for evenings, darker colored dress will be ideal.

  • You will have to maintain silence once the wedding ceremony starts. Avoid coughing or talking to others or attending to phone-calls. Phone ring tones / your conversation over mobile might distract the bride and groom.

  • Gifts: (a) If the invitation says 'blessings only', respect it as there might be a valid reason for expecting the same by groom/bride family members. If you still want to give a gift, you can do the same after the wedding. (b) Give something that will be appreciated by both the groom and the bride. (c) Teaming up with other friends will be a great idea. (d) It is better to get your gift couriered to prevent the bride / groom from having to haul dozens of boxes back home. (d) If you want to gift the couple a large amount, you can do it via Cheque. & (e) Are you a close relative either to the bride or to the groom, gift gold or jewellery or gold coin / gift card will be ideal.

  • As the couple will have to talk to everyone, keep your communication short with the couple.

  • Before you leave, thank the bride and the groom, their family members for including you on this special occasion.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Tips & Rules for 'Grocery Shopping'

Deals, offers & discounts by merchants / malls have resulted in buying much more than what we actually need, resulting to wastage of your hard-earned money. Here are some important & useful tips for your grocery shopping:-

  • Before you go for shopping, make a grocery list. Note down only what you need and buy only those.

  • Never go shopping when you are hungry as shopping with hungry mood will tempt you to buy more than you need.

  • Always try to shop alone or with a friend or neighbor who is health-conscious and who believes in eating a balanced meal. Do not get attracted to junk foods, especially with 'Buy 1 Get 1 free' offers. Do not go with your children for grocery shopping as they force you to buy snacks which are high in sugar and fat.

  • Keep in mind, canned, frozen and pre-packaged foods are high in fat, sugar, sodium or all of them. Fill your cart only with fresh items as it will be healthy for your family members.

  • Even most low-fat foods are manufactured with sugar or salt to make up for the taste factor. Check for the ideal & healthy contents like 5 grams or less per 100 grams for Sugar, 0.3 grams or less per 100 grams for salt, 5 grams or less per 100 grams for fat. Eat for healthy value and not for calorie value.

  • You will notice even in small grocery shops that high-calorie snacks, chocolates and chips are kept in a highly visible and attractive manner. Never get attracted towards them.

How to be Mentally & Physically Fit at Your Workplace?

Though we put more emphasis on our healthy eating and regular exercise, health problems like back-pain, knee pain, spinal issues & spondylosis have become common now for most of us. The major reasons for these issues are, bending the wrong way, lifting some heavy objects, driving for long hours or sitting in a wrong posture etc. How to be mentally and physically fit at your workplace? Here are some useful tips:-

  • Everyday Morning Walk: If not in a park, at least on the treadmill, take a walk every morning. Walk as much as possible. Use stairs in your workplace and park your vehicle little bit far away from your office to walk.

  • Food Habits: Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits or fruit juice will keep you away from health problems.

  • Body Posture While Driving: While driving long distances, ensure that your knees are level with your hips. If needed, use artificial back support. Keep your chest parallel to the steering wheel as the distance from the steering wheel is a crucial element in avoiding problems in the wrist, back, neck, arms, shoulders and your spine.

  • Body Posture at Your Workstation: Use a footrest to keep your knees level with the hips. Your chair should push the lower back forward. The computer / laptop screen should be levelled with your head.

  • Resting Your Wrist: Avoid bending your hand and wrist when using computer / laptop keyboard. Keep your hand and wrist in a straight line while working.

  • More Simple Relaxation Exercises: (1) Sit straight and stretch with your legs with toes facing upward. Try to raise your legs 30-40 degrees and slowly put them down without touching the floor. Try this for at least 20 times. (2) Every hour, walk around at least for 5 minutes to overcome your sleepy mood or yur laziness.